Jeff Eisenberg

Wait, there's a team complaining it deserved a lesser seed?

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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From Temple's Fran Dunphy to West Virginia's Bob Huggins to Gonzaga's Mark Few, there are numerous NCAA tournament coaches who have complained that their teams were underseeded.

Then there's Louisville coach Rick Pitino. He said on ESPNU on Monday afternoon that he was hoping for a lesser seed.

Had the Cardinals gotten a No. 10 or 11 seed instead of their No. 9, Pitino believes it would be easier for them to advance deeper into the tournament because the No. 1 seed would have been on the other side of the draw. Instead Louisville will face top-seeded Duke in the second round if it can get by No. 8 seed California, a team Pitino referred to as "the toughest first-round opponent" one of his teams have ever faced.

"They're a top 20 team, they're a dominant team," Pitino told the Louisville Courier-Journal. "We realize we're facing one of the more underrated teams in the country."

While calling Cal "dominant" is more of a stretch than Louisville's preseason No. 19 ranking, there certainly is some merit to what Pitino's saying. In the last five season alone, eight teams seeded 10 to 12 have advanced to the Sweet 16, but zero No. 8 or 9 seeds have managed to topple a No. 1 in the second round.

The ironic part of Pitino's complaint is that his team probably did deserve a 10 or 11 seed based on its body of work, which was largely unimpressive aside from the two wins over Syracuse. But if the Cardinals had to get a No. 9 seed, shouldn't they be happy it's Duke and not Kansas or Kentucky?

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