INDIANAPOLIS (WDRB) -- It may be the most-watched medical drama in the city of Louisville since ER. Or Grey's Anatomy. The University of Louisville basketball team is under the weather, and not the kind a meteorologist can predict.
The Cards have been hit with strep throat. Most of the team, with only a few exceptions, is battling some form of it, and has been for varying lengths of time. Heading into Sunday's Midwest Regional Final against Duke, that's nothing to sneeze at.
Russ Smith says he's coming out of it. Peyton Siva is putting a good face on it, but still seems to be dragging.
Wayne Blackshear is fine. The sophomore from Chicago escaped it, and offers Cardinal fans some Chicago hope: "It's the Elite Eight, so every little thing is going to be magnified. We're coming to play. We're not going to let anything slow us down."
Smith said he was 70 percent when he put up 31 points in Friday's regional quarterfinal win over Oregon. On Saturday, he said, "I'm much better. . . . I'm still clogged up, but it's nothing I'm not used to, but it's nothing that will keep me from playing. I wish I was better."
Siva said U of L coach Rick Pitino, who also has been sick, let the team sleep in on Saturday.
"I think that helped us out a lot," he said. "You can just tell, people's energy is coming back. It's still slow, but everybody's getting there."
Smith said, "I'm on Mucinex, antibiotics and a pill schedule. I'm definitely not 100 percent from a conditioning standpoint, but I'll be good."
Junior captain Luke Hancock tried to offer some perspective: "Look, it's not like we're deathly sick," he said. "We're going to play and we're going to be fine."
Pitino did not seem to be worried.
He said the Oregon victory was, "Our weakest defensive game," and added, "The guys basically defensively had a night off, so they're going to be very, very fresh against Duke."
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