I had the chance to speak with Seth Davis of CBS and Sports Illustrated this afternoon, and while most of the conversation was centered around general college basketball, I did have a chance to sneak in a few Louisville-centric questions at the end.
Here's what was said:
CC: There are three possible scenarios for Louisville this weekend: they lose tonight, they lose tomorrow in the AAC title game or they win the AAC tournament. What do you think the Cards' seed would be in each of those scenarios?
Seth Davis: "Well, I don't think they can get a up to the one line at this point. I suppose there's an outside shot, but they would need every other team in consideration to lose and probably lose today. I know they're hitting their stride now, but they only have four top 50 wins, they didn't play a good non-conference schedule and their league just wasn't tough enough. I think right now they're a three, and they'd probably be a three even if they lost tonight. If they win the tournament, they might be able to get up to a two, but I'd say they're going to end up somewhere between a four and a two.
Having said all that, I think they can win the national title. I'm not sure this team is as good as last year's without Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng, but I still think they're one of the teams that can win it all."
CC: Louisville won a game by 61 points yesterday, and they've beaten the teams they're supposed to beat by massive margins all season long. Is there something to be said for that, or should those margins be dismissed because of the teams being blown out?
SD: "Well, first of all, I think it needs to be said that margin of victory has no bearing on the minds of the Selection Committee. They don't look at that at all. If they did, then coaches would start coaching towards the scoreboard and it would be a mess. I think these lopsided scores are impressive and they show that Louisville is focused and amped, but Rutgers is bad and I don't think you can read too much into that."
CC: If Louisville does fall short of making a third straight Final Four, what will be their undoing? What's their major weakness heading into the NCAA Tournament?
SD: "I would say outside shooting. I think their outside shooting has been suspect for much of the year.
Luke Hancock is the x-factor for Louisville. He was so good at the end of last season and they need him to get back to that point. Chris Jones has also been up-and-down. Russ Smith has been great this season, but he also goes through stretches where he doesn't shoot the ball all that well.
In that second weekend of the tournament when you're playing in the Sweet 16 and the Elite 8, halfcourt scoring is the difference. You're going to get some transition buckets, but good teams are going to make you score in the halfcourt, and that means you're going to have make free-throws and jump shots to win. Louisville is going to have to do that in order to advance to Dallas."
Thanks to Seth for taking the time to talk with us. He'll be hosting a live two hour Twitter chat about the NCAA Tournament on Monday starting at 11:30 a.m. Capital One is hosting the Twitter chat and will be taking questions at the @CapitalOne handle.