It has been about 36 hours since the announcement of Louisville’s seeding in the NCAA Tournament, and the shock of a (4) seed still lingers. Every “talking-head” in the country has scrutinized the Midwest bracket, and essentially unanimously agree, that the selection committee was a bit over zealous (to say the least) in its selection. Let it be known, the selection committee completely blew it. Not only did they not seed Louisville correctly and quite honestly not even close, but what they did with Wichita State was awful. I know they “didn’t play the best schedule” but to reward an undefeated team with Kentucky/Kansas St., Louisville, Duke or Michigan is basically letting everyone know that they did not want Wichita St. in the Final Four. It is just wrong.
Louisville did everything to position itself to earn at least a (3) seed, but at most a potential (1) seed was not out of the question. A (4) in the Midwest, with 2 other Final Four teams from last year, and arch rival UK is laughable. It proves the NCAA committee is biased and only committed to the “all-mighty” dollar. It is an unfortunate position the committee has put Louisville in.
Manhattan. Manhattan is a team coached by Steve Masiello, former player and assistant coach for Rick Pitino. As if this Midwest bracket needed anymore story-lines, the committee granted the Cardinals the opportunity to play a team that will know our system and a coach that recruited some of our players. I wish this was a bad dream, but instead its our destiny (in this NCAA Tournament) to create as many potential distractions from basketball as possible.
Manhattan had a great record this season. They finished the season with a very respectable 25-7 record. Winning the MAAC Conference Championship to earn its automatic bid. Looking back at their schedule, one thing stands out. They beat South Carolina, and they beat them badly. I mention that because our foes down the road just recently lost to them. Outside of that, Manhattan didn’t play any other power conference teams. I know that Steve will have this team ready to play, but I have to be completely honest, this team will not beat Louisville. The morning betting line on this game was 12, but within the first day it had been bet up to 16 and is still climbing. Speaking of Vegas, I must address just how strongly they feel about the likelihood of Louisville reaching the Final Four. Vegas sports betting agencies have come out and said that, Louisville will be favored in every game that they play, and that the only team that might be favored over them is Florida. NCAA, there is your (4) seed!
It would be foolish for Louisville fans to completely overlook Manhattan. We have learned, the hard way, (Morehead State 2011) that no one is totally safe in any NCAA game. However, the way this Louisville team has been playing, I can’t see any scenario where we drop this game. That said, this is probably the only game of the tournament, where there isn’t a scenario where we could lose. It is time for the defending National Champions, to go defend their title. Go Cards. L1C4