With only two games remaining in the regular season and only three guaranteed before selection Sunday, it's safe to say that the Cards have done enough to make the tournament. The only unknown variable out there, between now and the time they find out where/ who they'll be playing in the first round, is where they'll be seeded. Most "experts" had Louisville right around a four seed in their projections last week. Joe Lunardi still had Louisville on the four line after the loss at Cincinnati and I honestly think that when you consider the sheer number of injuries this team had to overcome, grabbing a four seed would be quite an accomplishment.
Four seeds make deep runs in the tournament all the time. It's not what we expected coming into this season; but, if you're really being honest with yourself then you can admit that there probably aren't many other teams out there, playing in a league as good as the Big East, that could overcome the loss of so many players to even make the tournament. Let alone finish in the top 25 and grab a decent seed in The Dance. For that I have nothing but praise for the resolve of this bunch, and for the job that Coach Pitino has done keeping them focused/ getting them to this point.
I meant every word I just typed just as much as I believe the words I'm about to type. If you misconstrue them as me being a negative Nancy,.... I give up; because this is a positive but realistic post about our team. The truth is, that this team is talented, and they play unbelievably hard. With the exception of one game, Providence, I can honestly say that these guys have played their balls off every time they stepped onto the floor this season. That being said, this team still has not given us something substantial to believe in. They've proven that they can play with the very best teams in the country, but they haven't proven they can beat them.
They've proven that they can frustrate, confuse, boondoggle, bamboozle, and baffle some of the most talented, and offensively gifted squads in College Basketball; but they couldn't beat them,.. not at home or on the road. They also spent most of the non-conference schedule clawing their way past teams that should have been taken to the wood shed. For the most part, both have been a consequence of not being able to score enough points. Injuries have had a lot to do with that, but that doesn't change the fact that we are where we are.
I believe that fanatics come in all shapes and sizes. Some are constantly positive, always looking for the silver lining. Others are constantly playing the Devil's Advocate, and dissecting a team's weaknesses. Others stay positive until they just can't do it anymore. Being one or another, of these types, doesn't make someone a bad fan. It doesn't make them stupid, it doesn't make them blind to the team's weaknesses, and it certainly doesn't mean they don't love their team as much as someone who takes a different position.
The fact is that the 2011-2012 version of Louisville Basketball has done, and not done, just enough to encourage, and discourage, a large percentage of its' fans. Senior night is Wednesday against a team we should definitely beat, we're at Syracuse on Saturday, and then it's off to MSG for the Big East Tournament. No matter what type of fan you are... no matter what your feelings are about the potential of this team.... you can rest assured that every fan wants the best for this team; and, for the seniors who won't ever get a chance to pull on a Louisville jersey again after the final horn sounds on this season.
You can also rest assured that no matter what type of fan you are, that you are all hoping to see something more than what you've seen up until now. If for nothing else, to have something to believe in before Selection Sunday gets here. You are all hoping that this collection of players proves to us that they really are playing to the very peak of their potential from now until the time the Big East Tournament ends.
At this point, after everything they've had to overcome, I think that's about all we can ask for heading into the most wonderful time of the year...
1983 Louisville vs Kentucky Overtime period (via jbocardfan)