A similar Big East story

Can Louisville follow the same path UConn took to a national title?

Updated: March 22, 2012, 1:18 PM ET
By John Gasaway | ESPN Insider
SivaTony Spinelli/ESPN.comPeyton Siva led Louisville to the Big East title, and the Cardinals aren't done.

The Louisville Cardinals have rebounded nicely, haven't they? A little less than three weeks ago they'd dropped four of their last six games to finish at 10-8 in the Big East, good for seventh place in a 16-team league. Now here they are in the Sweet 16, and Thursday night they'll play the Michigan State Spartans in Phoenix for a spot in the Elite Eight. Rick Pitino's team will enter that contest riding a six-game winning streak, one that includes capturing the Big East tournament title.

In fact, now that I think about it, this is all looking very familiar. We've seen a team go through the Big East regular season in a solid but decidedly unspectacular fashion, catch fire at Madison Square Garden in March and then ride the momentum all the way to a national championship. Can Louisville capture the same magic that the Connecticut Huskies had last year?

The odds are not in Pitino's favor. Of course, the odds weren't in Jim Calhoun's favor last year, either. That's what made the Huskies' ride so amazing. Let's take a look at Louisville's chances.