Breaking news as ESPN.com's algorithm has crunched the numbers and determined that the Louisville Cardinals are the #6 ranked basketball program over the last 50 years. We did it!
Positives: Won a pair of national titles in the 1980s; also made six other Final Fours; 21 regular-season conference titles; five first-team consensus All-Americans; nine top-10 picks.
Negatives: Lost 10 points due to sanctions; hasn't reached the national championship game in 26 years; had an eight-year stretch without a conference title (1996-03).
Fun fact: Louisville received negative points in just three of the 50 seasons in this study.
The four-letter network determined our starting 5 from the last 50 years, which I think if it played a tournament would end up better than 6th, but honestly I cannot prove it.
50 in 50 starting five (1962-present)
G – Darrell Griffith (1976-80)
G – DeJuan Wheat (1993-97)
F – Rodney McCray (1979-83)
F/C – Pervis Ellison (1985-89)
C – Wes Unseld (1965-68)
Top options off the bench
Butch Beard (1966-69)
Derek Smith (1979-82)
Milt Wagner (1981-86)
If they took the top 8 teams from this list, took their starting 8s and played a tournament, it would probably be the best tournament in any sport of all time no? Especially if they did it on an aircraft carrier.
Best teams (1962-present)
1979-80 (33-3, NCAA national champions)
1982-83 (32-4, NCAA national semifinals)
1985-86 (32-7, NCAA national champions)
That's mildly controversial but I wasn't around for the 82-83 team - well I was alive, but was not paying as close attention and blogging about it.