Using the "Northern" excuse is getting old.
These northern schools (north of the Ohio River) made the tourney:
Central Connecticut State
Granted, many made it because their conferences are much weaker than the ACC, but can we actually argue we should have been in the tourney ahead of these teams?
Your Louisville example is great - while not really a "northern" team, they aren't a really a southern team either. If Notre Dame had McDonnell, I think we would have close to the same success as he is having at UofL.
Of course McDonnell was the highest paid baseball coach in the NCAA (UF passed this with O'Sullivan's contract last year), so would ND actually come up with the $$$ for the right coach?