The real winners tonight were the KFC Yum! Center folks and downtown Louisville. Potentially hosting three local teams plus defending national champion Connecticut and Big East power Marquette? Should be some considerable buzz around the Derby City all week and weekend. I love it.
Alright, let's talk about the seeding and draw. In the minutes leading up to the Selection Sunday show, I thought Louisville had a pretty good chance at a three seed. Like many of you, I reacted negatively when my television pixels revealed the Fightin' Cardinals being shipped three time zones away to Portland, but after seeing the brackets fleshed out I think the Cards have a relatively good draw. As we say this time of year, it's all about match-ups and I'd rather watch my team win first round games playing in Hong Kong over losing to plodding mid-majors in Columbus. Or just win. That's the key element here. And with 13 seed Davidson as the first (second) round opponent and one seed Michigan State as the potential Sweet Sixteen foe, I like U of L's chances better than if they'd drawn a 14 seed like Belmont (good luck Hoyas) and one seeds like Kentucky and North Carolina.
The selection committee's overall rankings were just released on TruTV's "Hardcore Brackets" show and Louisville was slotted as the #16 team behind Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, ergo the last four seed, ergo Portland. I thought they'd seed U of L higher, but the RPI Top 50 wins weren't all that impressive and before winning their conference tournament, Louisville's best wins were over Vandy and Memphis at home and perhaps the Cards' most impressive resume bullet is that they only suffered one truly bad loss, the 31 point drubbing at Providence.
You look back at the schedule and those close losses to Georgetown and Notre Dame look more and more like valuable seeding opportunities--at least moreso than they seemed at the time. That matters little now. It's winning time and the Peyton Siva-led Cards finally look up to the challenge of closing games and taking names. Printable brackets HERE via SB Nation. Here's an excellent preview of the Davidson Wildcats via SB Nation's own "Searching for Billy Edelin" blog: LINK