Louisville Basketball has lost 5 of its last 8 and now finds itself at 18-9 on the season, 8-6 in the ACC and squarely on the bubble…… and in a season when it absolutely can not afford to be on the bubble. The NCAA is so mad at North Carolina that they threw the book at Notre Dame, the Cards can not afford to be a 50/50 proposition to the NCAA committee. If Louisville is a ‘bubble team’ we’ll be reading about UofL being one of the “First Four Out” of the NCAA Tournament field.
Right now Ken Pomeroy’s ratings have UofL at #36. Generous. RPI? #51. Jerry Palm has Louisville as a “First Four Out”. Joe Lunardi has the Cards trending down and a #10 seed. BracketMatrix.com has the Cards as the 1st of the “First Four Out” after evaluating 77 bracket predictions. Of the 76 predictions that have Louisville IN the tournament only one projection (BracketResearch.com) has Louisville as high as a 7 seed and several have the Cards as low as a 12 OR fully out of the tournament all together.
Bottom line. Louisville needs wins. And they need more than one. The bad news is that the Cards have only one home game left for the season. And it’s VIRGINIA. The Cards do have 4 HOME LOSSES on the season. The last time UofL lost 5+ home games in a season? 2000-2001, Denny Crum’s final season at UofL. So UofL is going to have to try to beat Mike Krzyzewski with the most talented roster in the nation during a 9:00 p.m. game at Cameron Indoor, beat Buzz Williams & the Hokies on the road, OR beat the #1 team in the country (Virginia and Tony Bennett) at home who Louisville has just 1 win against since joining the ACC, OR beat a red hot NC State coached by a former UofL assistant Kevin Keatts on the road in Raleigh for the Wolfpack’s Senior Night. Doesn’t look good does it?
The Cards are in serious danger of missing the NCAA tournament after missing the 2016 NCAA Tournament due to self-imposing a post-season ban. Their play of late has the Cards dangerously on the brink of missing the NCAA Tournament due to a self-imposing of their own in 2018. Prior to that the Cards haven’t missed the NCAA tournament due to poor play since the 2005-06 season and haven’t really been on the bubble since the 2009-10 campaign.
To win some games, Louisville must begin playing well. They could start by looking at its senior center Anas Mahmoud who seemed indifferent to effort on Saturday vs. North Carolina often appearing to play ‘safety’ on offense and didn’t enter the arc (at 7’1) until extremely late on offensive possessions. North Carolina shot UofL out of its zone to start the game, and the Tar Heels were able to get into the lane repeatedly once the Cards switched to man. Quentin Snider was HOT outside but couldn’t buy a two. David Padgett must try to find the hot hand between Darius Perry, VJ King, Deng Adel, Jordan Nwora, Dwayne Sutton & Malik Williams. The Cards had been sharing the ball well, but only got 9 assists vs. the Tar Heels, it may be a good idea for UofL to play 2 point guards at all times and just find the hot wing and ride that individual.
Right now, there is very little season left. But they are still well-positioned for the ACC Tournament if they can split their next 4. Dropping the next 4 would be nearly disastrous expect for the fact that the Cards may be able to win games if they play on Tuesday in Brooklyn…. but it wouldn’t do a lot for the NCAA Tournament resume. David Padgett & this program have been competitive this season despite a lot of turmoil…. but it’s time to finish. Will they?
|Season||Record||Home Losses||NCAA Seed||Post-Season Result|
|2017-18||18-9 (ongoing)||4 (UVA left)||?||?|
|2016-17||25-9||1||2||NCAA 2nd Round|
|2015-16||23-8||1||Self Ban||Self Ban|
|2010-11||25-10||2||4||NCAA 1st round|
|2009-10||20-13||4||9||NCAA 1st round|
|2006-07||24-10||4||6||NCAA 1st round|
|2003-04||20-10||2||7||NCAA 1st round|
|2002-03||25-7||2||4||NCAA 2nd Round|
|2001-02||19-13||2||NIT||NIT 2nd Round|
|2000-01||12-19||9||No Post-Season||No Post-Season|
|1999-00||19-12||2||7||NCAA 1st round|
|1998-99||19-11||3||7||NCAA 1st round|
|1997-98||12-20||8||No Post-Season||No Post-Season|
|1994-95||19-14||3||11||NCAA 1st round|
|1991-92||19-11||4||8||NCAA 2nd Round|
|1990-91||14-16||6||No Post-Season||No Post-Season|
|1989-90||27-8||2||4||NCAA 2nd Round|
|1986-87||18-14||5||Declined NIT||No Post-Season|
|1980-81||21-9||2||4||NCAA 2nd Round|
|1976-77||21-7||1||–||NCAA 1st round|
|1975-76||20-8||4||NIT||NIT 1st Round|
|1972-73||23-7||1||–||NIT 2nd Round|
*NCAA Seeds Not Used Prior to 1978 Tournament
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