A Happy Valentine’s Day came early for the Louisville Cardinals.
I know, I know, I know, a cheap joke, a pun of sorts.
I could claim innocence, being possessed, say the devil made me do it. But nah. I had to go there. If you’re a hoopaholic, it was a sweet moment.
With about 9:00 or so to play, Louisville’s 14 point halftime lead had been whittled to 47-42. Pitt was trying to get in touch with its inner Stephen F. Austin. It was hoping to draw Purple Aces. And doing a dang fine job.
Louisville’s game had turned grayer than its first time unis.
Pitt’s Au’Diese Toney was whistled for fouling Jordan Nwora near the midcourt stripe. The caller of the transgression was one Ted Valentine, who, frankly, hadn’t felt the need to be front and center of the action to that point in the tussle, which is his usual M O.
The Pitt bench went ballistic. Screaming, hissing, waving their arms and generally spewing Steel City bile.
Most Especially Director of Basketball Operations Brian Regan, who verbalized thusly to Valentine. (Dirty Word Advisory. Please send all those under 18 and over 80 to the other room.) Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Pittsburgh
Frankly, midday Saturday I was of two minds about the rest of the day’s outcomes.
Michigan and Louisville had been whomped up the side of their heads by arch rivals. UVa finally beat the rival Hokies for the first time since Tommy Jefferson was sneakin’ out back and shtuppin’ that Hemings gal in the shed.
Liberty was winning.
Auburn, my pick in the Iron Bowl, was back and forth then again with the Crimson Tide.
Peerless Prognosticator Seedy K was obviously hoping for a War Eagle W. Because 2-3, while far from exemplary, has a sweeter ring to it than 1-4.
But, to be honest, Literary Seedy K, the wanna be writer aspiring to consequence, he who would hope for eloquence, sort of wished for an Auburn L. Because then I had my oh so clever lede.
“Give me Liberty, or give me Death.”
But, being a man of verbosity if nothing else, I worked it in anyway. Too good to go to waste.
So I stand 46-26, heading into the last battles before Selection Sunday.
This weekend’s Champion Winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Championship Week
With stultifying defense, and led by the all factors of the game, All-American, 22 point/ 12 rebound dominance of Jordan Nwora, the now legitimately ranked #1 Louisville Cardinals dispatched the nation’s best-resuméd Michigan Wolverines Tuesday night.
Chris Mack instructed his Cardinals to build a wall.
And build a wall they did.
Playing the paradigm of tenacious D, the best the Cards have been at that end of the court since they vanquished the Wolverines for the ’13 NCAA title, U of L never trailed for a nanosecond and prevailed by the UVa-ish score of 58-43.
Pack Line that, Sweet Virginia.
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More on that D in a bit.
Since he played The Game of His Career, praise for Jordan Nwora’s performance must come now, right behind the lede. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Michigan
Cruising the social mediums over the weekend, I came across an entry from a pal, former C-J columnist extraordinaire, green thumbium maximus Bob Hill. He was lamenting that he’d “been watching too much basketball.”
To which, I, ever the hoopaholic, responded, “I can’t conceptualize that. It doesn’t compute.”
At any rate, I recall a situation that happened at a Hoopaholics Anonymous meeting years ago. A newcomer, when introducing himself, verbalized that common plaint, “I watch too much basketball.”
To which an old timer shared his experience, strength and hope in this manner, “You need to lean into it.”
I need to share that with Bob.
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I watched a lot of b-ball last week. Doah. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette: Feast Week Leftovers, #1 vs Best, and More
Saturday evening, with the sting of the Cardinals’ loss still in need of some prescriptive to lessen the pain, with the cloud of the defeat at the hands and feet and speed and strength and dominance of Arch Rival still hovering, I got a message from the person I’ve known longer than anybody else in my life.
RVY and I met when when we were 6 or 7 years old, and our older brothers were playing football at Atherton HS. We’d pitch and catch the pigskin and play along the edges of practice, when our dad’s took us. Which was often.
He went to Belknap. I went to Longfellow. But our paths crossed again at Highland Jr. High, and we schooled together through our own years at Atherton, then again when we were law school classmates.
Through the years, we hooped in alleyways, and, as adults, played racquet ball.
As his older brothers were, so was RVY a football player. His father always reminded me of Bear Bryant, his carriage, his demeanor. A man’s man. A football guy.
RVY moved to SEC Country a few years back. Which makes sense.
He always loved the Cats. As I have always loved the Cards. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Kentucky
Former mediocre head coach, once a reasonably astute color announcer, now calling games on Facebook, Bob Wentzel made some truly absurd and contradictory observations about the University of Louisville Cardinal basketball team during the Cards 71-54 measure of WKU.
But he got one thing correct.
He called Dwayne Sutton “essential.”
There is now ample early evidence meaning that descriptor might also apply to Malik Williams, who was a significant factor in the U of L win. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Western Kentucky
Just as I jump back on the Oregon bandwagon, pull my funky jersey facsimile out of mothballs, dust off my 8×10 of Phil Knight and put fresh incense in the burner of my little homage in the corner, just as I clear the shelves of Whole Foods of the most sublime smoked duck out of respect for the Ducks (and my gustatory obsession), just when I’m pumped that I’ll have an actual rooting interest in the Final Four . . .
. . . the Quack throw in a clunker in the desert, spit out the proverbial bit, fall ingloriously to the Sun Devils. So the kid is SOL.
Because, even more importantly, after correctly predicicating that Michigan, Baylor, Kentucky and Louisville would prevail, placing me thusly on the precipice of my third perfecto weekend of the campaign, I take a baseball bat to the kneecap, my bubble is burst, my train jumps the tracks . . .
. . . oh words fail me.
Bottom line: 4-1 for the weekend. 44-23 for the season.
But, it’s Rivalry Week. Only the Big Ones to weigh in on.
Here come the winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Rivalry Week
Okay, my fellow hoopaholics, let’s start with a quick public service announcement, for the many of you who are interested in the U of L vs. Western Ky game, but feel the need to join the Black Friday chaos at Walmart with your cousins visiting from Steubenville, instead of heading down to NashVegas for a hoops/ Opry at the Ryman double header.
Friday’s game will only be available for watching online at this link:
Yes, on Facebook. It’s true. Why, you might ask? I surely did and here’s the response I received from Zach Greenwell, the Topper B-ball SID:
Conference USA owns the rights to the game, which means it’s restricted to broadcast by one of the league’s TV partners. CBS Sports Network has first priority but was unable to air the game Friday or Saturday because of college football. CBS also gets the next priority, which is their Facebook exclusives. The game will be a full CBS production, just on Facebook instead of cable.
One would think WKU and the league would have released this top shelf game to another network, if only for the exposure. And, to be fair, they may have tried. But it ain’t gonna happen.
So, anyway, that’s the deal for you inveterate denizens here in Hoopsylvania.
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And where or what is that, you might ask? Hoopsylvania, that is. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Turkey Time Update
Though there was slippage in the performance of the Louisville Cardinals during the second half, or because of it, the 82-76 win over a solid Akron Zip contingent is the most important game they’ve played so far against the best team they’ve played so far.
If U of L is to meet expectations, this is where the team learns what it needs to work on. Watch this film. See what worked. See what didn’t. Improve.
The second half engagement with John Groce’s team was worth more than all the previous runaways against schlepper schools combined.
Groce can coach. You might remember in ’12, he took the underdog Ohio Bobcats to the Sweet 16, then fashioned a winning record at Illinois, but couldn’t recruit at the Big 10 level, and now is coaching them up in Rubber City.
His Zips were quick, especially Loren Cristian Jackson, who got to the hoop at will late.
His Zips played tough D, forcing 14 Cardinal turnovers.
His Zips were more proficient at the FT line. 13/15 vs. 21/30.
Louisville blinked. But, flaws exposed, survived. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Akron
Let’s set aside for a moment all the disaffection, defections, lack of depth, imperfections and other impediments that faced this 2019 edition of the Louisville Football Cardinals coming into the season. Those issues that were discussed and rehashed ad nauseam, those opinions and realities that informed the abundance of dire projections for any success.
They are but distant memories, given the reality that the consistently resilient Cardinals have won 7 games of the 11 they have contested, have finished in 2d place in the Atlantic Division of the ACC behind only mighty Clemson, and are but one potential victory over Arch Rival to match the winning total in the last year when that squad was led by the most transcendent player in all of contemporary football, Lamar Jackson.
Let’s simply consider what the Cards overcame Saturday in the type of grisly, misty, chilling weather, when one might have been caused to muse, Did the ACC at the last minute move the battle against Syracuse to London, when U of L conquered the visiting Orange, 56-34. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Syracuse