Remember the famous Jim Mora quote? "Don't talk about playoffs. You kidding me? Playoffs?" Well, for many of our spring sports, it's beginning to feel that way.
An 8-15 overall record, 0-14 conference record, and a first round exit in the ACC Tournament guarantees that the season is done for Louisville. Unfortunately for Louisville, the last time the Cards finished a season with a winning record was the shortened 2019-2020 COVID-19 season, when the Cards finished 8-6 and 0-4 in ACC play. Prior to that was the 2016-2017 season, where a 15-13 season was not enough to earn an NCAA Tournament berth.
For Mark Beckham's squad, they'll have an early start to start prepping for a strong 2022-2023 season. With several strong players on the squad, the Cards should be a tough team for any opponent next year.
The heartbreaker loss to Notre Dame over the weekend pretty much secured Louisville's spot on the couch for the NCAA Tournament this year. With four losses by one goal this season, things could've been drastically different with just a little bit of luck. Unfortunately, Lady Luck was rather unkind to the Cards, who continue to rebuild.
There is one possible saving grace for Scott Teeter's squad- the ACC Tournament. Like with many collegiate sports, winning your conference tournament results in an automatic bid to the "Big Dance". As the 9-seed and part of the play-in game, the Cards will need to win four games to earn the automatic qualifier bid. .If they get by Pittsburgh on Wednesday, North Carolina is next
Minus just a couple losses in conference play, Louisville was in every game going into the fourth quarter so it is still possible to see Louisville hold an ACC trophy in a couple weeks.
Holly Aprile's team is still in the regular season. A 24-20 record isn't ideal, but with seven regular season games remaining and the ACC Tournament to follow suit, Louisville still has a good chance to find themselves dancing.
With six losses on the year by two runs or less, the Cards are looking for a bit more consistency both on offense and in the circle. With a now-limited pitching staff, the offense will need to step it up in order to finish the season strong.
Louisville's rpi of 39 isn't horrible, but will need to get that up a few spots in order to earn an NCAA Tournament berth. Virginia is currently fifth in the ACC so the Cards need to plan for at least two wins this coming weekend. The weekday game at UIC is a must-win. A trip to a ranked Notre Dame team closes out the season, but Louisville really needs to come out with a series win in South Bend too.
As we've seen time and time again with sports, anything is possible, and you should never give up on the Cardiac Cards in any sport. Let's hope to throw our dancing shoes on in a few weeks.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!