Saturday did not go ideally for Louisville or any of the other teams on the NCAA tournament bubble.
Georgetown and Oregon State winning their respective conference tournament titles means that the last two teams that were into the NCAA tournament field 24 hours ago are now on the outside looking in. Cincinnati — which plays Houston for the AAC tournament title at 3:15 on ESPN — could knock yet another bubble team out of the field this afternoon.
No one knows exactly where Louisville was on the Selection Committee’s S-curve going into yesterday, but even if the Cards were in the field of 68 fairly safely, Georgetown and Oregon State’s wins could have knocked them from the main draw into the First Four.
Currently on Bracket Matrix — which takes all of the various mock brackets on the internet and creates an aggregate — Louisville is the third-to-last at-large team in the field, a distinction which would have them facing Drake in the First Four on Thursday. A handful of the brackets have Louisville out of the tournament, but far more have them in and avoiding the First Four. Still, there is not a single bracket that has been updated over the last week that has U of L as a single-digit seed.
As the day begins, it appears a majority of Cardinal fans believe the team is going to be in the field, with a majority of that group believing U of L will be playing a First Four game on Thursday.
How are we feeling about Louisville heading into Selection Sunday?— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) March 14, 2021
For what it’s worth, Bracketville — the site that has had the most consistently accurate projections in recent years — has the Cards as the last team to miss the First Four. They are an 11-seed facing Colorado in the first round. If Cincy were to win today, that would obviously knock the Cards into having to play on Thursday.
With Louisville looking at anything from a 10-seed to a 12-seed (or, obviously, to out), the list of potential first round opponents for the Cards is pretty large.
Here’s (probably) who we’re looking at:
San Diego State
I’m sticking with the premonition I had last week that Louisville would be facing Michigan State in the First Four, but at this point, I just want to see our name pop up so I can enjoy the next four days properly.
As I type this, we’ve got about seven hours until the Selection Show starts. Where’s your confidence level? What’s your prediction?