Louisville rides momentum into tournament

ANNE M. PETERSON AP Sports Writer Published:

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Louisville has taken a crooked path to the NCAA tournament. Once ranked as high as No. 4, the injury-addled Cardinals fell out of the rankings by losing five games in a stretch of seven. Then they limped into the Big East tournament with losses in three of their final games.

But the Cardinals tore through the Big East tournament, beating Seton Hall, Marquette, Notre Dame and, finally, Cincinnati in the conference championship game.

Now healthy and on a roll, the fourth-seeded Cardinals (26-9) face Davidson (25-7) on Thursday morning to open their NCAA tournament run.

The Cardinals are making their sixth straight appearance in the tournament. They've gone to the regional finals twice in the last four seasons -- but they've been ousted in the opening round each of the last two years.