2013 NCAA Tournament Profile: Big East Champion Louisville Cardinals
Conference: Big East Conference
How They Qualified: Big East Tournament Champions
The numbers don’t lie, the Louisville Cardinals have been great this season.
The Cardinals ended hot down the stretch, which played a big part in them winning a share of the Big East regular season title, however, it was with two other teams. Then Louisville turned things up and won the Big East Tournament championship, as well. Unlike last year’s Final Four team, the Cardinals are actually expected to go that far this year and anything short of it would be a disappointment.
The only blemish of Louisville’s out-of-conference schedule this season was a loss against the Duke Blue Devils, but that team is kind of good in their own right, you know?
There are plenty of elite teams this year and Louisville is definitely one of them.
What You Need to Know:
Leading Scorer: Russ Smith (17.9 ppg)
Leading Rebounder: Gorgui Dieng (10.1 rpg)
Leading Passer: Peyton Siva (5.9 apg)
Bad Losses: None
Russ Smith has really stepped up his game this season, going from 11.5 points per game last year to 17.9 points per game this year. His rebounds and assists also went up. Surprisingly, Peyton Siva’s numbers barely increased, but he still is one of the best point guards in college basketball regardless.
Louisville may not put up the most points per game, but it will definitely make the opposing team earn them.
The Cardinals slipped up way back in January by losing three games in a row, but they are definitely playing on all cylinders now. Other teams of note that Louisville has beaten this season are Kentucky, Memphis, Connecticut and Cincinnati. This team has all of the makings to go on another Final Four run this year–it does pretty much have all of the same pieces it had last season and all.