Caulton Tudor

Cards could enter ACC with back-to-back titles

Posted March 26, 2014

By the time Louisville plays its first basketball game as an ACC member next season, the Cardinals could be coming off back-to-back national championships.

The mathematical odds are against that development, of course. Since the end of the UCLA dynasty in the 1970s, only Duke (1991 and ’92) and Florida (2006 and ’07) have successfully defended an NCAA Tournament title.

Indiana, which went 31-1 in 1975 and 32-0 in 1976, couldn’t pull it off. Neither could North Carolina in 1983 with a lineup that included Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins and Matt Doherty.

On the other hand, only 16 teams are left in this national championship chase, and Louisville (31-5, Midwest No. 4 seed) is a slight favorite to bounce rival Kentucky (26-10, No. 8 seed) on Friday in the Indianapolis semifinals (9:45 p.m., WRAL-TV and 99.9 FM The Fan).

The winner will face either 2nd-seeded Michigan or 11th-seeded Tennessee on Sunday for a ticket to the North Texas Final Four.

So at least on paper, Louisville hardly rates as the longest shot among those left in the regional bracket.

Cards coach Rick Pitino starts five players – seniors Russ Smith, Luke Hancock and Steve Van Treese, junior Chris Jones and sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell from Tarboro – who helped in last season’s 82-76 title win over Michigan. So did sixth man Wayne Blackshear.

Compared to Kentucky’s five freshman starters, tournament experience obviously favors Louisville.

Cards will challenge ACC mainstays

With so many seniors and the 6-foot-8, 235-pound Harrell projected as a likely high NBA pick if he goes early, the quick assumption might be that Pitino and the Cards will arrive in the ACC during a stressful rebuilding season.

Don’t bet on it.

In his 13 seasons at Louisville, Pitino has averaged 26 wins per season by doing a masterful job of personnel plugging and patching.

In Conference USA (four seasons), then the Big East (eight seasons) and in the American Athletic Conference this season, Pitino has been just as consistently effective as he was in eight seasons at Kentucky.

And at Louisville, Pitino hardly has won big with raw talent. It’s more like the opposite, in fact. Currently, there are only three ex-Cards on NBA rosters, none of them starterss. His most talented player arguably has been forward Terrence Williams, who has been on and off several NBA rosters since getting drafted by the Nets in 2010.

That’s something to keep in mind when Pitino’s first ACC starting group may be the seemingly unimposing group of Blackshear (6-5), Jones (5-10), Terry Rozier (6-1), Mangok Mathiang (6-10) and freshman Jay Johnson (6-8). There’s not an all-ACC contender among those five and the five-man recruit group is rated well off the pace of Duke and UNC.

Harrell, who played at North Edgecombe and Hargrave (Va.) Prep, isn’t a lock to leave early. He’s averaging 14.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and would be a strong all-ACC preseason candidate even though he makes less than 50 percent of his free throws.

But with or without Harrell, the Cards’ playing style won’t change a great deal. They’ll show a balanced offense that relies heavily on 3-point shooting and follow shots, combined with a quick defense that’s capable of playing baseline-to-baseline for long stretches.

How the ACC will work the 2014-15 schedule remains to be seen. Logically, Louisville would play a lineup roughly the same as exiting Maryland did this past season.

And as much as fans and ESPN might want to see the Cards face UNC and Duke twice in the regular season, there has to be a limit to how much top-tier cannibalizing the league will allow.

But Louisville won’t be a timid newcomer. The Cards will do some room rattling right from the start.

13 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jeanne Gunn Mar 27, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Toddler, some people just can't pull for a rival, no matter what, and some can't pull for former Big East teams. Just the way it is.

  • Toddler10-21 Mar 27, 2014

    Are you saying that they dont? I thought ACC fans pull for ACC schools in the tourney? So if Ville was in the ACC you guys wouldnt pull for them? If Cuse was still in it you wouldnt pull for them?

  • dave437 Mar 27, 2014

    did Tudor really write this article to explain that Louisville has a strong basketball program? really?

  • roberttherugguy Mar 27, 2014

    No way.

  • Jeanne Gunn Mar 27, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    I like UVA as well - they're a very disciplined team, with no super-stars, just a bunch of hard working guys who put winning above individual accomplishments.

  • Toddler10-21 Mar 26, 2014

    I do like UVA also and their style of play. I wouldnt be surprised if UK and UVA win this week.

  • iron fist Mar 26, 2014

    They won't win the title this year

  • JPack Mar 26, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Me too. Can't wait for that one. I have them losing to Fl in the championship. Like Hokie though, I'd rather see UVA take it. Why not. My brackets are busted anyway.

  • jmcdow2792 Mar 26, 2014

    Bring it on! Give Syracuse some competition. Oh wait, they got some competition. I didn't see the team speed in Louisville that I saw in some other teams. That's not to say they won't win it all.

  • vt94hokies Mar 26, 2014

    View quoted thread


    They are really solid. I would like for UVA to win it all. I like the coach and how the players work.

More...

 

 

Listen & Watch
  • HighSchoolOT Live

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • NFL: Oakland @ Washington

    Friday at 8:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Football Friday

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: President’s Cup

    Saturday at 8:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: President’s Cup

    Sunday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis @ Seattle

    Sunday at 8:20 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC Football: Duke @ Virginia

    Saturday, Oct. 7 at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • The Dave Doeren Show

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

AP Top 25
Fri, Sept 29
14
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
5
7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 北京时间7:30 MST9:30 EST
Preview
16
Sat, Sept 30
18
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
21
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
10
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
17
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
4
7
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
2:00 PT3:00 MT4:00 CT5:00 ET9:00 GMT5:00 北京时间2:00 MST4:00 EST
22
24
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
13
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
25
11
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
6
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
15
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
2
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
12
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
1
7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 北京时间7:30 MST9:30 EST
19
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 28
Chicago 5:25 PT6:25 MT7:25 CT8:25 ET0:25 GMT8:25 5:25 MST7:25 EST7:25 CT4:25 UAE (+1)20:25 ETNaN:�
Green Bay 
Sunday, Oct. 1
New Orleans 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT21:30 6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ETNaN:�
Miami 
Buffalo 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Atlanta 
Pittsburgh 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Baltimore 
Cincinnati 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Cleveland 
LA Rams 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Dallas 
Tennessee 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Houston 
Detroit 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Minnesota 
Carolina 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
New England 
Jacksonville 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
NY Jets 
San Francisco 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
Arizona 
Philadelphia 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
LA Chargers 
NY Giants 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
Tampa Bay 
Oakland 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Denver 
Indianapolis 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Seattle 
Monday, Oct. 2
Washington 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Kansas City 
NHL Preseason
NY Rangers 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Philadelphia 
St. Louis 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Columbus 
Tampa Bay 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Florida 
Minnesota 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Dallas 
Los Angeles 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Vegas 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Baltimore04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh0
American League
Tampa Bay04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
NY Yankees0
Toronto04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Boston0
Minnesota04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Cleveland0
Houston05:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Texas0
LA Angels05:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Chi White Sox0
Detroit05:15 PT6:15 MT7:15 CT8:15 ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 MST7:15 EST7:45 VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 CT
Preview
Kansas City0
Seattle 7:05 PT8:05 MT9:05 CT10:05 ET22:05 ET2:05 GMT10:05 7:05 MST9:05 EST9:35 VEN6:05 UAE (+1)9:05 CT
Preview
Oakland 
National League
Washington04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Philadelphia0
Atlanta04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets0
Cincinnati04:40 PT5:40 MT6:40 CT7:40 ET19:40 ET23:40 GMT7:40 4:40 MST6:40 EST7:10 VEN3:40 UAE (+1)6:40 CT
Preview
Milwaukee0
Chi Cubs05:15 PT6:15 MT7:15 CT8:15 ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 MST7:15 EST7:45 VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 CT
Preview
St. Louis0
Miami05:40 PT6:40 MT7:40 CT8:40 ET20:40 ET0:40 GMT8:40 5:40 MST7:40 EST8:10 VEN4:40 UAE (+1)7:40 CT
Preview
Colorado0
San Francisco 6:40 PT7:40 MT8:40 CT9:40 ET21:40 ET1:40 GMT9:40 6:40 MST8:40 EST9:10 VEN5:40 UAE (+1)8:40 CT
Preview
Arizona 
San Diego 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
LA Dodgers 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Memphis 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET12:07 GMT
Durham 
Evian Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Nordqvist - z-9F
2B. Altomare - y-9F
3tM. Jutanugarn-8F
3tK. Kirk-8F
3tL. Ko-8F
6tS. Feng-7F
6tS. Kim-7F
8J. Song-6F
9M. Lee-5F
10tG. Hall-4F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Tuesday, Sep. 26
Chengdu Open (ATP)
First Round
Y. Lu6 6    
M. Ymer2 3    
D. Lajovic6 77    
A. Menendez-M3 63    
(6) K. Edmund6 6    
B. Tomic4 2    
D. Istomin6 77    
J. Struff3 63    
M. Baghdatis64 77 6   
V. Pospisil77 65 4   
(7) V. Troicki3 6 2   
N. Basilashvi6 2 6   
G. Pella6 77    
B. Coric4 62    
 
Shenzhen Open (ATP)
First Round
M. Jaziri4 6 3   
M. Copil6 3 6   
(7) J. Sousa3 0    
H. Laaksonen6 6    
(5) A. Dolgopolov6 6    
L. Harris3 4    
N. Kicker3 3    
S. Stakhovsky6 6    
M. Granollers3 4    
L. Lacko6 6    
R. Dutra Silv4 1    
Z. Zhang6 6    
(8) D. Young7 77    
N. Kuhn5 64    
E. Donskoy3 6 77   
A. Santillan6 2 65   
 
WTA Scoreboard
Tuesday, Sep. 26
Wuhan Open (WTA)
Second Round
(9) A. Radwanska7 7    
J. Goerges5 5    
(6) S. Kuznetsova3 3    
A. Cornet6 6    
E. Makarova6 6    
L. Davis2 4    
C. McHale1 1    
C. Garcia6 6    
(3) K. Pliskova6 3 6   
S. Zhang4 6 4   
S. Cirstea3 3    
Q. Wang6 6    
K. Bertens4 4    
V. Lepchenko6 6    
(8) J. Ostapenko2 7 6   
B. Strycova6 5 3   
(2) S. Halep2 1    
D. Kasatkina6 6    
(7) D. Cibulkova6 6    
J. Teichmann2 2    
(16) E. Vesnina6 6    
E. Mertens2 4    
M. Linette6 6    
K. Siniakova1 2    
S. Peng6 3 4   
M. Puig4 6 6   
(4) C. Wozniacki5 3    
M. Sakkari7 6    
(1) G. Muguruza6 6    
L. Tsurenko4 4    
 
Tashkent Open (WTA)
First Round
(3) T. Maria6 6    
V. Diatchenko3 1    
J. Cepelova2 6 6   
T. Martincova6 0 2   
N. Abduraimov1 1    
K. Nara6 6    
(1) K. Pliskova77 64 6   
S. Hsieh63 77 4   
(7) N. Hibino6 6    
I. Khromachev3 2    
A. Sabalenka6 6    
E. Rodina2 2    
(2) T. Babos6 6    
J. Larsson1 1    
(6) A. Krunic77 6    
R. Hogenkamp65 0