Louisville Cardinals Hoping Tradition, Superstition Pay Off in NCAA Tournament

Russ PayneContributor IMarch 9, 2009

The Big East has proven throughout this basketball season that it is the best conference in the nation. Pitt, UConn, and Louisville have all occupied one of the top six rankings since mid-February. Pitt and UConn have been ranked No. 1 for a total of six weeks of the season. Six teams currently are ranked in the top 25.

With all of these credentials, wouldn't you think the champion of an 18-game conference schedule would deserve a No. 1 seed?

Rick Pitino and Cardinal Nation believe so. But don't expect to see Coach P on all the sports talk shows lobbying for that No. 1 seed. Don't expect to see ALL of Cardinal Nation ranting and raving for that No. 1 seed.

Pitino doesn't allow himself or his players to get all caught up in the hype that surrounds rankings and seeding. They simply prove their point on the court.

Louisville basketball is about tradition. Tradition that started in the modern era with Denny Crum in 1971 and has been maintained with Rick Pitino in 2009. Tradition that measures its success by its performance in the NCAA Tournament.

Cardinal Nation is proud of its tradition, but is also superstitious.

In 1980 the Cards went into the NCAA as a No. 2 seed and won their first National Championship. Rodney McCray was a freshman center

In 1986 the Cards went into the NCAA as a No. 2 seed and won their second National Championship. Pervis Ellison was a freshman center. 

Go ahead and appease the Pitt and UConn fans. Give them a No. 1 seed.

For in 2009, the Cards again have a freshman center in Samardo Samuels. Now all we need is that No. 2 seed. Tradition will take care of itself.