Can Louisville score enough to beat Michigan State?

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kentucky aren’t the only ones from the Commonwealth hunting some pay-back this week in the NCAA Tournament.

In 2009, No. 2 seed Michigan State upset No. 1 seed Louisville 64-52 in the finals of the Midwest Region in Indianapolis keeping the Cardinals from the Final Four.

Now, three years later, Thursday night at 7:47 ET in Phoenix, the tables are turned. Michigan State is the No. 1 seed and favorites to reach the Final Four.  Louisville is the No. 4 seed when the two teams meet in the West Region final in Phoenix.

Besides coaches Tom Izzo and Rick Pitino, there is one significant holdover. MSU’s Draymond Green, then a freshman, now a senior, scored six points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 24 minutes in that game.

(AP photo)

Louisville has won six straight games since losing four of its last six at the end of the regular season. After beating the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in New York, Pitino’s club beat Davidson and New Mexico in Portland to reach the Sweet 16.

Louisville’s defense is good enough to beat the Spartans, but can the Cards score enough points?

Ken Pomeroy ranks U of L second in the country on the defensive end, based on points allowed per possession. On offense, however, Louisville ranks 116th, worst among this year’s Sweet 16 teams.

Michael Rogner of College Basketball Talk did some research and of the 160 teams that were a No. 12 seed or better in the last 10 years, 26 had an offense ranked 100 or worse.

Only one made it to the Sweet 16. That was Florida State, and the Seminoles lost in that round to VCU.

The question is can Louisville score enough points to be the first team on that list to crack the Elite Eight?

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