2008–09 Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team

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2008–09 Louisville Cardinals men's basketball
Louisville Cardinals woodmark.png
Big East Regular Season Champions
Big East Tournament Champions
Conference Big East Conference (1979–2013)
Ranking
Coaches #5
AP #1
2008–09 record 31–6 (16–2 Big East)
Head coach Rick Pitino
Assistant coach Steve Masiello
Assistant coach Walter McCarty
Assistant coach Richard Pitino
Home arena Freedom Hall
Seasons
« 2007–08 2009–10 »
2008–09 Big East men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
#1 Louisville 16 2   .889     31 6   .838
#4 Pittsburgh 15 3   .833     31 5   .861
#5 Connecticut 15 3   .833     31 5   .861
#11 Villanova 13 5   .722     30 8   .789
#23 Marquette 12 6   .667     25 10   .714
#13 Syracuse 11 7   .611     28 10   .737
West Virginia 10 8   .556     23 12   .657
Providence 10 8   .556     19 14   .576
Notre Dame 8 10   .444     21 15   .583
Cincinnati 8 10   .444     18 14   .563
Seton Hall 7 11   .389     17 15   .531
Georgetown 7 11   .389     16 15   .516
St. John's 6 12   .333     16 18   .471
South Florida 4 14   .222     9 22   .290
Rutgers 2 16   .111     11 21   .344
DePaul 0 18   .000     9 24   .273
2009 Big East Tournament winner
As of April 4, 2009[1]; Rankings from AP Poll

The 2008–09 Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team represented the University of Louisville during the 2008–09 NCAA Division I men's basketball season, Louisville's 95th season of intercollegiate competition. The Cardinals competed in the Big East Conference and were coached by Rick Pitino, who was in his eighth season. The team played its home games at Freedom Hall.

The Cardinals finished the season 31–6, 16–2 and were regular season Big East Champions (their 1st). They defeated Syracuse 76–66 to win the 2009 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament (their 1st). They received an automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, earning the overall #1 seed and were placed in the Midwest Region. They were upset by #2 seed Michigan State in the Midwest Regional final, 64–52.

Preseason[edit]

After an elite eight appearance in the 2008 tournament, Louisville entered the 2008–09 season ranked third in both the AP and Coaches polls in part due to a strong recruiting class. The incoming freshman class is ranked fifth overall by Scouts.com,[2] led by number one ranked center Samardo Samuels. Louisville has been picked by many analysts to be a potential Final Four contender, including Sports Illustrated[3] and Dick Vitale.[4]

Regular season[edit]

Despite the #3 preseason ranking, Louisville struggled in the non-conference losing to three unranked opponents. After beating Kentucky on an Edgar Sosa buzzer-beating three pointer,[5] Louisville entered Big East play ranked #21. After beating South Florida easily, Louisville beat three straight ranked teams in close games: #17 Villanova,[6] #12 Notre Dame in overtime,[7] and previously unbeaten #1 Pittsburgh.[8] Louisville would continue strong play, going undefeated in January and winning its first eight conference games before losing to #1 Connecticut on February 2. After beating St. John's, Louisville lost by their most lopsided margin since joining the Big East, a 33-point drubbing by Notre Dame. After that game, Louisville won its final seven regular season games to win the school's first ever regular season Big East championship.

Big East Tournament[edit]

By virtue of their outright regular-season title, Louisville received a double-bye in the Big East Tournament and played their first game in the tournament quarterfinals. In the tournament, Louisville beat Providence 73–55 in the quarterfinals and #10 Villanova 69–55 in the semifinals to advance to the school's first ever Big East Tournament championship game in four seasons in the conference.[9] In the finals, Louisville won its first Big East Tournament Championship, defeating #18 Syracuse 76–66.[9] Due to losses in the early conference tournament rounds by several teams above them, the Cardinals finished #1 in the final regular season AP and coaches' polls—the first time in school history they have been ranked #1 in either poll.

NCAA Tournament[edit]

Louisville was awarded the top seed in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region, as well as the overall #1 seed in the tournament. This is Louisville's second ever 1-seed. The Cardinals beat Morehead St. and Siena in the first two tournament rounds, advancing to face Arizona in the Sweet 16 on March 27. After beating Arizona by 39 points, Louisville faced Michigan St. in the Elite Eight and lost 64–52.

Roster[edit]

Name[10] # Position Height Weight Year Home Town
Chris Brickley 11 Guard 6–4 175 Junior Manchester, NH
Earl Clark 5 Forward 6–9 220 Junior Plainfield, NJ
Reginald Delk 12 Guard 6–4 175 Junior Jackson, TN
George Goode 22 Guard 6–8 205 Freshman Raytown, MO
Terrence Jennings 23 Forward 6–10 225 Freshman Sacramento, CA
Preston Knowles 2 Guard 6–1 170 Sophomore Winchester, KY
Kyle Kuric 14 Guard 6–4 175 Freshman Evansville, IN
Andre McGee 33 Guard 5–10 180 Senior Moreno Valley, CA
Samardo Samuels 24 Forward 6–9 240 Freshman Trelawny, Jamaica
Will Scott 20 Guard 6–3 185 Senior New York, NY
Jerry Smith 34 Guard 6–1 200 Junior Wauwatosa, WI
Edgar Sosa 10 Guard 6–1 200 Junior New York, NY
Lee Steiden 25 Forward 6–4 185 Sophomore Louisville, KY
Jared Swopshire 21 Forward 6–7 215 Freshman St. Louis, MO
Terrence Williams 1 Forward 6–6 215 Senior Seattle, WA

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance Record
Exhibition games
November 1* 5:30 pm Georgetown College #3 Freedom HallLouisville, KY
(exhibition)
WHAS W 74–67  17,521 0–0
November 8* 8:00 pm at Northern Kentucky #3 The Bank of Kentucky CenterHighland Heights, KY
(exhibition)
WHAS W 84–69  8,408 0–0
Non-conference games
November 22* 5:30 pm Morehead State #3 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY
(Billy Minardi Classic)
ESPN360/WHAS W 102–32  19,493 1–0
November 23* 4:00 pm South Alabama #3 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY
(Billy Minardi Classic)
ESPN360 W 81–54  19,241 2–0
November 30* 3:00 pm vs. Western Kentucky #3 Sommet CenterNashville, TN FCS/WHAS L 68–54  8,193 2–1
December 6* 2:00 pm Indiana State #11 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY
(Marques Maybin Classic)
WHAS W 83–43  18,924 3–1
December 7* 4:00 pm Ohio #11 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY
(Marques Maybin Classic)
ESPN Full Court/WHAS W 91–56  19,083 4–1
December 8* 7:00 pm Lamar #9 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY
(Marques Maybin Classic)
ESPN Full Court/WHAS W 78–56  19,058 5–1
December 13* 1:00 pm Austin Peay #9 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY ESPN Full Court/WHAS W 94–75  19,288 6–1
December 18* 9:00 pm vs. Mississippi #9 US Bank ArenaCincinnati, OH
(SEC/Big East Invitational)
ESPN W 77–68  5,922 7–1
December 20* 2:00 pm vs. Minnesota #9 University of Phoenix StadiumGlendale, AZ
(2008 Stadium Shootout)
FSN L 70–64  10,431 7–2
December 27* 4:00 pm UAB #19 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY ESPN2 W 82–62  19,627 8–2
December 31* 6:00 pm UNLV #18 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY ESPN2 L 56–55  19,314 8–3
January 4* 4:30 pm Kentucky #18 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY
(Battle for the Bluegrass)
CBS W 74–71  20,078 9–3
Big East regular season
January 7 7:00 pm at South Florida #23 USF Sun DomeTampa, FL ESPN2 W 71–57  4,827 10–3 (1–0)
January 10 12:00 pm at #17 Villanova #23 Wachovia CenterPhiladelphia, PA ESPN W 61–60  17,117 11–3 (2–0)
January 12 7:00 pm #12 Notre Dame #20 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY ESPN W 87–73 OT 19,865 12–3 (3–0)
January 17 6:00 pm #1 Pittsburgh #20 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY ESPN W 69–63  20,082 13–3 (4–0)
January 21 7:00 pm at Rutgers #9 Rutgers Athletic CenterPiscataway, NJ ESPNU W 78–59  5,178 14–3 (5–0)
January 25 12:00 pm at #8 Syracuse #9 Carrier DomeSyracuse, NY Big East Network/ESPN Full Court/WHAS W 67–57  25,721 15–3 (6–0)
January 28 7:00 pm South Florida #7 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY Big East Network/ESPN Full Court/WHAS W 80–54  17,184 16–3 (7–0)
January 31 12:00 pm West Virginia #7 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY Big East Network/ESPN Full Court/WHAS W 69–63  19,416 17–3 (8–0)
February 2 7:00 pm #1 Connecticut #5 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY ESPN L 68–51  20,069 17–4 (8–1)
February 8 1:30 pm at St. John's #5 Madison Square GardenNew York, NY Big East Network/ESPN Full Court/WHAS W 60–47  6,128 18–4 (9–1)
February 12 7:00 pm at Notre Dame #5 Edmund P. Joyce CenterNotre Dame, IN ESPN L 90–67  11,418 18–5 (9–2)
February 15 4:00 pm DePaul #5 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY ESPNU W 99–54  19,332 19–5 (10–2)
February 18 7:30 pm Providence #7 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY ESPN2 W 94–76  19,484 20–5 (11–2)
February 21 2:00 pm at Cincinnati #7 Fifth Third Arena • Cincinnati, OH Big East Network/ESPN Full Court/WHAS W 72–63  12,350 21–5 (12–2)
February 23 7:00 pm at Georgetown #6 Verizon CenterWashington, DC ESPN W 76–58  12,653 22–5 (13–2)
March 1 12:00 pm #8 Marquette #6 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY CBS W 62–58  20,079 23–5 (14–2)
March 4 7:00 pm Seton Hall #6 Freedom Hall • Louisville, KY Big East Network/ESPN Full Court/WHAS W 95–78  19,535 24–5 (15–2)
March 7 9:00 pm at West Virginia #6 WVU ColiseumMorgantown, WV ESPN W 62–59  13,089 25–5 (16–2)
Big East Tournament
March 12 12:00 pm vs. Providence #5 Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
(Quarterfinals)
ESPN W 73–55  19,375 26–5
March 13 7:00 pm vs. #10 Villanova #5 Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
(Semifinals)
ESPN W 69–55  19,375 27–5
March 14 9:00 pm vs. #18 Syracuse #5 Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
(Final)
ESPN W 76–66  19,375 28–5
NCAA Tournament
March 20* 7:10 pm vs. #16-M Morehead State #1-M University of Dayton ArenaDayton, OH
(First Round)
CBS W 74–54  12,499 29–5
March 22* 5:20 pm vs. #9-M Siena #1-M University of Dayton Arena • Dayton, OH
(Second Round)
CBS W 79–72  12,596 30–5
March 27* 7:07 pm vs. #12-M Arizona #1-M Lucas Oil StadiumIndianapolis, IN
(Sweet 16)
CBS W 103–64  33,780 31–5
March 29* 2:20 pm vs. #2-M Michigan State #1-M Lucas Oil StadiumIndianapolis, IN
(Elite Eight)
CBS L 64–52  36,084 31–6
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time[10] † NCAA Tournament ranks are seeds in the region (E=East, M=Midwest, S=South, W=West).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big East Conference Standings - 2008-09." ESPN.com. Retrieved 03-23-10.
  2. ^ "Scout.com 2008 Top 25 Recruiting Classes". Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  3. ^ "SI.com writers discuss SI's official preseason Top 20". CNN. November 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  4. ^ "Dick Vitale's Final Four Predictions". Retrieved 2008-11-22. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Kentucky vs. Louisville – Recap". ESPN. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  6. ^ "Louisville vs. Villanova – Recap". ESPN. Archived from the original on 18 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  7. ^ "Notre Dame vs. Louisville – Recap". ESPN. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  8. ^ "Pittsburgh vs. Louisville – Recap". ESPN. Archived from the original on 21 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  9. ^ a b "Villanova vs. Louisville recap". ESPN. Archived from the original on 17 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  10. ^ a b "2008–09 Louisville Cardinals Media Guide". Retrieved 2008-11-22.