LOUISVILLE - A week ago, Louisville went into its regular-season finale having lost five of its last seven games. The 17-game winning streak was history, and the Cardinals were on a downward spiral in the Associated Press basketball poll.
But in the past week U of L has won four straight games, capping that run with an 83-78 win over Alabama-Birmingham in the Conference USA tournament championship game Saturday afternoon at Freedom Hall.
It's Louisville's first C-USA tournament championship and its first conference tourney title since winning the now-defunct Metro tournament in 1995.
Junior forward Luke Whitehead, who had three double-doubles in points and rebounds for Louisville in its three tournament games, was named the tournament's most valuable player.
"It's nice to win the award and all," Whitehead said, "but it's all about us winning. If we'd lost, no matter how many rebounds I had, I don't win this award, and if we'd lost this game we wouldn't have as positive an attitude going into the NCAA."
The Cardinals were facing a UAB team that was playing its fourth game in four days. On the way to the championship game the Blazers defeated top-seeded Marquette and No. 4 seed Saint Louis.
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