Now that Louisville’s non-conference schedule is in the books, let’s evaluate where the Cards stand as they head into ACC play.
Four losses before January isn’t exactly ideal, but given how challenging the schedule has been thus far, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament should still be the expectation in year one of the Chris Mack era.
|Thu, Nov 8||Nicholls||W85-72||1-0 (0-0)|
|Tue, Nov 13||Southern||W104-54||2-0 (0-0)|
|Fri, Nov 16||Vermont||W86-78||3-0 (0-0)|
|Wed, Nov 21||No.5 Tennessee *||L92-81||3-1 (0-0)|
|Fri, Nov 23||Marquette *||L77-74 OT||3-2 (0-0)|
|Tue, Nov 27||No.9 Michigan State||W82-78 OT||4-2 (0-0)|
|Sat, Dec 1||@ Seton Hall||W70-65||5-2 (0-0)|
|Wed, Dec 5||Central Arkansas||W86-41||6-2 (0-0)|
|Sat, Dec 8||@Indiana||L68-67||6-3 (0-0)|
|Wed, Dec 12||Lipscomb||W72-68||7-3 (0-0)|
|Sat, Dec 15||Kent State||W83-70||8-3 (0-0)|
|Fri, Dec 21||Robert Morris||W73-59||9-3 (0-0)|
|Sat, Dec 29||No.16 Kentucky||L71-58||9-4 (0-0)|
NET Ranking: 27
Best Win: Michigan State
Worst Loss: None
Quality Wins: Michigan State #9*, Lipscomb #36* & Seton Hall #47*
Bad Losses: None
With a resume win over Michigan State and two other wins against teams ranked in the top fifty of the NET rankings, Louisville right now has a resume worthy of a tournament bid.
With that said, they won’t be able to lean on those three wins the rest of the way. Louisville needs to finish no worse than 9-9 in ACC play to feel somewhat comfortable on selection Sunday.
A 9-9 record wasn’t enough for last year for Louisville to make the NCAA Tournament, but the Cards already have two (maybe three) better wins now than they had all of last year.
There’s a lot of basketball to be played, but as of right now it appears that there will be plenty of at large bids available. The Atlantic 10, American and PAC 12 conferences aren’t expected to secure many at large bids, which could help a team like Louisville as long as they take care of business in the ACC.<