In 2004-05 - the final season before joining the Big East - Louisville also entered the New Year with two losses (Iowa and Kentucky) and faced the prospect of a weak C-USA. Cinci was the only decent team as Marquette was down and Memphis, though - as usual - talented, failed to make the tourney either (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA13mfhVMsY). Despite going 14-2 in conference (losing at Houston and home to Memphis), winning the C-USA tourney, and entering the NCAA at 29-4, Louisville only got a 4 seed. And then went to the Final Four (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ7ZSlyRkR4)
This season is shaping up similarly. Again Louisville has two losses and again they face the prospect of few opportunities for significant wins. I expect they'll again have only a couple of conference losses at most, but that might not be good enough for a 1-2 seed - even if they're clearly a top 8 team.
Another similarity is that the 2005 team was perimeter-dominated , taking and making a lot of threes. That might be end up being the route this team takes, if the performance at UCF is any indication. Having Russ, Wayne, Chris and Luke on the court at the same time is intriguing.
This year's squad isn't going to win quite the same way they won last, but I'm still hopeful they can win just as much.