Tough region, tough team. There's a reason this team has made it this far.
The Louisville Cardinals are in the incredibly tough Southwest bracket. Louisville will need to (most likely) go through Vandy(good matchup), Kansas (#2 overall seed), and either Notre Dame or Purdue.
WHY LOUISVILLE WILL BE IN THE FINAL FOUR
- The Grit- This team can bounce back. This team is tough, with tough man to man defense. We are tough. I'll just leave it at that.
- Decent matchups- Louisville, believe it or not, has good matchups in the tourney. Let's start with Morehead. The Eagles will obviously play hard, but outside of Faried are just not talented enough. Vanderbilt is a great matchup for our style. They turn the ball over 20 freaking percent of the time. Our defense will stuff them and get plenty of turnovers. Kansas has two better forwards, but we have much better guards. Brady Morningstar, Tyshawn Taylor, and Tyrel Reed really don't scare me at all. Peyton Siva is the best point guard in the region. Preston! is a top 3 two guard. Smith/Marra are major enigmas but if they catch on, we will be dangerous. And Notre Dame we have a blueprint for beating. Purdue's guards outside E'twan Moore aren't jack. They don't have a decent center.
- Our style- A lot of teams can't run with us. If we shove our style down some teams' throats, points galore. I'm also going to throw in our skill at the four. To be clear, Kyle is not a four. He is a big two or a three. But he is going to be able to either outrun other bigs or break their ankles. Anyway, slow it down teams are going to be way more turnover prone and tired in games.
- Coaching. Whether SOME OF YOU like it or not, RP is a hall of famer with legendary preparation.
WHY LOUISVILLE WILL NOT MAKE IT TO THE FINAL FOUR
- Size at the four/rebounding- Ever since the four guard lineup has gelled, our rebounding has been great. But you've got to worry about a matchup like the Morris twins who are going to gobble down every rebound. This is where missing Rock or Swop is going to sink us like a Rock going down Swopshire Lake (WOOT! Lame joke). Rock was a major key, and now he is gone for the year.
- We are a pod team- The Cards were two for three EVERY segment. We never had a three game winning streak after the nonconference. We have seemed to always have a clunker in there just waiting to slap us in the face.
- Injuries- Yes we are still deep. But lets face it, Elisha Justice is not a viable backup. With Mike Marra, you never know. Stephen Van Treese is somewhat viable, but he is a huge dropoff from Rock as far as scoring and skill goes. Gorgui is very raw and is very prone to making the "you've got to be kidding me" play. But Hendo is averaging 67.8 ppg and 41.5 rebouds per game. Very nice. Siva just hurt his ankle. If he re-injures it badly, we're done. Same goes form PK and Kyle. Peyton Siva, Preston Knowles, Chris Smith, Kyle Kuric, and Terrence Jennings are going to have to log heavy minutes.
Well, tourney starts Friday. How far do we go? Go Cards.