National Invitation Tournament - Quarterfinals
No. 2 Louisville Cardinals (22-13) vs. No. 4 Mississippi State Bulldogs (24-11)
Game Time: 9:05 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Announcers: Bob Wischusen (play-by play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst)
Favorite: Louisville by 5.5
Probable Starting Lineups:
Series: Louisville leads, 3-1
Last Meeting: Louisville won 86-62 on Dec. 30, 1987 at the Rainbow Classic third place game in Honolulu
About Mississippi State:
Mississippi State defeated fifth-seeded Nebraska 66-59 in the first round of the NIT and topped regional top seed Baylor 78-77 on a buzzer-beater in the second round. Quinndary Weatherspoon, the team’s leading scorer, hit the shot that advanced the Bulldogs. The shot was the fourth game-winner Weatherspoon has hit during his college career.
VIDEO: Quinndary Weatherspoon's game-winner against Baylor was his fourth with Mississippi State. Here's a trip down memory lane and a look at all four. pic.twitter.com/GgUDwE8tgO— TJ Werre (@TJ_WJTV) March 19, 2018
The Bulldogs are 10th in blocked shots per game (5.4), 57th in field goal percentage defense (.417) and 61st in scoring defense (67.9). MSU is 9-8 all-time in the NIT.
—This is Louisville’s 15th appearance in the NIT. The Cardinals have a 16-14 record in the postseason event and have reached the national semifinals on three occasions, winning the 1956 NIT Championship.
—This is the ninth NIT appearance for the Bulldogs, who are 9-8 in this event. In all postseason play, they are now 18-18 (11-11 in NCAAs).
—Deng Adel is 13 points short of becoming the Cardinals’ 69th career 1,000-point scorer.
—This will be the last game at the KFC Yum Center for Louisville seniors Quentin Snider and Anas Mahmoud.
—Louisville is fourth in the nation in blocked shots (6.1 bpg).
—In the postseason, Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland is 22-12 with a 3-2 NIT record. Howland took UCLA to three Final Fours.
—Louisville is one of just four schools which have won 20 or more games in each of the last 16 seasons (also Kansas, Duke and Gonzaga).
—Louisville is 21-3 when shooting better from the field than its opponent, 20-3 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, and 16-3 when making eight or more three-pointers in a game.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 73, Mississippi State 69