NCAA Basketball Louisville CardinalsMarch Madness

Louisville’s 5 Most Important Players in the 2014 NCAA Tournament

5 Louisville Cardinals Players Most Important For a Title Run

Louisville Cardinals Rick Pitino
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One of the most popular picks to win the entire NCAA Tournament, the Louisville Cardinals have been one of the hottest teams lately. The Cardinals were criminally under-seeded by the Selection Committee; some thought they were in the running for a No. 1 seed, but they ended up with a No. 4 seed. Regardless of their seed, the Cardinals are still one of the best teams in the country and they have a great chance to win the championship.

5. Russ Smith

Louisville Cardinals Russ Smith
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

5. Russ Smith

Louisville Cardinals Russ Smith
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals' leading scorer, senior guard Russ Smith is vital to his team's success in the tournament. He showed the ability to go off for 30 -- or even 40 -- points when needed, especially towards the end of the season. Smith isn't just a scorer, however, as he averaged 3.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

4. Luke Hancock

Louisville Cardinals Luke Hancock
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

4. Luke Hancock

Louisville Cardinals Luke Hancock
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone remembers what Luke Hancock did last season in the Final Four when he averaged 21 points per game in the national semifinal and the championship game. Even though his numbers haven't been great this season, with just 11.7 points per game on 40 percent shooting, he clearly has the capability to score when his team needs him most.

3. Montrezl Harrell

Louisville Cardinals Montrezl Harrell
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

3. Montrezl Harrell

Louisville Cardinals Montrezl Harrell
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven't seen the Cardinals play this season, you have missed out on this beast. Cardinals forward/center Montrezl Harrell is a man-among-boys in college hoops. Averaging 14.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game on 61 percent shooting, Harrell is one of the most dominant big men in the country.

2. Chris Jones

Louisville Cardinals Chris Jones
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2. Chris Jones

Louisville Cardinals Chris Jones
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Chris Jones and Russ Smith backcourt is one of the best in the country. It is certainly one of the quickest and best defensive guard combos. To go with his 10.3 points, Jones also averages 2.3 steals per game. Smith and Jones combine for 4.4 steals per game.

1. Stephan Van Treese

Louisville Cardinals Stephan Van Treese
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. Stephan Van Treese

Louisville Cardinals Stephan Van Treese
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Every team needs a tough-minded player to serve as the "glue-guy." That player might not fill the stat-sheet, but he's efficient and important to his team's success. For the Cardinals, Stephan Van Treese is that guy. He averages just 2.9 points, but he also averages 5.7 rebounds in only 21.5 minutes per game. He doesn't shoot much, but when he does, he makes 65 percent of his attempts.