After their gritty hard-fought win over NKU, the Louisville Cardinals take on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders today in the 2nd round of the NIT at 6:30pm in the Yum! Center. The game can be watched on ESPN2.
Middle Tennessee was one of the teams that felt slighted by the selection committee for being a mid-major program. As inconsistent as the committee has proven to be, Middle Tennessee, like Louisville, had no one to blame but themselves for missing out on the Big Dance. The Blue Raiders entered March ranked 24th in the nation and were the heavy favorite to win their conference tournament. They suffered a home loss to Marshall and were bounced in the first round of their conference tournament by Southern Mississippi. They controlled their own destiny and didn’t take advantage of their opportunities, sound familiar?
Middle Tennessee is led by forward Nick King. King leads the team in points and rebounds at 20.9 points per game on an efficient 49.5% from the field coupled with his 8.5 rebounds per game. Middle Tennessee rebounds the ball fairly well for a that sacrifices size in most of their matchups. If Louisville can win the battle on the glass today, the result of the game should favor the Cards.
After the first round win, I think everyone in and around the program got some much needed life and enjoyment. The atmosphere was incredible, the fan involvement was electric and the players were noticeably having fun. If you have tickets, please go to the game and keep the environment on par with how it was against NKU.
Our very own Deng Adel only needs 13 points to join the 1,000 point club and I firmly believe he’ll hit that mark today. It’s not the tournament we wanted, but now that we’re here, let’s just win the whole damn thing.
Louisville 72 – Middle Tennessee 64