For the first time since 1959-61,
Hardly what you would call a vintage season.
Realignment and returning talent should cure most of those ills.
Check out the Final Four. The two
Look at your bracket. Tournament regulars
And consider the personnel that
Barring the unforeseen, each will be capable of extended March runs.
Duke’s 85-63 loss to Louisville in Sunday’s Midwest regional final ended the ACC’s
For starters, Rick Pitino's Cardinals are the nation's best team. This guarantees nothing, but when Louisville shoots 50-plus percent, as it did Sunday, and defends with its usual vengeance, case closed.
Then there’s the
In six such games this season, including Sunday, Curry shot 30.6 percent overall (19-of-62) and 23.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (8-of-34). In all other games, Curry's percentages were 49.2 overall and 47.5 from three, befitting his All-ACC status.
That said, put the Blue Devils in any other region, especially the West, where ninth-seeded Wichita State emerged, and there’s a good chance
Instead, Louisville advanced to its second consecutive Final Four, again placing Pitino on the brink of history. No coach has won Division I men's basketball championships at different schools, but Pitino (Kentucky 1996) is two victories away.
Sunday confirmed the ACC’s wisdom in selecting Louisville last November to replace
Also since the ACC invitation, Louisville defeated Florida in the
In short, the school appears well-positioned to back up athletic director Tom Jurich's vow to ACC commissioner John Swofford: "I will make you a promise. I'm a man of my word. We will make you proud here at the University of Louisville."
The Cardinals are the fourth consecutive Big East tournament champion to reach the Final Four, following
In 34 seasons from 1980-2013, the creation of the late
Most famously and preposterously, three Big East squads reached the 1985 Final Four in Lexington, Ky.,
Villanova is among six Big East national champs, joining Georgetown, Syracuse and Connecticut (three). Perhaps most impressive: nine different Big East schools advanced to the Final Four.
Three Big East men’s coaches — Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Georgetown’s John Thompson and Connecticut’s
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