Column: Basketball team aims for national championship
By Nick Zelano–
With one week left in their regular season, the U of L men’s basketball team has regained the momentum many thought was lost. After their three-game losing streak in the middle of the season, the Cards have quietly won eight of their last nine games. That single loss was the five overtime marathon at Notre Dame. The Cards will finish up their last two games of regular season play at home against Cincinnati and will get a chance to avenge the loss to Notre Dame at home next Saturday, March 9 for senior day.
Looking back at the season it seems hard to believe that the Cards still have a chance at having at least a share of the Big East regular season title. Trailing only Georgetown by one game, the Cards have climbed their way back from being three games back to now a solid second place at 12-4 in conference place. Marquette also sits at 12-4, one game behind Georgetown for a share at the title as well. If Louisville can take care of business this week at home, winning both games, they will have at least a very good chance of getting a share of the title because Georgetown plays a Syracuse team seeking revenge for a midseason loss as well.
“Looking back at the loss at home against Syracuse, it felt like the season was over,” says senior Elementary Education major Thomas Lehnhoff. “I really thought we were invincible and losing that game hurt, but looking back, now it’s water under the bridge. We got them back on their home court, and now were back on track.”
With Georgetown and Marquette both winning on Saturday, March 2 as well, it means it will all but surely come down to the last Saturday of the regular season. Georgetown takes on Syracuse and as long as Marquette and Louisville take care of their own games, then all three will share a regular season title.
Justin Peterson, the coordinator of intramural sports at U of L, explains that while winning a conference title would be great for press, a national championship is what he wants.
“To win the Big East is more for bragging rights,” Peterson said. “Look at last year; we won the Big East tourney, which was great, but I want more this year; I want that national championship.”
Many Cardinal fans remain split about how important it would be to win a regular season title. Regardless, fans agree on this: we’ve come a long way since that losing streak in January. Now, given the position the Cardinals are in in the Big East, it is a great starting point for another late season push at a national championship.
Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal