Overall record: 44-15
Big East record: 19-7 in regular season (first place)
RPI:19 (IU is #101)
Louisville won the Big East's regular season and tournament champion and enters this year's regional as a seasoned NCAA Tournament team. Per this release, the Cards are making their third consecutive NCAA appearance and reached the College World Series in 2007.
The Big East postseason awards seem as good a place as any to start educating myself about the Cardinals, and Louisville is very well-represented.
3B Chris Dominguez (Big East player of the year, first team all-Big East): Dominguez, a junior from Miami, won his second consecutive POY award. Dominguez hit .359 and 23 HR and led the Cardinals with 18 SB. He seems to be a complete offensive player, but did commit 22 errors at the hot corner.
SP Justin Marks (Big East pitcher of the year, first team all-Big East): A junior from Owensboro, Ky., Marks went 10-2 with a 3.50 ERA. In 92 and 2/3 innings, he struck out 116 and walked only 30.
P Thomas Royse (second team all-Big East): Royse pitched in 12 games, including 6 starts, and had a 3-2 record with a 3.50 ERA. Like Marks, his power/control numbers are impressive: in 41 and 1.3 innings, he struck out 48 and walked only 10.
1B Andrew Clark (second team all-Big East): Clark is from Carmel, Indiana and hit .362 with 9 HR. He also seems to have an excellent eye: in 232 at-bats he struck out only 25 times and walked 52 times, which amounts to about 17 percent of his plate appearances.
OF Phil Wunderlich (second team all-Big East):A sophomore from Chicago, Wunderlich led Louisville with a .369 average and hit 18 HR. He seems to be a contact hitter: only 15 walks but only 18 strikeouts.
2B Adam Duvall (third team all-Big East): Duvall, a hometown boy from Louisville, hit .343 with 11 HR.
IU and Louisville played twice during the regular season, and the Cardinals won both games. On April 1, Louisville beat IU 15-1 at Louisville. On April 21, Louisville won 10-8 in Bloomington. Neither team saw either of the team's likely tournament starters. Neither Marks nor Royse nor Dean Kiekhefer pitched for Louisville, and the Cardinals did not see Eric Arnett, Matt Bashore, or Blake Monar. Of the four starters that IU used in the Big Ten Tournament, only Matt Igel, the winning pitcher in the title game win over Minnesota, pitched against Louisville (a perfect 1.3 of an inning in the game at Louisville). The Cardinals certainly had the upper hand in the regular season, but neither team has taken the other's best shot from the mound.