One of the hottest teams in February – the Cardinals were a perfect 8-0 last month with four victories over Top 25 teams – Rick Pitino's team enters the NCAA Tournament on a two game losing skid. The Cardinals lost 55-52 to Big East regular-season champion Georgetown in the regular-season finale and to Big East Tournament champion Pittsburgh in the Big East quarterfinals last Thursday.
Boise State, 25-8, stamped their NCAA Tournament ticket by winning the WAC conference tournament over New Mexico State Saturday night in triple overtime. (Louisville beat common opponent New Mexico State 70-65 in December).
Ironically, Boise State's last NCAA Tournament appearance came 14 years ago where they were knocked out by Louisville in the first round.
If Louisville wins their first round game, they would play the winner of the No. 6 Oklahoma-No. 11 St. Joseph's contest on Sunday for the right to advance to the regional semifinals. North Carolina is the No. 1 seed in the east region; Tennessee is the No. 2 seed.
In his seventh season at Louisville, this is the Cardinals fifth NCAA Tournament appearance under Pitino. Louisville advanced to the Final Four in 2005 under Pitino and own a 6-4 overall record since he took over at UofL in 2001. During his career, Pitino has 32 NCAA Tournament wins, fifth most among active coaches.
8 Big East teams earned NCAA bids, the most of any conference (Louisville, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, West Virginia and Villanova). The Cardinals went 7-3 against those teams.