NCAA Bracket Preview: Complete Louisville Tournament Primer

Intro: Louisville’s been an enigmatic team this season, but certainly not one you should take lightly in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, especially after their run to the Big East final. Like all Rick Pitino-coached teams, Louisville is known for their pressure defense. They have a good scoring mix working, with three players who average double figures.

Record: 25-9 overall, 14-7

RPI: 17

Key wins: Convincingly beating Butler to open the season (Nov. 8) 88-73 was a big confidence booster for the Cardinals. Other key wins include beating UConn on the road on Jan. 29 by a score of 79-78, and defeating Pittsburgh 62-59 at home Feb. 27.

Key losses: Anytime Louisville loses to rival Kentucky, it’s key. The Cardinals were waxed by the Wildcats 78-63 on New Year’s Eve. Another key loss was their inexplicable meltdown late against West Virginia back on March 5. Louisville had a three-point lead with 8.1 seconds remaining, but managed to lose the game by two due in large part to poor decisions made by Preston Knowles.

Player to watch: Preston Knowles may have been the reason the Cardinals lost to West Virgina back on March 5th, but he’s certainly helped his team win more games than anything else. Knowles averages 14.3 points per game.

For more NCAA Tournament coverage of the Louisville Cardinals, please visit SB Nation’s Louisville blog, Card Chronicle, and SB Nation Indiana.

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