By Haley O’Shaugnessey–
So far, it has been quite the year for Louisville basketball. The team started off with a preseason ranking of second in the nation. They have since lived up to, and even now, exceeded said ranking. As of last Monday, the Associated Press knighted Louisville first in the nation, a title that Louisville basketball has never claimed during the regular season. Cards were ranked first after the Big East tournament in 2009, however.
Since the AP news, there has been gloating to UK fans, “First in the nation” tweets galore and even the production of a t-shirt donning the words “We’re Number One.” While celebrating is justifiable, especially after making school history, the latter is embarrassing overkill. A “We’re Number One” t-shirt will only be acceptable after it is no longer a temporary title, but instead, a national title. We need to remember that this is the regular season, not the post season, and the two are on completely different playing fields…literally.
In regular season, poll voters determine who is first. In regular season, the team is still growing, experiencing new defenses and learning how to break down new offenses. In regular season, being number one sometimes does not even continue into the next week.
That is why the Louisville fan base should not focus on being ranked first currently, but on the current team itself. This is a basketball squad that has shown the toughness, competitive drive and athleticism that we usually see Pitino’s teams break out with in mid February.
We have a while until March, but when we get there, no poll voter will determine who is number one. First in the nation will be decided by the teams solely. And should the Cardinals make that decision and find success in the big dance – then yes, everyone in “CardNation” should buy a “We’re Number One” t-shirt.
Peyton Siva UofL Vs UK 12-29-12
Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal