Louisville Basketball Bubble: Three teams commit to playing in Louisville

Three programs have been announced as commits to playing in the ‘Louisville Basketball Bubble’ this season.

After a couple of weeks of waiting on news about who exactly is participating in this so called “Louisville Basketball Bubble” that was announced by Chris Mack last month, we now know three teams that will be making the trip to the KFC Yum! Center in late November to early December.

As reported by Jon Rothstein, CBS Basketball Insider, on Wednesday morning: Duquesne, UNC-Greensboro and Winthrop have all committed to play in Louisville’s MTE with more teams expected to be announced within the next month.

Even though these teams are not regional big names such as: Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, etc. they are still three solid mid-major and low-major programs, as all three programs won at least 21-games in the 2019-20 season.

Duquesne comes from the Atlantic-10 Conference where they finished T-5 in the regular season at 21-9 (11-7 A-10). The Dukes return their top four scorers from a season ago and are a physical basketball team who is more than capable of keeping up with anyone, as they played Dayton close twice a season ago.

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UNC-Greensboro is another interesting team as they finished third in the Southern Conference at 23-9 (13-5 SOCON). They fell in the Quarter-Finals of their conference tournament before the season was abruptly halted due to COVID-19. The Spartans are a good defensive team as they ranked 58th in the country last season in Adjusted Defensive Rating on KenPom, however they are losing two key pieces of their front-court from a season ago which could change their style of play.

Winthrop is another one of those really-solid, low-radar types of teams. Coming out of the Big Sky Conference, where they finished T-1 during the regular season at 15-3 (in-conference) and 24-10 overall. The Eagles won the Big Sky Conference and had punched their ticket to the 2020 NCAA Tournament before the tournament’s eventual cancellation. They will return all but one starter from a season ago and are a team who is more than capable of pushing the ball in transition as they ranked 36th in Adjusted Tempo on Kenpom last season.

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All three of these teams are solid non-conference opponents that Louisville will potentially face during the non-conference part of their schedule. The Cards are already locked into a 20-game ACC schedule, the ACC/Big-10 Challenge, and the Kentucky game on December 26th, 2020 in the KFC Yum! Center, leaving them with about seven games left to schedule.

Overall, this “Louisville Bubble” is shaping out to have some solid teams that will test Louisville in different areas of the game this season and should have some great competition. It should be interesting to monitor who will be added to round out the eight-or-so teams playing in Louisville for their non-conference schedule as these announcements should be made within the next few weeks.

Next: How Does the New College Basketball Start Date Impacts the Cards in 2020-21?