After a year of no postseason basketball, Louisville opens their NCAA tournament as the 2-seed in the Midwest region against 15-seed Jacksonville State today in Indianapolis at approximately 2:45 on CBS.
Jacksonville State earned its bid against most odds by knocking off the 1 and 2 seed enroute to their conference championship. This is the first time the Gamecocks will appear in an NCAA tournament game, thanks to new coach Ray Harper. Harper may be new to Jacksonville State, but he’s no stranger to Louisville. He was the infamous coach of the WKU team remembered vividly among Cardinal fans for the incident with 4 Hilltoppers and Montrezl Harrell a few years ago.
Well, against most of the nation’s wishes (*cough cough* Lunardi and Jerry Palm), Louisville has drawn the No. 2 seed in the Midwest region.
Louisville will face former WKU head coach Ray Harper’s Jacksonsville State in the opening round. Michigan is the 7-seed pitted against the 10-seed Oklahoma State Cowboys. The 3-seed is Oregon, who fell a seed line after losing senior Chris Boucher to a torn-ACL. Purdue is the 4-seed and Kansas is the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region.
This really couldn’t have been a better draw for the Cardinals. A 2-seed and the 3-seed being Oregon without their shot-blocking big man is more than anyone could have asked for. Now the Cards have to take care of business, let the Madness ensue.
Also, cool stat, the only 2 times Louisville has been a 2-seed? 1980 and 1986, anyways, carry on.
Post Game Wrap Up
Coming into the game, coach Rick Pitino knew that this Oregon team was highly under seeded. Starting out the game, Louisville forced turnovers early and attacked the paint, with all 10 of their first points coming from the paint. Peyton Siva was in early foul trouble and had to sit down. It appeared that the Cardinals would struggle without Siva, however it was the opposite. The Louisville bench stepped up and players like Kevin Ware and Luke Hancock filled in the gap, as the Cards got up to a 24-8 lead early. As time ticked down, Oregon began to chop away at the lead. The Ducks went into the locker room, starving for a sign of life, down 45-31.