Cards looking for magic again in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS - The University of Louisville men's basketball team will play Kentucky on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The Cardinals will be in a familiar place - Lucas Oil Stadium. It's the site U of L won two games and advanced into the Final Four at last season.

One by one the veteran players of the University of Louisville basketball team walked down the back hall at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Russ Smith smiled as he looked out into the stadium portion of the building, Luke Hancock looked comfortable in his surroundings, while several players and staff members commented about it "feeling like last year."

The Cardinals are back at the same site - with the same record - as they were last year playing Kentucky on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game around 9:45 p.m.

"It's nice to be here again," Smith said. "It's a great place but we're not worried about that, I'm just ready to get started."

U of L beat Oregon in the Sweet 16 game and Duke in the Elite Eight game last season on its way to the school's third national title.

While some of the players recalled moments from the two games, they all reminded reporters that Lucas Oil is also the site of one of the worst moments of the title run. It was in that Duke game when Kevin Ware went down with his gruesome broken leg that changed the season.

"It is great being here," Wayne Blackshear said. "Our fans can travel here and support us and we've had a lot of success here, except for the Kevin incident.

"So, yeah it's a great place and we like it."

Stephan Van Treese, an Indianapolis native, said the familiarity with the building won't give the team a major advantage against UK, but he also noted that "it can't hurt."

Hancock, the Most Outstanding Player of last year's Final Four, said the Cardinals are looking to stay undefeated in Lucas Oil.

"It was kind of a different feeling," senior Luke Hancock said. "But we want the same result as we had last year, minus one incident.

"So, it's a bit different but we are ready to play and it's nice to be in a familiar place."


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