Cards are rolling but "not overconfident"

The University of Louisville basketball team is back to work on Monday, preparing for Friday's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game against Oregon. The Cardinals will practice in Louisville until heading to Indianapolis later this week. The Cardinals will head to Indy with confidence, check out the story:

It didn't take University of Louisville basketball coach long to answer the question on Saturday night in the hallway of Rupp Arena.

The Cardinals had just whipped Colorado State to win a 12th straight game and earned a trip back to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

With 11 of the 12 games in the winning streak coming by 12 or more points, the questions to Pitino were about his team being too overconfident heading into Friday's game against No. 12 seed Oregon in Indianapolis.

Pitino shook his head.

"No," Pitino said to the question. "I'm such a horse's ass that isn't possible.

"Humility is going to be a big part of that. It took me 50 years to learn (humility), so they're going to keep it."

Senior point guard Peyton Siva said "no way," coach Pitino is going to let the team get too overconfident. He predicted the Cardinals would watch extra film to get prepared for the Ducks this weekend.

"He's been here before," Siva said with a smile.

The Cardinals (31-5) took Sunday off after returning late Saturday night from Lexington and were back to work on the court Monday morning.

U of L will head to Indianapolis after a practice on Wednesday and will have an open practice on Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

It has been quite a roll for the Cardinals.

After losing to Notre Dame in five overtimes on Feb. 9, the Cardinals closest game has been a five-point win at Syracuse. The next closest decision was a 12-point win over Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament semifinals.

"We are confident but we are not overconfident," Siva said. "We know we can lose to anyone. We lost three straight games this season.

"We still have a lot to improve on. We can still play better."

Pitino has kept the Cardinals grounded and humbled. The veteran team has also stayed focused on the goals the staff has put in front of it.

After the Notre Dame loss, Pitino said the goal was to win seven in a row to end the regular-season. Then it was to win the Big East tournament title and now to make it back to the Final Four and eventually win a third title.

"After that loss, we took it to heart," Stephan Van Treese said. "We had some tough practices and really came together. We refocused a bit after the Big East and I just feel like we are on a roll right now.

"I really like how focused we are."

Odds for the Cardinals to win the national title in Las Vegas have dropped to 3-1 with Indiana at 9-2 and Florida next at 5-1.

But the Cardinals said they're not thinking about a title just yet.

"We can't be satisfied right now," Gorgui Dieng said. "We played good but we need to keep going. We just want to win. We're just doing whatever to win.

"We are very focused right now and we don't have any distractions. We are playing basketball and we are winning."


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