Bracket Projection: Louisville

Russ Smith, explosive on both ends of the court for Louisvile, was named first-team All-Big East. AP Photo/Fred Beckham

The Louisville Cardinals return most of the pieces from last year's Final Four team. In a field with no clear favorite, the Cardinals have as good a chance as anyone to cut down the nets in Atlanta. Can they make it a record seventh trip to the Final Four for Rick Pitino?

ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of Bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams, in order to help you make smart picks in your bracket. Plus, as Lunardi fills out his bracket, he'll give you his prediction on how each team will fare.


Lunardi's Logic

The Selection Committee did the No. 1 overall seed Cardinals no favors, stacking the Midwest Region with the likes of Duke and Michigan State. Even a possible Sweet 16 encounter with Saint Louis is no easy task. But the Cards were my preseason pick to win it all and they were playing better than anyone in the country as the Big East tournament ended. So I'm sticking with Louisville to cut down the nets in Atlanta.


Best wins: Marquette, at Syracuse, at Memphis, Missouri

Worst losses: at Villanova, at Notre Dame (5 OT)