End of an era in Louisville

Sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell is expected to depart for the NBA. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It began with an improbable Final Four appearance, ended with a devastating loss to their bitter rival in the Sweet 16 – and had a national championship sandwiched in-between.

This is the end of an era for the Louisville Cardinals.

Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng departed after last season’s magical campaign that culminated in snipping the nets in Atlanta. Now Russ Smith and Luke Hancock are leaving, and there’s a high probability that Montrezl Harrell will bolt for the NBA.

Rick Pitino is a Hall of Famer, a tremendous game coach who will still have enough talent to compete on most nights.