BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDRB) – Five final thoughts on Louisville’s game with Virginia Tech at 1 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum. (Mike Lacett and I will have coverage on the WDRB News at 10 as well as at WDRB.com.)

1. The latest Bracketology reports are trending in the wrong direction for David Padgett’s team, which has lost five of its last seven.

The Cardinals have moved from the third team outside the 68-team field to the seventh team out at Bracketville, the top-performing NCAA Tournament bracket predictor website over the last three seasons.

Louisville (18-10, 8-7) sits behind Marquette, Syracuse, USC, Utah, UCLA and Mississippi State.

The outlook is a brighter at BracketMatrix. Louisville is the third team out of their field, trailing USC and Washington – although those numbers have not been updated since Thursday night.

Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com has Louisville an 11 seed, meeting St. Bonaventure in a play-in game, but Lunardi has not updated his bracket since Thursday.

2. Cassell Coliseum seats 9,100, and a scalper outside the building told me this is the second-hottest ticket of the season.

The game is sold out. He was asking for $60 for an upper-arena seat with a face value of $20. Good seats in the lower bowl are priced at $120.

What’s a tougher ticket than this?

Duke visits Virginia Tech Monday night. “Those are already going for $150,” the scalper said.

3. Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams told me Thursday that he has been impressed by the work David Padgett has done with the Cardinals.

“Think about it,” Williams said. “When most guys get their first head coaching opportunity, they have several months to prepare. What did David have? Two or three days. Can’t imagine doing that.

“What people need to remember is that in this league you have one team (Pittsburgh) that hasn’t won a game and another team (Virginia) that has only lost one game.

“The difference between everybody else in the league is razor thin. One bounce. One play.”

4. Padgett said over the last few weeks has worked on two things with his players – practice technique and mental preparation. The latter can be more critical than the former.

“The mental side of it is big right now,” Padgett said. “There’s no question. Just because not only have we not been playing as well as we’d like the last couple games, but we just know how tough these games we have coming up are.

“It’s a fine line. You’ve got to make sure you’re tough on them but you don’t want to have them be beat down mentally to where they’re, we don’t ever use the term give up, obviously, but it’s a fine line because these teams we’re playing are very, very good.

“We have a very tough finishing stretch. But our guys are motivated. They’re very self-motivated, which is good to see. I haven’t had to do a whole lot of that, this year.”

5. This is what Vegas and the analytics sites forecast for the game:

VegasInsider.com listed Tech as a four-point favorite.

Ken Pomeroy’s numbers also tilt to Tech by four, giving the Cards a 35 percent winning probability.

Jeff Sagarin’s numbers forecast Tech by 2.2 points.

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