2015 NCAA tournament preview: Louisville Cardinals

Louisville Cardinals

Record: 24-8, 12-6 ACC

Head Coach: Rick Pitino (14th season)

Season summary: In its first season as a member of the ACC, Louisville held its own against some of the nation's best teams. The Cardinals only lost one game to a team that did not make the NCAA tournament (Syracuse) and took teams like Kentucky and Virginia down to the wire during the regular season. The highlight of Louisville's season came in its final regular season game when the Cardinals knocked off the then-No. 2 Cavaliers.

Although the Cardinals rank 130th in the country in points per game at 69.2, their stifling defense makes up for a lack of offensive efficiency. Led by junior forward Montrezl Harrell and sophomore guard Terry Rozier, Louisville attacks on defense and tallies 8.3 steals per game. But the Cardinals have struggled to find balance on the offensive end of the floor. Rozier, Harrell and forward Wayne Blackshear all average double-figure scoring, but Louisville has few options on the offensive end. The dismissal of starting guard Chris Jones, the Cardinals' third leading scorer, in February has left Louisville searching for a compliment to Rozier.

How they make a run: Pitino's aggressive team defense overwhelms opponents, and Rozier consistently dominates in the backcourt.

How they falter: Harrell gets in early foul trouble and opponents lock down Rozier and Blackshear on offense.


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