The Louisville Cardinals have earned the No. 2 seed in the Midwest region and will face Ray Harper’s Jacksonville State team in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Indianapolis on Friday. Full times and television listings for the Cardinals’ game and all other first round games will be released later tonight.
Louisville enters the tournament coming off a disappointing showing at the ACC tournament, where they were defeated by eventual champion Duke in the quarterfinals. If there’s a bright spot, it’s in the fact that the 81-77 final score actually marked the smallest margin of victory for the Blue Devils during their championship run.
Still, with its performance in Brooklyn, Louisville now faces the tall task of having to re-write history. No team has ever lost its first conference tournament game and gone on to win a national championship.
The road towards changing that fact begins on Friday.
Quick thoughts on the draw:
—Overall, it’s hard not to be pleased. This is the second straight tournament where Louisville has been a seed better than most people thought they’d be. Thanks, ACC?
—Nailed the top teams and the region prediction earlier, just needed to flip the seeds for Louisville and Oregon. My guess is that’s exactly what the committee did last night when the Chris Boucher injury news broke.
—Two downsides here: 1) Michigan in the second round is brutal. The Wolverines are red-hot and Beilein has to feel like he’s due against Louisville. 2) Facing Kansas in a regional final played in Kansas City would not be ideal. That’s the Elite 8, though, and if it happens you just have to feel fortunate that you’re there and then take your chances.
—’Sup, Ray Harper?