LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Plagued by several losses at the end of the regular season, University of Louisville basketball fans weren't exactly sure what to expect as the Cards entered ACC tournament play Tuesday against Florida State.
But in the first half the Cardinals were on fire, playing exactly as fans wanted in the hopes they will make the NCAA Tournament.
Cards fan Twand Howard smiled watching the game at Beef O' Brady's central location near the UofL Campus.
"Let's go Cards, all day every day," Howard chanted. "C-A-R-D-S!"
Lunchtime with the Cards brought excitement and anxiety to fans who, let's face it, have been hanging on by a thread lately. They're trying to stay away from three letters: NIT - the National Invitational Tournament.
Fan Rhonda Lee might have been one of the few members of the Cardinal faithful not concerned at all.
"I'm not [concerned] because I know that we're awesome and I don't care," Lee said. "David Padgett has done a great job for us this year."
What fans really wanted was no Cardiac Card moments. In the first half they got it, watching a team with enthusiasm, defense, passing and making shots leading Florida State by 19 at the half.
Cards fan Arness Huff wasn't worried about losing the lead.
"Uh no," he laughed. "Not today, we can't stand that, we can't have that today."
Huff said the fans had been through enough.
"We have, the panic buttons, there are too many of them, too many of them," he smiled.
Many fans told WAVE 3 News they were pleased with the first half.
"Great play, great play," Howard said. "As long as we stay the same way this half [second half] we going to be good."
In the second half, the Cardinals soared then nearly crashed as Florida State cut a 26 point lead to 6. Visions of the Virginia loss started dancing in their heads.
"That's still a nightmare, yeah," Howard said. "That's Freddy Krueger right there. No, I won't talk about it."
Luckily, Cards finished and beat the Seminoles 82-74. Is it enough to get into the Big Dance? Fan Jack Recktenwald wasn't sure.
"I would hope they would be in, but I can't predict that at all."
Fan Buddy Roberts said he's confident the Cards can conquer Virginia.
"I think they need to beat Virginia," Roberts said. "I know it's tough, but we had them before so I think they can beat them."
Most fans admitted it's a tall order to knock off number one Virginia, but anything can happen. Others said maybe Tuesday's win was enough to get in.
UofL takes on Virginia at Noon on Wednesday on WAVE 3.