Following an overtime loss to Notre Dame last season Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino promised his players that he would get a tatoo if they didn’t lose another game. Soon after they won the national championship he got a tatoo on the back of his left shoulder to honor thier accomplishment. To inspire his team to finish strong this season the whole program has decided to stop shaving until they lose. The power of the beard has become a popular and successful practice in sports, mainly in baseball. Only a few games in and Pitino appeares to be sporting a 5 o’clock shadow. By the end of the year I am hopeing they are styleing beards more like ZZ Top than Duck Dynasty.
The Cards are currently second in the American but seem to be finding thier own identity instead of trying to be last years team. Despite being top in the NCAA in margin of victory they still have to prove themseles since they are winless against ranked teams at 0-4.
The American seems to be divided into two groups, the good 5 teams at the top (Louisville, Cinncinnati, Memphis, UConn and SMU) and the 5 bad teams at the bottom. There is an RPI dropoff of over 100 between the 5th and 6th spots, seemingly the largest margin in NCAA history.
Its been tough trying to figure out this Louisville team. With the loses of Siva and Dieng to the NBA, Ware redshirt and Behanans dismissal from the team they are missing key ingrediants. Thier thin post is thier glaring weakness and thier guards are their obvious strength but they have won games with thier post play and lost games while nailing a ton of threes. Thier are several weapons on the team but the most important player has to be sophomore PF Harrell. Rozier has made a key impact in his freshman season. When the team is clicking on all cylinders they can compete with anyone in the country.
They dont have any bad loses, losing only to North Carolina, Kentucky, Cincinnatti and Memphis. The two later at home. Their best wins include a road trip to Connecticut and at home vs SMU. The Cards will finish the season with thier toughest tests of the season. UConn and Temple come to the KFC Yum Center. Their road games start this Saturday at Cincinnati and will be followed by trips to Memphis and SMU. This stretch will not only determine the American champion but possibly thier NCAA seed as well. The Cards finished last season by winning 16 straight, this team will have the power of the beard to help them do it again this year.