Rick Pitino's Cardinals Are Two Weeks Away from Selection Sunday

DeAnte MitchellCorrespondent IMarch 1, 2010

LOUISVILLE, KY - FEBRUARY 01:  Rick Pitino the Head Coach of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the Big East Conference game against the Connecticut Huskies on February 1, 2010 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.  Louisville won 82-69.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After topping the soaring Huskies, the Louisville Cardinals are now (10-6) in Big East conference play, along with (19-10) overall.

With this win the Cardinals are certainly on the rise. Playing in arguably the toughest conference in America, Louisville is just four games back from No. 1 Syracuse. And with the Big East regular season title out of range, the Cardinals are concentrating on the NCAA and Big East Tournament.

With just two games left on their schedule, the Cardinals may have done enough to capture the eyes of the selection committee. Louisville has wins over teams such as UConn(2) and Syracuse.

On the door step of the NCAA tournament, the Cardinals need to take care of business for the remainder of the season, starting with Marquette on the road. The Golden Eagles aren’t the greatest home team, but have only three losses on the season at home.

Coming off an overtime thriller against Seton Hall, Marquette will be an encouraged squad that is going to look to put the Big East standings at a three way tie for third place.

However, the Cardinals are no easy stepping stone.

Thereafter, Syracuse is coming to town for a rematch. Which is definitely a special game because of senior night and the seniors will have to step up on this stage and prevail at home. 


The Key Stat To Watch for throughout the Rest of the Season

The rebounding totals are a big problem heading into March. Throughout the year, as a team the Cardinals have averaged 37.7 rebounds per game.

That was not the case against UConn. The Cardinals was embarrassed on the boards by an edge of 28.

The inability of the frontcourt has been a lasting ordeal throughout this season, and with the tournament just weeks away, a message needs to be sent in these last two games.

To beat Marquette and Syracuse they need to bring over their defensive intensity from the last game. The Cardinals played the Huskies very aggressively, forcing them to result in a half-court offense, and turning the ball over.

Another statistic to watch is the three balls. The Cardinals aren’t a really commanding team from downtown, but when they're hot they are a tough team to beat.

The Cardinals are now on their way to an NCAA tournament bid, nullifying an end of season collapse.