Louisville is headed to Indianapolis for the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament and they'll do it as a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region. The Cardinals will open against Jacksonville State on Friday.
Louisville has fared quite well when playing as the No. 2 seed. While this will just be the third time that the Cardinals have been seeded No. 2, one could make the claim that it has been the best seed in the program's illustrious NCAA tournament history.
The only times that Louisville has started the NCAA post-season as a No.2 it has finished by climbing the ladder to cut the nets from the rims and hoisting the national championship trophy.
In 1986, the last time the school was selected as a No. 2, the Cardinals beat Drexel and Bradley to reach the Sweet 16, where it downed 3-seed North Carolina to advance to the Elite 8. Louisville downed Auburn to reach the Final Four where it defeated LSU to reach the national title game. The Cardinals then defeated top-seed Duke 72-69 for the school's second NCAA title.
Louisville enjoyed a No. 2 seed for the first time in 1980. Following a first-round bye, Louisville defeated Kansas State to reach the Sweet 16, where it downed Texas A&M for a trip to the Elite 8. The Cardinals defeated No. 1 seed LSU to reach the Final Four, where it faced and beat Iowa State. Louisville downed No. 8 seed UCLA 59-54 for the program's first NCAA championship.
Historically, the No. 2 seed has an overall 70.3 winning percentage in the tournament and is 120-8 all-time versus No. 15 seeds.
Since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, a No. 2 seed has reached the Final Four 28 times and has won five championships (1986, 1991, 1998, 2004, 2016).
Louisville has only faced Jacksonville State once, defeating the Gamecocks 88-39 at the KFC Yum! Center on Nov. 17, 2014.