Cards are 'confident, not cocky' for NCAA run

The University of Louisville basketball team earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament with a 10-game winning streak to end the season. Now, the Cardinals face a little extra pressure heading into Thursday's tournament.

The University of Louisville men's basketball team earn the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and gets a chance to potentially have fans drive to each site between Lexington, Indianapolis and Atlanta.

"Card Nation will be behind us," junior Luke Hancock said.

But the Cardinals have also added some pressure with virtually every national college basketball expert in the country picking them to win a national title.

Louisville has won 10 games in a row and moved to 29-5 after a stirring 16-point comeback on Saturday night to beat Syracuse in the Big East Conference Tournament championship game.

"We're going to go over film and we'll be prepare (for the tournament)," U of L coach Rick Pitino said on Saturday night. "I'm not overly confident in anything except just taking care of each practice and each game.

"That's what I want these guys to do – get better. If it happens (a run to the Final Four) then it's going to happen for this basketball team. I know one thing. You are not going to find 13 nicer young men."

The Cardinals will play the Liberty-North Carolina A&T winner on Thursday at 6:50 p.m. in Rupp Arena and then a potential meeting with Colorado State or Missouri on Saturday before the winner heads off to the Indianapolis Regional.

U of L point guard Peyton Siva said the Cardinals "still have a lot of things to improve on, we were down by 16 points in the second half," while Hancock noted the team is "confident but not cocky. We have a lot of confidence."

And the Cardinals should be confident. U of L hasn't had a "bad" game, according to Pitino all season and are seemingly playing their best basketball now.

"It's a big confidence boost," Kevin Ware said. "I think the Big East Tournament did a lot for us. It helped a lot of guys get some more confidence.

"It was really big for us, but we still know we can do better."

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