Sunday, February 7, 2010

No Place Like Home

Rick Pitino said after Louisville’s win over Rutgers that the Cards needed to still win 5 out 8 remaining games as to avoid having to sweat getting into the NCAA tournament.
Good news and bad news for the Cards though. Good news is that 4 of those 8 games are against opponents that the Cards “should” be able to beat. Bad news is that 3 of those 4 and 5 of the last 8 games are on the road.
Three previous teams under Pitino in Louisville have finished with a .500 or less record. Two of those teams went to the N.I.T. tournament, while the other was a #10 seed first round exit. One of those was the 2005-2006 team (2-9 away record) that this roster has been compared to in several ways.
This years team is now 1-5 in their opponents homes and unless Louisville can put something together history may repeat it self. If Louisville can win the rest of their road games they will finish over .500 at 6-5.

These road games mean more than just avoiding history. Louisville this season still truly lacks a “marquee” win and can not afford a losing road record when it comes to being on the bubble of getting in the tournament.
If the Cards can run the table away from the Hall they could kill to birds with one stone (can’t believe I just used that cliché). Winning out would put them above .500 as well give them that win that they need, a Valentine Day match up at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Louisville can lose that game and still finish 5-5 if they pull out their other games.

While the Cards have struggled on the road those “other” games are more than just winnable. St. John’s and DePaul have been bottom feeders in the Big East, while UConn has been fading and Marquette has had worse luck the Louisville.

Cardinal Nation can not overlook any of these games still. Yes coach I agree, you should have to win 5 out of 8 to breath easy but unless you can win at least 4 out of 5 on the road neither that goal or this team will reach their expectations.

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