How Louisville built its roster

Rick Pitino has led Louisville to back-to-back Final Four appearances by recruiting to his style of play and making excellent evaluations on prospects. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Louisville has punched its ticket to the Final Four, but the Cardinals' journey to Atlanta began well before Selection Sunday or even the start of this season. Success in college basketball starts with recruiting, so the story of Louisville's back-to-back Final Four appearances was really years in the making.

To examine how the Cardinals built a team good enough to make consecutive Final Fours, let's break down how this roster came together via recruiting, including philosophy, key recruiting class, the most underrated recruit and why it all worked.

Here's the story behind the story of Louisville's journey to the Final Four.