To say it's little consolation would be a profound understatement, but the Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team, despite its Final Four loss to the NCAA Tournament Champion Kentucky Wildcats, has a lot of respect -- and expectations.
With a returning nucleus of Peyton Siva, Wayne Blackshear, Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng, the Cards have already earned the top 2012-13 season ranking at the Chicago Tribune. They're not far behind at SI.com either.
In other Big East news ...
Jamie Dixon's success as head coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers, and his stature in the Big East, had his alma mater, the TCU Horned Frogs, reconciled to the fact that he was out of reach. The Frogs recent move to the Big 12 however, has prompted some rethinking of possibilities. According to the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth:
Several sources at TCU said the school's move to the Big 12 next season, coupled with athletic director Chris Del Conte's assurances that plans of a major renovation to the basketball facilities are in his sights, could be enough to get Dixon listening.
No one would love to pull off the extraordinary coaching coup more than Del Conte. And he has a history with Dixon, who first suggested to Del Conte and Big East officials that TCU should seriously consider joining the Big East.
Just a little distance east in Dallas, SMU is reaching deep for a new men's basketball coach. According to Kate Hairopoulos, the Mustangs, after being spurned yet again, have a Ivy League coach -- with Big East ties -- on their radar.
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