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 Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site (Attendance)
Exhibition games
November 1* #3 Georgetown College
(exhibition)
W 74–67  0–0 Freedom Hall (17,521)
November 8* #3 at Northern Kentucky
(exhibition)
W 84–69  0–0 The Bank of Kentucky Center (8,408)
Non-conference games
November 22* #3 Morehead State
(Billy Minardi Classic)
W 102–32  1–0 Freedom Hall (19,493)
November 23* #3 South Alabama
(Billy Minardi Classic)
W 81–54  2–0 Freedom Hall (19,241)
November 30* #3 vs. Western Kentucky L 68–54  2–1 Sommet Center (8,193)
December 6* #11 Indiana State
(Marques Maybin Classic)
W 83–43  3–1 Freedom Hall (18,924)
December 7* #11 Ohio
(Marques Maybin Classic)
W 91–56  4–1 Freedom Hall (19,083)
December 8* #9 Lamar
(Marques Maybin Classic)
W 78–56  5–1 Freedom Hall (19,058)
December 13* #9 Austin Peay W 94–75  6–1 Freedom Hall (19,288)
December 18* #9 vs. Mississippi
(SEC/Big East Invitational)
W 77–68  7–1 US Bank Arena (5,922)
December 20* #9 vs. Minnesota
(2008 Stadium Shootout)
L 70–64  7–2 University of Phoenix Stadium (10,431)
December 27* #19 UAB W 82–62  8–2 Freedom Hall (19,627)
December 31* #18 UNLV L 56–55  8–3 Freedom Hall (19,314)
January 4* #18 Kentucky
(Battle for the Bluegrass)
W 74–71  9–3 Freedom Hall (20,078)
Big East regular season
January 7 #23 at South Florida W 71–57  10–3 (1–0) USF Sun Dome (4,827)
January 10 #23 at #17 Villanova W 61–60  11–3 (2–0) Wachovia Center (17,117)
January 12 #20 #12 Notre Dame W 87–73 OT 12–3 (3–0) Freedom Hall (19,865)
January 17 #20 #1 Pittsburgh W 69–63  13–3 (4–0) Freedom Hall (20,082)
January 21 #9 at Rutgers W 78–59  14–3 (5–0) Rutgers Athletic Center (5,178)
January 25 #9 at #8 Syracuse W 67–57  15–3 (6–0) Carrier Dome (25,721)
January 28 #7 South Florida W 80–54  16–3 (7–0) Freedom Hall (17,184)
January 31 #7 West Virginia W 69–63  17–3 (8–0) Freedom Hall (19,416)
February 2 #5 #1 Connecticut L 68–51  17–4 (8–1) Freedom Hall (20,069)
February 8 #5 at St. John's W 60–47  18–4 (9–1) Madison Square Garden (6,128)
February 12 #5 at Notre Dame L 90–67  18–5 (9–2) Edmund P. Joyce Center (11,418)
February 15 #5 DePaul W 99–54  19–5 (10–2) Freedom Hall (19,332)
February 18 #7 Providence W 94–76  20–5 (11–2) Freedom Hall (19,484)
February 21 #7 at Cincinnati W 72–63  21–5 (12–2) Fifth Third Arena (12,350)
February 23 #6 at Georgetown W 76–58  22–5 (13–2) Verizon Center (12,653)
March 1 #6 #8 Marquette W 62–58  23–5 (14–2) Freedom Hall (20,079)
March 4 #6 Seton Hall W 95–78  24–5 (15–2) Freedom Hall (19,535)
March 7 #6 at West Virginia W 62–59  25–5 (16–2) WVU Coliseum (13,089)
Big East Tournament
March 12 #5 vs. Providence
(Quarterfinals)
W 73–55  26–5 Madison Square Garden (19,375)
March 13 #5 vs. #10 Villanova
(Semifinals)
W 69–55  27–5 Madison Square Garden (19,375)
March 14 #5 vs. #18 Syracuse
(Final)
W 76–66  28–5 Madison Square Garden (19,375)
NCAA Tournament
March 20* #1-M vs. #16-M Morehead State
(First Round)
W 74–54  29–5 University of Dayton Arena (12,499)
March 22* #1-M vs. #9-M Siena
(Second Round)
W 79–72  30–5 University of Dayton Arena (12,596)
March 27* #1-M vs. #12-M Arizona
(Sweet 16)
W 103–64  31–5 Lucas Oil Stadium (33,780)
March 29* #1-M vs. #2-M Michigan State
(Elite Eight)
L 64–52  31–6 Lucas Oil Stadium (36,084)
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. ( ) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
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" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-11-22.