PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WDRB) - Some Pittsburgh fans chanted "March Sadness" to the Cardinals in the waning seconds of Louisville's 67-60 victory over the Panthers.
The U of L players on the bench just laughed. With everything the team has endured in the past few weeks, that was nothing.
"We had some fun with them," said freshman guard Donovan Mitchell.
While the Cardinals will sit out the ACC and NCAA tournaments, the team is playing its own version of March Madness in this final stretch.
"We don't have a whole lot but these games. This is our tournament," head coach Rick Pitino said after Louisville's win.
"That's how I look at the last four games. I say we're going to win the Sweet 16 today.We're going to the Elite Eight now on Saturday. We just have to play it like a tournament," said sophomore guard Quentin Snider, who led the Cardinals with 14 points and seven assists.
Louisville is still in the hunt for an ACC regular season title, which makes the three remaining games even more important.
"All we have to do is make sure we take care of business," said senior Damion Lee, who had 13 points and four rebounds against Pitt. "We understand that we control our own destiny. So we got one win and now we have to start preparing (Thursday) to get ready for Miami."
Saturday afternoon's matchup with the Hurricanes in Miami is crucial because both teams have identical 11-4 marks in ACC play, and both are one game behind league leading North Carolina.
The Cardinals can go into south Florida with confidence after winning in the hostile environment of Pittsburgh's Petersen Events Center, where the Panthers have won nearly 87 percent of their games.
"It just shows us that we know we can play in environments like this.We've been doing it all year. Some games we have let slip away. We have to play well in the first half (and) now we are doing well in the second half and closing games out," Mitchell said.
Louisville (22-6, 11-4 in the ACC) meets Miami (22-5, 11-4 in the ACC) Saturday afternoon at 2pm in the BankUnited Center, where the Hurricanes have lost only once this season: a 77-76 loss to Northeastern in November.
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