Taking a look at the Cardinals’ Big Dance Resume

If one thing has haunted the UofL Men’s basketball team this season, some might say it is consistency.  I beg to differ, however.  If one thing has haunted the Cardinals all season it’s the ability to play in the clutch.  More specifically, they let the last five minutes of some games slip away from them.  Hence, they are currently left with a record of 19-10 as opposed to a record of 25-4.

That might be far fetched for some to believe, but not really.  They gave up late chances to take leads or late leads that they already held in many of their games this season.

After keeping it relatively close for the entire first half, a rejuvenated Louisville tied Georgetown with 17:40 left in the second half only to quickly lose momentum and wind up losing by 10.  Greg Monroe scored 16 and grabbed 14 rebounds that night.

– Against West Virginia jumped to a 13-0 lead, the Cards led by 12 points with 6:57 left in the game only to end up losing to the Mountaineers 78-75.  There were three times in the game where UofL’s game flatlined.  The first three minutes of the game, for about three minutes early in the second half and the last few minutes of the game.  Should have been an easy win after being up by 12.

-Seton Hall never trailed the Cards after a slight 4-2 deficate in the first minute or two of the game.  Louisville came back to within three in the last minute of the game but lost 80-77.  Obviously Seton Hall was running out of steam and UofL seemed to take advantage of that late in the game.  But they just couldn’t close it out.  Should have never been in that situation in the first place.

-Missed free throws haunted the Cardinals against Pitt.  Louisville was up very late in the game, but couldn’t hit their free throws.  Pitt sent the game into over time and prevailed.  Another game where Louisville had it won and gave the game away because they couldn’t finish out.  Pitt won 82-77 after one overtime.

-Louisville led Villanova by as much as 16 points in the first half.  Then gave up the lead with 14:10 left in the first half and were never able to get it back.  They kept it close though.  They kept the deficit between 3 and 5 points throughout the last five minutes of the game but lost 92-84 to the Wildcats.

-In a game that no one really expected to be close, the Cards trailed by as much as 13 in the first half to arch-rival Kentucky and was behind by 10 at halftime.  They came out in the second half and chipped away at Kentucky’s lead.  UofL took a 42-41 lead with 9:51 left to go in the game but quickly lost it and let UK run away with it, winning 71-62.  If the Cards can play them that close at Rupp than they proved, even if just for a few minutes, that they could play with anyone in the country.

-Louisville was behind by as much as 18 early in the second half against UNLV.  They came back to tie the game with under five minutes left, but wound up losing 76-71 to suffer their first loss of the season.

The Cards’ record does not reflect their ability.  They’ve proved that they can play with anyone in the country.  They have a respectable Big East Record and have played much better throughout the second half of the season than they did the first.  They’re losses against Pitt, Georgetown, West Virginia and Villanova from being a potential top 10 team in the country.  That may seem like a ridiculous thing to say but if you watched those games, you know what I’m talking about.

As for their losses to Charlotte and Western Carolina earlier in the season.  Some might say that these things always happen with Pitino’s UofL teams but they come ready to play by March.  Well, that’s true, but these losses weren’t for the same reason as past years.  Louisville was not a very good team at the beginning of the season.  They were lost.  They didn’t have a go-to guy, then as the season progressed, they realized that they don’t have a go-to guy.  They’ve gelled together as a team and have turned a few heads doing it.

Sosa has had as many bad games as good games.  As many terrible games as great games, and the rest have just been mediocre. Samardo Samuels has not been as dominant as many expected him to be, but then again look at some of the guys he’s had to go up against just throughout the Big East schedule.  Smith doesn’t seem like he’s panned out.  I thought he was going to be a much bigger threat than he has been these past few season but he provides solid defense and decent all around game for a guard.

Besides Sosa and Smith, this is still a relatively young team.  Knowles has provided a key role and is sure to be a starter next year.  Reggie Delk is a Senior but this is only his second season with the team.  So the Cards are really a relatively young team and are a few years away from being a Big East and NCAA Championship contender.  Believe me, they will be there but this just isn’t their year.

Nonetheless, they have put together a solid resume and should make the tournament.  Let’s take a look.

Louisville Cardinals Tournament Resume-

Overall Record:  19-10

Conference Record: 10-6

Conference Standing:  T-5th place

Vs. AP Top 25:  1-5

Home: 14-4

Away: 4-6

Good Wins:  @ #4 Syracuse, Connecticut, @ Connecticut, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, South Florida

Bad Losses:  Western Carolina, Charlotte, @ Seton Hall, @ St. Johns

Long, Boring Break

Been Busy and I haven’t posted since the end of basketball season, but as football season is really just around the corner, stay tuned!

Almost Game Time…

“There’s no question UConn is the best team in the country. There’s no doubt. What we have to do is find a way to play better for 40 minutes.”

UofL Coach Jeff Walz





Can The Lady Cards Do It?

Louisville Villanova BasketballIt’s really hard to expect the Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team to be able to beat Connecticut.  Connecticut is fielding one of their best teams of all time.  The Huskies are firing on all cylinders and they have been since the first tip-off of the season as they remain undefeated heading into tonight’s championship game.  They’ve beat the Lady Cards twice this year by an average of 33.5 points and one of those blowouts was in the Big East Tournament championship game.  They’ve beaten all of their opponents in the NCAA tournament by double-digits.

Connecticut has the nations best player in Maya Moore.  They have the nations best coach in Geno Auriemma.  They have eight players who were All-Americans in high school.  Louisville has none.  They have a history that contains five national championships and over 30 regular season and conference tournament championships.  They also have Renee Montgomery and Tina Charles.

Regardless of UConn’s long list of accolades, there is one thing that Louisville has more of.


Louisville showed they had more heart than anyone in the country  when they erased a first half lead of 14 points and came back to win the game against a stacked Oklahoma team in the national semi-final on Sunday evening.  Angel Mccoughtry played her worst half of the season in the first half against the Sooners and played the most memorable half of her career in the second half as she led Louisville on a charge against Oklahoma.  A charge where the Lady Cards were able to grab the lead by as much as six points and coast to victory, despite a very late push by OU.

Becky Burke, Candyce Bingham and Deseree Byrd all played tenaciously on both sides of the court in the comeback.  Coach Jeff Walz ripped the team at halftime and told his All-American, Mccoughtry that she was an embarassment.  They came out with something to prove and left the Oklahoma Sooners shocked and in tears at the end of the game.

Some say that Oklahoma became too comfortable after their big halftime lead.  Some say that Jeff Walz might be the best motivator in the country.  But no one can deny that Louisville has earned their spot in the NCAA national championship and has catapulted themselves in the national spotlight as this team has become the story of the year in NCAA women’s basketball.

Louisville enters tonight’s game the underdog once again.  Not just expected to lose to the Huskies but many “experts” and fans expect Connecticut to blow them out of the water.  It’s possible.  Connecticut seems to be on an entirely different level from the rest of women’s college basketball this year.  The entire season, they’ve proven that they’ve been the best team in the country.  The program hasn’t won a national championship since the 2003-04 season, and you know they’re hungry for one.

Whatever happens, I will make one guarantee and that is that regardless of whether they’re winning by 20 at halftime or losing by 30, Louisville won’t give up until the final buzzer sounds.  They’re going to give it their all tonight as they have nothing to lose.  The Lady Cards want this as bad as anybody and they’re not going to let anybody crown the Huskies the champions just yet.  Remember, they have heart.

Jodie Meeks To Test NBA Waters…… YAY!

jodie-meeksThe good news is that Jodie Meeks is going to submit his name to the NBA draft and get some predictions on where he will fall, how much he will make, etc.  The bad news is that Jodie Meeks isn’t going to hire an agent, an action which would pretty much cancel his NCAA eligibility.  A lot of players do this, some of them turn pro, some of them return to school.  Regardless, you can bet that every Louisville fan, myself included, is hoping to see this guy’s name somewhere on the television screen on June 25th.

Meeks averaged an SEC-best 23.7 points for the Wildcats this past season and set a school record by scoring 54 points against Tennessee.  If Meeks doesn’t remove his name from the NBA draft by June 15th.  He automatically forgoes his senior season of eligibility and won’t be allowed to return to UK (at least to play basketball).

I say go pro Jodie.  Even if you have a bad outing at the workouts, the Knicks will still take you.

What To Read (or watch)…

Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Lawrence gives us five reasons why he thinks Louisville can, and will, beat Connecticut tonight and win the NCAA tournament.  He pointed out several factors that help Louisville including revenge, undefeated teams falling before in the championship, and the fact that Louisville has nothing to lose.  Let’s hope he’s right.

Charlie at the UofL Card Game blog wants you to write ESPN and complain about how awful Doris Burke is.  He makes a good point.  She practically seemed like she was flat out cheering for Oklahoma in the Final Four game.  She completely lacks professionalism.

Rick Bozich of the Courier Journal and some other guys covering the national championship game last night sat around afterwards and came up with a top 10 for 2010.  Syracuse seems to be the darling pick for next year, after their six-overtime triumph they have become America’s team.  Louisville’s missing but that’s expected.  At least they didn’t already give the title to UK like  half of the amateurs out there.

The Arena Authority also released a tour video of the new Downtown Arena.  While it’s going to be hard to leave Freedom  Hall, this new arena is going to be sweet.  Not only can I get my UofL basketball on, I’ll also be able to get my Arena Football and my Mick Jagger on as well.  I can’t wait.

John Yarmuth is getting the short end of the stick with a wager he placed on tonight’s national championship game with Connecticut representative Joe Courtney.  If Connecticut wins, Courtney gets a Slugger baseball bat, a bottle of Woodford and a bucket of KFC.  If Louisville wins, Yarmuth gets salami, lemonade, wine, cigars some chocolate bars and some syrup.  There are two reasons Yarmuth is getting the short end of the stick.  One, we can get any of this stuff at Kroger.  Two, we can’t riot with this stuff the way you can riot with a baseball bat, a bottle of bourbon and a bucket of fried chicken, if we were to win.

Last but not least, a pretty good article from the Sporting News on the Louisville men’s basketball team’s tremendous season.  We sure had a fun ride, even without meeting our expectations.

Coaches Kidnapped…

Rick Pitino, Bobby Knight, Roy Williams, and Mike Kryzfshszzifski Krzyzewski have all been kidnapped by Metallica for playing the Gui-tar He-ro