Parity — a word you have probably heard swirling around the college basketball universe this season. While the rankings look a lot different than they did at the start of the season, (only two out of the preseason AP Poll top-five and six out of the preseason top 10 remain there according to the poll released on Feb. 3) one coach thinks this season is just as chaotic as the rest.
"Maybe you all didn't get it right," Louisville's head coach Chris Mack told Andy Katz on the latest episode of the March Madness 365 podcast when asked about the perceived parity. "I don't think this year is any more unique, especially over the last month, than last year or the year before or the year before."
Mack's interview with Katz begins at about the 27:30 mark. Michigan head coach Juwan Howard and ESPN's Joe Lunardi are also on this week's episode.
Although the preseason predictions and rankings look different than what we have today, the revolving door at the top of the rankings has come to a halt. The top four — Baylor, Gonzaga, Kansas and San Diego State — have remained the same the past three weeks.
WHERE ARE THE CARDS?: Find out where Louisville ranks in the latest edition of Andy Katz's Power 36
"It's hard to win on the road in conference play. I don't care if you're in the Big South or you're in the ACC," Mack said. "While there've been some teams that have maybe lost a game here or there in the top 25, they're losing to conference rivals, generally on the road."
Although in-conference road games have rattled other highly-ranked teams this season like preseason No. 1 Michigan State (2-3 in in-conference road games) and preseason No. 9 North Carolina (1-4), Mack and company do not have any ACC road losses — their only in-conference loss was at home against Florida State.
At 20-3 and 11-1 in the ACC, the Cardinals are likely to be a top-three seed in the ACC tournament and have consistently been considered one of three ACC teams that could win their conference and compete for a Final Four run.
This week both Andy Katz and Joe Lunardi, who was the first guest on this week's podcast, released the latest editions of their bracketology projections. Both of the analysts had Louisville as a No. 2 seed.
Katz also picked Louisville as his latest team to win the ACC, according to his Power 36 breakdown. The Cardinals are on an nine-game winning streak that includes a high-profile win against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"Like any good team that I think I've ever coached, I think you continue to get better as the year goes on. Guys get where they're playing their roles really well. We have a talented team," Mack said.
In five of the past six games, the Cardinals have had six different players lead the team in scoring — David Johnson notched 19 points vs. Duke, Steven Enoch and Malik Williams each scored 13 against Georgia Tech, Darius Perry posted 19 points vs. Clemson, Jordan Nwora dropped 37 points against Boston College and Ryan McMahon finished with 23 vs. NC State.
The Cardinals will look to continue their win streak with four home games over the next six in the ACC. Then, they'll travel to Tallahassee on Feb. 24 to face a Florida State squad who dealt Louisville one of its worst results of the season Jan. 4 — a 78-65 loss at home.