Louisville Basketball: 2019-20 season review of the Cardinals

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Louisville Basketball

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – FEBRUARY 08: Lamarr Kimble #0, Malik Williams #5 and Dwayne Sutton #24 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)

Louisville basketball concluded 2019-20 wondering what the post-season could entail for the Cardinals. Here’s a recap of the most recent campaign.

Head coach Chris Mack embarked on his second stanza at the helm of Louisville basketball with lofty expectations surrounding his Cardinals crew.

Following a first-round exit in the Big Dance the prior year, Louisville ascended upon 2019-20 with national analysts, commentators and journalists forecasting a special term for the Cardinals.

A veteran roster blended with a strong recruiting class propelled Louisville to a No. 5 preseason ranking in both of the major polls. Pundits deemed the Cardinals, buoyed by All-American candidate Jordan Nwora, as a significant contender to capture the Atlantic Coast Conference title and reach the Final Four.

Louisville journeyed through the 2019-20 regular season with numerous instances of euphoria, as well as a few bumps in the road. Still, the Cardinals brought with them a commendable 24-7 mark as they prepared to face Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on March 12.

Unfortunately, due to the severity of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Louisville never suited up against the Orange. Officials, left with really no other option, canceled every league tourney and March Madness.

As a result, the Cardinals’ campaign came to an abrupt halt. But Louisville has plenty to celebrate. The Cardinals finished 2019-20 at 15–5 in the conference, which translated into a three-way tie for second place behind Florida State.

In the last Associated Press top-25 poll, Louisville checked in at No. 14, and the Cardinals got slotted at No. 13 in the coaches’ ballot. Additional metrics persisted with excellence.

For example, Louisville possessed a No. 9 overall efficiency rating via kenpom.com, and the Cardinals wrapped up at No. 8 in the NCAA NET system.

Bracketologists projected Louisville as a No. 4 seed in the Big Dance, although the Cardinals certainly could have enhanced their positioning with a dominant showing in the ACC Tournament.

With an abundance of parity in collegiate hoops throughout 2019-20, it’s safe to say that March Madness would have proven electric. Personally, I felt that the Cardinals had an extended NCAA tourney run in them, and it wouldn’t have surprised me one iota if they ventured to the second weekend or beyond.

Let’s reflect on what transpired for Louisville over the past several months, and on what’s ahead for the Cardinals, a group that will experience a sizable line-up transformation come this fall.

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