Led by Derek Smith, Lancaster Gordon, Jerry Eaves and Rodney McCray the 1981-1982 Louisville Cardinals finished the regular season 20-9 after playing a stacked non-conference schedule. That was good enough to get the #3 seed in the Mideast Region of the NCAA Tournament.
Louisville routed MTSU, after they upset #6 seed Kentucky, to move into the regionals in Birmingham. The Cardinals shot 58% and behind Gordon's 23 points were able to outlast #2 seed Minnesota, 67-61. The win put Louisville one game away from New Orleans and the Final Four.
Standing in their way was #4 seed UAB but Louisville continued their hot shooting to punch their ticket to the Big Easy, 75-68.