The Louisville Men’s Basketball program got some disappointing news on Sunday night. The Cards found out they would not be included in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, missing the Big Dance as an eligible team for just the second time since 2006. Louisville finished the season with a 13-7 overall record and had been in the bubble conversation after losing its first ACC Tournament game against Duke on Wednesday.
— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) March 14, 2021
The good news? Louisville is technically not eliminated just yet. The Cards were announced as the “First Team Out” and, therefore, will be the first of four replacement teams in the case a program withdraws due to COVID-19. The deadline to withdraw from the field is Tuesday night, so we will know for sure in about two days whether or not Louisville will end up participating in the 2021 NCAA tournament.
With Louisville being the first team out, it is now clear that they were the victim of the two bid stealers (Georgetown & Oregon State) from Saturday night. The exclusion might be a bit harsh, but Louisville had its chances to improve their resume and were unable to do so during the season. The Cards missed 37 total days due to virus issues and had a couple other games cancelled because of their opponent.
Louisville is among the greatest programs in the sport, but the past 5 year stretch has been beyond rough. Louisville has only played in three total NCAA Tournament games since 2015 and have won only one game in the three appearances. This is now the second time in the past three seasons that they did not hear their name called on Selection Sunday.
I will say, if Louisville does end up making the field because of COVID-19 issues with another program, no one in Card Nation should feel bad. The virus has had some sort of effect on everyone, but Louisville was hit especially hard this past season and was forced to pay the price.