The Louisville Cardinals are 20-5 which leads to their No. 12 ranking. However, next to the Duke Blue Devils, the Cardinals have the best all around resume of any team in the country. However, Louisville has lost some close games to the top teams in the Big East. This may seem bad for the Cardinals, but Louisville has gained the most important tool for winning the NCAA tournament – experience against good teams.
Louisville’s first major win was against the then No. 13 Missouri Tigers. Missouri at this point of the season was on fire behind Phil Pressey’s passing ability and Laurence Bowers’s scoring ability, and were completely healthy. Then, the Cardinals faced Memphis and the fastest player in the country, Joe Jackson. Next, Louisville won their rivalry against Kentucky. That’s a hot team, a star player, and a rivalry all before the start of conference play. Once conference play began, Louisville competed in one of the toughest conferences in the country and is one win behind first in the Big East. Louisville plays No. 6 Syracuse, the team in first, on March 2nd.
If you focus on Louisville’s wins and losses it becomes clear: No other team in the country has faced the variety of teams and players that the Cardinals have, and, when tournament time comes around, that experience will become invaluable. This Cardinals team is built and ready for the Final Four and Rick Pitino knows this. Expect, Louisville to come out strong early in the tournament and maintain momentum until either a team knocks them off or they cut down the nets at the national championship.