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Louisville basketball announces self-imposed postseason ban for 2016

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Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The most wonderful time of the year in the Derby City will never arrive in 2016.

U of L has announced a postseason ban that will keep its men's basketball team from participating in the 2016 ACC Tournament and 2016 NCAA Tournament. The announcement was made during a press conference held by U of L President James Ramsey, athletic director Tom Jurich, basketball coach Rick Pitino and private investigator Chuck Smrt.

Ramsey announced the punishment after revealing that U of L's private investigation had discovered that "a violation had occurred."

"This is a punishment I never thought would happen this season," Pitino said following Ramsey's announcement. "This is a decision that is as harsh as I've ever seen."

Pitino added that he wasn't made aware of the decision until late Thursday, and that he met with the team Friday afternoon to give them the news. He said that Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, the two 5th year transfers who were hoping to play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, immediately broke down and were comforted by their teammates.

"Damion and Trey have nothing to look forward to right now," Pitino said. "They were hit over the head with a sledgehammer for something they had nothing to do with."

Pitino urged fans to support the players and the rest of the team in their final four home games, saying "it's all they have to look forward to."

More coming.