It may not have been pretty, but it got the job done.
The Louisville Cardinals, who entered this week having lost four of their last six games, are your 2012 Big East Tournament Champions. Hard to believe.
Chris Smith led the Cardinals with 15 points, but Peyton Siva was the star. Siva continued his spectacular play and posted 10 points and five assists. The junior’s performance was the final piece to an amazing week, and the Big East Tournament MVP.
This week has been Siva’s coming out party, with this performance he’s showing how amazing he truly is. When Siva is focused and confident, he can run with any guard in the nation. If he can continue to play at this level for the rest of his time at Louisville, it’s going to be an absolute joy to watch him.
The best news of all, the Cardinals have taken themselves from a likely seven seed in the NCAA tournament to a three or four seed and perhaps a more favorable opening weekend location.
Louisville has truly taken to heart that the post season is a new season. Although this was UofL’s worst offensive performance of the tourney, the defense was at times the best its been all season. Louisville was able to stop a Cincinnati team that was even hotter than the Cardinals were.
Who would have guessed that a team that was blown out by Providence would be here at this point in the season. Louisville has come alive in absolutely magical fashion. No matter what happens in the NCAA Tournament, these guys have a lot to be proud of.
With Peyton Siva, the quiet resurgence of Kyle Kuric’s stroke, Gorgui Dieng’s post brilliance, and even those amazingly lucky InfraRed Jerseys; there are a million things to be happy about with this team. The Cardinals are getting hot at exactly the right time.
This victory marks Louisville’s second Big East Championship. Perhaps this one, set behind the impending departures of West Virginia, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh, is more important. The Cardinals and Bearcats showed this week that the Big East will still be a powerhouse even after some of its founders flee the coop.
Tonight Louisville will celebrate, but tomorrow its business as usual as the bigger task at hand comes to the forefront. The Cardinals will receive their seeding tomorrow evening, and this week’s victories made the chances of a deep run in the NCAA Tournament that much higher.
Louisville is showing that its better than it records suggest. Four wins in four days over four teams that will be battling next weekend is no easy task and the Cardinals are finally living up to their potential.
Rise up Card Nation. These are your 2012 Big East Champions