The University of Louisville earned a No. 4 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament on Sunday, and the Cardinals have a long trip ahead of them.
U of L will compete in the East Regional, but they'll start the tournament in Seattle, Wash., on Friday against UC-Irvine. The Cardinals were defeated by North Carolina in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
"We had been to five straight conference championship games over the last five years," said Coach Rick Pitino. "While we are disappointed ... the silver lining is that we had time to practice and work on a few different things. We feel that we're playing our best basketball of the season and are looking forward to a great tournament."
UC-Irvine's lineup features 7-foot-6 sophomore center Mamadou Ndiaye, the tallest player in Division I. The Anteaters won the Big West Tournament and are in the NCAA tourney for the first time in school history.
If the Cards win, they'll face Northern Iowa or Wyoming next. Northern Iowa — a No. 5 seed — has won 19 of its last 20 and was ranked No. 10 in the latest AP poll.
Big East champion Villanova is the No. 1 seed in Louisville's region and would be the most likely Sweet 16 opponent for the Cards, who will play in Syracuse, N.Y., if they win their first two. North Carolina State and Louisiana State will play the 8-9 game in that region.
The bottom half of U of L's bracket includes No. 2 seed Virginia, No. 3 seed Oklahoma, No. 6 seed Providence and No. 7 seed Michigan State.