I suppose there's still a very long shot that Louisville could wind up as the fourth No. 1 seed, but I think we're all pretty much in agreement that it's not going to happen. That being the case, it appears as though the Cards will pop up as either a two, three or four seed when the brackets are revealed later today.
While it appeared more than likely just a couple of weeks ago, it now seems highly improbable that U of L's opening opponent in the big dance will be an at-large squad. There is a strong chance that the name which pops up next to the Cards' will be one of the following:
North Dakota State (Summit)
Stephen F. Austin (Southland)
Eastern Kentucky (OVC)
Western Michigan (MAC)
Georgia State (Sun Belt)
New Mexico State (WAC)
Mercer (Atlantic Sun)
North Carolina Central (MEAC)
Weber State (Big Sky)
The other automatic qualifiers are almost definitely going to be on the 16 line or are going to be seeded better than 13th.
North Dakota State and Stephen F. Austin (which has won 28 games in a row) are projected by most experts to be 12 seeds, so obviously those are the two names on the list that you'd least like to see. Outside of them, Manhattan (lots of offensive talent, Beamon is awesome), Eastern Kentucky (all juniors and seniors), Tulsa (C-USA is still a decent league) and Georgia State (RYAN HARROW) are the other teams I'd just as soon avoid.
I've done this every year for as long as I can remember and I've only been right once, but for tradition's sake, here's my prediction for later today: Louisville will be a three seed facing Mercer in the round of 64.
The obvious choice for our Thursday/Friday opponent is Eastern Kentucky, since the committee always seems to like pairing us or Kentucky against the OVC champ, especially when they're also from the Commonwealth. Still, fortune favors the bold in March and so I'm not going there.
What say you?