There’s plenty of room on the Louisville bandwagon. Join me, won’t you?
I hope you guys didn’t write off Louisville.
I hope that three-game losing streak back in January didn’t scare you off.
I hope that you the five-overtime loss and all of the ugly late-game possessions didn’t make you believe that all of the people that picked the Cardinals to make the Final Four back in October were crazy.
Because on Saturday afternoon, No. 8 Louisville exacted their revenge on No. 24 Notre Dame in dominating fashion, whipping the Irish 73-57. That came after Louisville did much the same thing to Cincinnati on the final Big Monday and a week after Louisville went into the Carrier Dome and knocked off Syracuse. All told, that five-overtime loss at Notre Dame was the only game that Rick Pitino’s club has lost since January 26th.
Their five losses? They came by a combined 21 points.
The Louisville defense? The best in the efficiency era, according to Kenpom.com.
And while their offense is a long way from being anywhere near that effective, Russ Smith is slowly but surely learning that there are such things as ‘shot-selection’ and ‘decision-making’. Throw in the fact that Luke Hancock has finally found his stroke, hitting 12-18 from three over the last five games for a team that is currently 249th in the country in three-point shooting, and Louisville is peaking at the right time.
The Cardinals are now tri-champions of the final season of the Big East as we know it. And if the win next week’s Big East tournament -- hell, maybe even if they reach the finals -- Louisville will be a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.