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Louisville not selected to play in 2018 NCAA Tournament

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Month of Salt Part II.

Louisville v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Louisville’s NCAA Tournament bubble has officially burst.

The Cardinals were not among the 68 tournament participants revealed by the selection committee Sunday evening. This marks the first time since 2006 that Louisville has been eligible for play in the NCAA Tournament and gone unselected.

With a current RPI of No. 38, the Cardinals become the first power conference team with an RPI better than 40 to be left out of the Big Dance. It continues to be a history-making year for all the wrong reasons for Louisville basketball.

The 2017-18 season was always going to be one defined by what ifs. What if the FBI stuff hadn’t happened? What if the news had broken over the summer and not the week of practice starting? What if Brian Bowen had played? What if Rick Pitino had been coaching this same group?

After Sunday’s news, it’s now also destined to be remembered by the billion things Louisville did wrong in the final moments of its Senior Night loss to Virginia. If there is no foul, no made free-throws, no lane violation, no running the baseline, no poor out of bounds defense, or no banked in three-pointer at the buzzer, then the 2017-18 Louisville Cardinals are an NCAA Tournament team. That’s always going to be a bitter pill to swallow.

The NIT selection show starts at 8:30 on ESPNU. Can’t wait.