That’s right. I said it! Louisville will upset both North Carolina (2/17) and Virginia (3/1) inside the KFC Yum! Center. They will make it to the semi-finals of the ACC tournament and then make a NCAA tournament run that ends in the Elite 8.
I’m crazy, you say. Well, maybe, but that’s a story for another day. How could I predict such an outcome? It’s easy – I have faith. I have faith in this team. I have faith in this fan base. I have faith in our coach. And if everyone has the same faith, then anything is possible. I truly believe that this fan base will show up and cheer like never before for the remaining home games. Some people don’t believe that the fans can affect the game but they can. Just ask the players. They will tell you that they feed off of the fans energy and it also makes it harder for the opponents to stay focused. I have faith in my fellow Card fans that they will show up and do their part.
I also have faith in this team. I know there has been some ups and downs but I believe they are still learning. We thought they had really progressed but then we saw a regression. I think they are now trending in the right direction.
I also believe that these last 2 games playing without Adel will really help the future of this team. Although the games were against much lesser opponents, it still gave them some much-needed confidence that could carry over and hopefully it opened up Adel’s eyes to the fact that they can win without him. I also hope that he realizes that there is plenty of talent around him and he can trust them – he doesn’t have to do it all by himself.
It also allowed guys like Jordan Nwora and Darius Perry to log some much needed game time.
You may have also noticed that rebounding has been an issue with this team. But it has improved over the last 5 games and my hope is that it continues to get better.
Having a week off to prepare for Saturday’s game vs UNC doesn’t hurt either. Louisville will likely be underdogs in 4 of their 5 remaining regular season games but I would think that would be motivation. – I have faith in them.
David Padgett was thrown into a nearly impossible situation. For the most part, he has done pretty well. He is still learning and growing as a coach. He will continue to do so as the season goes along but we are running out of games so he better figure out a few more things quickly. I have faith that he will. This past week off should have helped him as well.
As for the ACC tourney, I believe Louisville will get the 4 seed and a double bye. They will likely play the 3 seed Duke in the semi-final where they will make their exit. I think Virginia will lose to Clemson and Duke will beat Clemson in the championship game. Virginia is starting to make their annual late season downward slide that culminates in an early exit from the NCAA tourney – Another reason why I believe Louisville beats them on March 1st.
The NCAA tourney is another animal all together. A team’s success or failure is so predicated on match-ups. If Louisville gets placed in the right bracket, they could potentially make a deep run. But it’s just so hard to predict. I truly believe this team has the talent to make it to the Elite 8, or farther, but it will be a tough task. The parity in college basketball is crazy and this season has made it more evident. There isn’t a team that will make the tournament that Louisville couldn’t beat on a given night but on the flip side, there are so many teams that could beat Louisville as well.
Take a look at the last few years – In 2013, Wichita State made the Final Four as 9 seed. In 2014. Kentucky made the Final Four as an 8 seed. In 2015, Michigan State made it as a 7 seed. In 2016, after almost not making the tourney, Syracuse made the Final Four as a 10 seed. Just last year, South Carolina made it as a 7 seed. Or maybe you remember 2011 when 8 seed Butler and 11 seed VCU both made the Final Four. I guess that’s why they call it March Madness!
So I just ask all of Cardnation to have faith. Come out and support this team. They need you.
As Always, GO CARDS!