On Selection Sunday morning at the Bracket Matrix, Louisville gets 3s 4s and 5s across the board for a 3.8 average (2nd 4 seed.) Before winning the BET title, there were a number of 6s and 7s on that line.
Louisville wraps up its season with a national strength of schedule of 7 and RPI rating of 12. Notably, it got non-conference wins over: SEC tournament finalist and season 2nd place Vanderbilt (RPI 22 SOS 4), Sunbelt Conference Tournament champion and season 3rd place Western Kentucky, CUSA Conference tournament and season champion Memphis (RPI 16 SOS 22), Southland conference tournament champion and season 3rd place Lamar (4th best rebounding and 5th best scoring team in the nation), MAC conference tournament champion and season 3rd place Ohio, Big West Conference tournament and season champion Long Beach State. This wound up being the #4 non-conference RPI schedule in the nation.
Other positive wins included on the road at Butler (Horizon league 5th place and a winning record), College of Charleston (Souther conference 4th place and winning record )
The 9 losses included tough ones on the road at SEC Tournament finalist and season champion Kentucky (RPI 1), on the road and at home against Big East season champion Syracuse (RPI 2), and
Obviously, Louisville's achievements are all the more admirable for doing so while enduring a harsh injury record (if not the worst in the nation), and after starting in the Big East cellar at 1-4 and 2-6. Clawing it's way back into the top half of the conference, and winning a Big east Tournament title in 4 straight nights over higher seeds, former victors and fresher opponents.
The last time Louisville won 4 sraight nights was when it won the 1948 NAIB, which back then was as good a national title as any. (Louisville is the only team in the nation to sport national titles from NAIB, NIT (when NIT was tops) and NCAA.)
The committee is probably going to notice that Louisville players include the #2 STL% leader in the nation as well as a top 10 blocker--and the team itself is a top 10 for steals and top 5 for assists. And of course, the first-ever Louisville player to win the Dave Gavitt Trophy as the BET’s most outstanding player.
They might also notice that UL achieved this all while dealing with 4 games by ref Jamie Luckie (2nd most fouls called in NCAA) (Cinci & UK losses), 4 games by 'ref' Karl Hess (top 10 fouls called, disciplined once) (Marquette and Georgetown losses), and 6 excruciating games by 'ref' Jim Burr (Georgetown and [first] Syracuse losses).
So, while many of us Cards fans were thinking last night that a 3 seed is not feasible or possible, perhaps the tournment committee will consider it after all considering all the above accomplishments.
At the very least, some Negative Nancy type fans who complained about the terrible-communicating coach, his "hard practices" (which enabled UL in its fourth straight night of playing to lock down and outlast a fresher, better shooting Cincinatti), the 'bad schedule' against 'bad opponents' (see above #4 NC SOS), and the terrible offense which would never work because we were too focused on defense... well hopefully going forward they will better understand that any perspective of our team needs balancing against the bigger picture, and always more positive support and patience.
Yeah, I know, there are still a few scorpio's out there waiting to see what happens in the Big Dance. Me, I'm confident we'll be in the Sweet 16, and I'm sorry you're not having as much fun as I am!
JUST SIX MORE GAMES LEFT IN THE SEASON!