Louisville Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Louisville Cardinals
ACC (24-8, 12-6)


In the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Louisville was unfortunate to run into a Kentucky team destined for the Final Four. Of course that was coming off of their 2013 NCAA Tournament title. Coach Rick Pitino and company hope that this year will be more like 2013 than 2014. The talent is there for another run to the Final Four, yet this group has not been able to beat some of the top teams in the ACC and the country despite quite a few opportunities.

Big Wins: 12/2 Ohio State (64-55), 1/31 North Carolina (78-68), 3/7 Virginia (59-57)
Bad Losses: 2/14 North Carolina State (65-74), 2/18 at Syracuse (59-69), 3/4 Notre Dame (59-71)
Coach: Rick Pitino

Why They Can Surprise:
Many figured Montrezl Harrell was going to go to the NBA after last season, but he came back to Louisville for at least one more go at the NCAA Tournament. Harrell is an absolute monster in the paint and is averaging 15.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks this season. His ability to finish in the paint and in transition is tough for anybody to stop. The frontcourt talent does not end there though. Chinanu Onuaku and Mangok Mathiang are also quality shot blockers and that is why it is so difficult to score against Louisville. There is always at least one shot blocker looming in the paint. And some teams are lucky to make it that far. The Cardinals are also one of the best teams in the nation at creating steals. Terry Rozier and Wayne Blackshear combine to average 3.2 steals per game and the team as a whole averages 8.4. However, that average has been dipping since the dismal of guard Chris Jones.

Why They Can Disappoint:
A concern in the backcourt is the outside shooting of Rozier and Blackshear. Both can knock down shots, but the team as a whole shoots just 30.9 percent from beyond the arc. When Louisville loses, it often is the result of poor shooting efforts from Rozier. In the home loss to North Carolina State back in mid-February, those two were 8-of-27 from the floor. Another issue in that game was on the glass. Despite the size of the frontcourt, this is not the toughest rebounding team we have ever seen at Louisville. The Cardinals were outrebounded by ten against NC State and were also outrebounded by the same amount in an earlier loss to North Carolina. Weakness on the glass and poor outings by the backcourt do not happen often, but when it does, Louisville is headed home. The dismissal of Jones has forced Quentin Snider into a more prominent role. Jones was the player who could keep this team under control with the ball in his hands and lead the defensive effort on the other end of the floor. Three of Louisville’s eight losses this season have come when Jones was not on the floor.

Probable Starters:
Quentin Snider, Freshman, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 1.2 apg
Terry Rozier, Sophomore, Guard, 17.1 ppg, 2.8 apg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 bpg
Wayne Blackshear, Senior, Forward, 10.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Montrezl Harrell, Junior, Forward, 15.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Chinanu Onuaku, Freshman, Center, 3.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Anton Gill, Sophomore, Guard, 2.5 ppg, 2.5 ppg
Mangok Mathiang, Sophomore, Center, 2.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.5 (121st in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.2 (18, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.1 (195, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.7 (17, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.7 (234, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.9 (299, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.2 (272, 11)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (82, 6)
Assists Per Game: 11.7 (245, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.8 (88, 7)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round win over Manhattan
2014    NCAA    Third Round win over Saint Louis
2014    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Kentucky
2013    NCAA    Second Round win over North Carolina A&T
2013    NCAA    Third Round win over Colorado State
2013    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Oregon
2013    NCAA    Regional Final win over Duke
2013    NCAA    National Semifinal win over Wichita State
2013    NCAA    National Final win over Michigan
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over Davidson
2012    NCAA    Third Round win over New Mexico
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Michigan State
2012    NCAA    Regional Final win over Florida
2012    NCAA    National Semifinal loss to Kentucky
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Morehead State
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to California
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Morehead State
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Siena
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Arizona
2009    NCAA    Regional final loss to Michigan State
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Boise State
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Oklahoma
2008    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Tennessee
2008    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Kansas
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Stanford
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Texas A&M

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules