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Battle 4 Atlantis: Louisville versus Northern Iowa

A 3-0 Louisville basketball team will be looking to keep the success of their first three games going into the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.  The first game of this tournament will be against a team that they have never played before in Northern Iowa.

Louisville is coming into this game after a dominant performance over the Miami Redhawks 80-39 and are currently listed as the number two team in the nation according to the AP and a USA Today Coaches Poll.

Northern Iowa does not have its name on any lists, but they are also coming into the game 3-0.  Their last game was a dominant performance very similar to Louisville’s in that they beat North Dakota 72-47.

Northern Iowa has four seniors starting and Louisville will not be able to depend on the mistakes that gave them big wins in their previous games as Northern Iowas simply does not make many big mistakes.  Every one of their starters can shoot the ball well and they play a very physical defensive game that may throw Louisville off.

Louisville is going to need to keep the defensive pressure on Northern Iowa and force turn overs.  They will also need to shut down Northern Iowa’s three point shooting as this team will hit three after three if you let them.

Louisville is not hopeless on offense, though.  Junior Russ Smith is going to be a huge offensive tool that Louisville can utilize against Northern Iowa.  He is currently averaging 20.5 points a game on the season.  Peyton Siva of Louisville taken on Deon Mitchell of Northern Iowa will be an interest match up to keep your eye on during this game.  Both these players are the defacto leaders of the team when on the court.

Mitchell is Northern Iowa’s leading shooter with 18 points a game on average, and he also averages about 5 assists a game.

Siva controls the pace of the game for Louisville.  He only averages about 8 points a game, but he puts up an average of nine assists and three steals thus far in the season.

Peyton Siva will win this matchup because of his experience. He has played against some of the best point guards in the nation, Mitchell just doesn’t have the basketball IQ to keep up with Siva.

The point spread currently has Louisville as the 9 point favorites to win this game.  Do not let the odds fool you, however.  This is Louisville’s biggest threat thus far.  Do not expect either one of this teams to get a completely dominating victory like they have in their last games.

The game and tournament kicks off at 9:30 p.m. ET.  The winner of this game will play the winner of the Missouri vs. Stanford game.  That game is on Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET.


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