A win would have locked Louisville into the NCAA Tournament. The 75-58 loss on Thursday to top-seeded Virginia put that fantasy to bed. Louisville, 20-13 on the season, now must wait until Sunday to find out if the selection committee thinks they have done enough.
Louisville head coach David Padgett thinks they have.
“Unfortunately that’s not my decision,” said Padgett. “But if you look at our overall body of work, we haven’t done anything wrong. I think that’s getting lost a lot in the shuffle this year is people used to put a lot of emphasis and a lot of weight on these, quote-unquote, bad losses. Well, we don’t have any of those. We’ve played a top-20 schedule, we finished .500 in the toughest league in the country which, without a doubt, it’s the toughest league in the country, and we got 20 wins. We haven’t done anything wrong.
“And people will say, well, maybe you guys haven’t done as much right as other people and all that, but not having done something wrong is doing something right. We’ve played a very, very difficult schedule, under very difficult circumstances this year, and my guys have 120 percent earned an opportunity to have their name called on Sunday.
“Like I said, it’s not up to us, but they without a doubt earned it. And you can’t possibly sit here and tell me that we’re not one of the best 68 teams in the country. Anybody who’s seen us play, anybody who watched our game against the No. 1 team in the country a week ago today knows that we are one of the best 68 teams in the country.”
The Cardinals gave it a great shot on Thursday, rallying from a 17 point first half deficit to cut the Virginia lead down to four. Now they just need to hope other teams on the bubble fail to make an impact in their conference tournaments as well.