FanPost

A look at the future...while observing the past.

As a Louisville fan, who also happens to be a big fan of college basketball in general, it’s hard at times to take off the Louisville hat and survey the college landscape from an outsiders perspective. Having watched multiple agonizing defeats for the Cards at the hands of what we would consider inferior opponents it’s very easy to get frustrated with the loss and mark it off as “missed opportunities”, “failed execution”, “bad coaching”, “poor free throw shooting”, etc, etc, etc But having also watched multiple other teams experience the same frustrations it’s makes me take a step back, review the past and see what the future might hold.

Let’s look at the current Top 10 from the AP Poll as of last week (2/4) in regards to their win/loss totals and remaining schedule. (Current RPI in parenthesis)

1. Indiana (11)- Preseason number 1, look unbeatable at times, as recent as last week against Michigan looked like a solid title contender. Currently sits with 3 losses, still have games against Michigan St, Minnesota, Ohio St. Michigan and Rivalry Game with Purdue.

Optimistic W/L Results:4-1

Final Record: 27-4,

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): Wisconsin 64-59

2.Florida (5)- Absolutely drilling people early and often. Very impressive over the last few months. Currently sits with 3 losses, still have games against Missouri, Arkansas (Previous L), Vandy and a home and away with Kentucky

Optimistic W/L Results:4-1

Final Record: 26-4

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): @ Arkansas 80-69

3. Michigan(4)- Two weeks ago arguably the best team in the country. Playing consistent basketball. Currently sits with 3 losses, still have games against Indiana, Illinois and a home and away with Michigan St.

Optimistic W/L Results:3-1

Final Record: 27-4

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): @ Wisconsin 65-62

4. Duke(1)- Prior to Brian Kelly loss looked like a solid title team. After his loss, have still played with skill and a sense of urgency. Currently sits with 2 losses, still have games against Miami (FL) and a home and away with North Carolina

Optimistic W/L Results:2-1

Final Record: 27-3

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): @ NC State 84-76

5. Kansas(10)- Unbelievable early season run, unbeatable at home and tough team to wear down over the course of the game. Currently sits with 4 losses, three in a row, and still have games against Kansas St., Oklahoma St. and TCU (Previous L)

Optimistic W/L Results:2-1

Final Record: 25-5

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): @TCU 62-55

6. Gonzaga(12)- Consistency is the name of their game. The schedule hasn’t been that rough on them but they have still shown signs of weakness at times. Currently sits with 2 losses, and still have games against Saint Mary’s, BYU and Santa Clara

Optimistic W/L Results:2-1

Final Record: 28-3

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): Illinois 85-74

7.Arizona(7)- Playing great basketball early on, hit a few tripping points but still a respectable squad come March. Currently sits with 3 losses, and still has games against UCLA and Arizona St.

Optimistic W/L Results:1-1

Final Record: 26-4

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): California 77-69

8.Miami (FL)(2)- Arguably the best team in the country at this moment. Playing with senior leadership limiting mistakes and finishing solid. Currently sits with 3 losses, and still has games against Virginia and Duke

Optimistic W/L Results:1-1

Final Record: 26-4

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): @ Florida gulf Coast 63-51

9. Syracuse(6)- Got hot early on, looking like a solid team that would make a deep run. Ran into the Big East schedule and hit some road bumps. Currently sits with 3 losses, and still has games against UConn, Marquette, Louisville and a home and away with Georgetown

Optimistic W/L Results:3-2

Final Record: 26-5

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): @ Villanova 75-71

10. Ohio St.(22)- A team with some upperclassmen who looked pretty tough early on. Big Ten schedule has beat them up pretty good, but has the talent to go deep. Currently sits with 6 losses, two in a row, and still have games against Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan St. and Indiana

Optimistic W/L Results:3-1

Final Record: 23-7

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): @ Illinois 74-55

11. Louisville(8)- We all know the story, but it bears repeating. Came out on fire, beating up on teams it should and beating up on teams it shouldn’t (Mizzou, Memphis, etc) Big East schedule took it to the Cards, in what some would consider a top heavy schedule (tougher games early on), made it though without any blowout losses, and gave away a couple games. Currently sits with 5 losses, and still have games against Syracuse, Cincinnati and Notre Dame.

Optimistic W/L Results:2-1

Final Record: 25-6

Worst Loss (Team or Point total): @ Villanova 73-64

So to recap all this mess, the Top 10 teams in the country, with my estimated win totals, have an average record of 26.1-4.3 (Let’s call it 26-4). If my Cards projection holds out their sitting at 25-6, which is not very far off from the average. Long story short, the tough losses for the Cards have happened to everyone. Every fan base is kicking themselves over those 1-2 games they gave away. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon your viewpoint, we actually have 3-4 of those games. Tough losses suck, they always do. But let’s try and keep the perspective of the outsider and realize the sky is in fact not falling and we still have a really good basketball team.

As I've pointed out before, I tend to over-analyze at times, but this stuff helps me get over losses as tough as those we experienced on Saturday…..and Sunday. Go Cards.

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