2) Louisville Cardinals (23-3, 14-2) vs. 15) Marist Red Foxes (18-3, 13-3)
NCAA Tournament First Round
Game Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Alamodome: San Antonio, TX
Favorite: Louisville by 22.5
Probable Starting Lineup:
Marist enters its 11th NCAA tournament after a regular season in which it went 18-3 overall and 13-3 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Red Foxes defeated Saint Peter’s 69-30 to win their 11th MAAC championship, the most in conference history. The matchup was Marist’s 15th appearance in the championship game, all which have come under head coach Brian Giorgis.
The Red Foxes are averaging 63.6 points per game and limiting opponents to a 50.0 mark, both conference highs. The 50.0 mark ranks second in the nation, trailing only their Alamo Region mate UCF at 49.9. Marist leads the conference in 12 out of 20 statistical categories, including scoring margin, field-goal percentage, and assists/turnover ratio.
Senior forward Willow Duffell is averaging a near double-double with 12.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, ranking top-10 in the conference in both categories. Duffell’s double-double last time out was her seventh of the season, and fourth in the last six games.
This fan base could use a spark, and another run to a Final Four would certainly provide just that. It can’t happen without getting off on the right foot Monday night.
Let’s go Cards.