Bracket talk: No love for Louisville

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I've spent most of the morning combing over all the NCAA analysis as I attempt to fill out the East bracket, the toughest in the tournament. Most of the experts figure you've got No. 1 overall seed UNC facing No. 2 Tennessee in the fight to come out of the East. But what about some serious discussion of No. 3 Louisville? If you're still mulling over who to pick in The Sun's bracket challenge, consider the Cardinals not just a dark horse, but a serious contender, even more so than Tennessee.

As a Kentucky graduate, it pains me to make Louisville's case, but someone has to. Rick Pitino is a great tournament coach and it won't matter that the Cards are on a two game losing streak heading in. 6-foot-11-inch center David Padgett has healed enough from a broken kneecap to provide the team with the leadership it needs. They are incredibly balanced with six players averaging at least 7.9 points per game. Padgett averages 11.7 and pulls down just as many rebounds. Defensively, they are a deadly squad that held teams to just 38.3 percent (fourth in the nation) from the field. For all their talent, the Vols simply won't match up well with Louisville should the two teams meet in Sweet 16.

I wouldn't be surprised if Pitino's squad emerged as the dark horse of the East and knocked both Tennessee and UNC out of contention. The Sporting News columnist Mike DeCourcy makes a great point about how the team has come together. If you've got East bracket fever (and who doesn't, really) check out the breakdowns at ESPN, Chicago Sun-Times and Deadspin.

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Brad Engel

Brad Engel is the longest-tenured member of The Sun sports staff and has won several national and state awards in his coverage of preps as well as the Chicago Bears, Chicago Fire and general sports.

Patrick Mooney

Patrick Mooney covered politics, prep sports and professional baseball for several print and online media outlets before joining The Sun in August 2007. He concentrates on prep sports, writing features, profiles and breaking recruiting news.

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This page contains a single entry by published on March 18, 2008 7:23 AM.

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