Considering U of L’s Self Punishment

joaniecardBack in the halcyon days of the late 70s and 80s, some fellow Cardinal fans and I had this little shtick, the kind of silliness adoring fans embrace everywhere.

We talked about Season Ticket Insurance. If the Cards lost, or somebody got hurt or something bad would happen, we’d try to lessen the anguish by invoking that we needed to “make a season ticket insurance claim.”

It helped. We’d laugh. It would ease the grief.

This afternoon, before actually hearing that U of L, after its in house investigation in the wake of the Herricane Katina scandal, had decided to self impose a post-season ban this year, I got a text from one of those guys.

“Perfect year for season ticket insurance,” it read.

As if that would somehow dissipate this monumental disappointment. Continue reading Considering U of L’s Self Punishment

Louisville CardFile: North Carolina

joaniecardThe University of Louisville Cardinals woke up on Groundhog Day, the morning after a season redefining 71-65 W over North Carolina, not having to worry whether some previously anonymous groundhog (a/k/a whistlepig, a/k/a woodchuck, a/k/a Marmota monax) in Puxnawhatever, Pa. sees his/her shadow.

After a weekend of soul searching, during which the Cardinals tempered their steel, while their fan base was wondering whether they might have to find some non basketball endeavors to occupy their time in late March, a major question was answered.

This U of L team may go down, but it will not be for lack of effort, or the lack of will to fight back.

Here’s what Louisville did to the Tar Heels, in front of 22,781 Yum! fans who turned raucous once they found their seats. They limited the visitors with the nation’s second best assist/ turnover ratio to 11 assists, while forcing 16 turnovers. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: North Carolina

Louisville CardFile: Virginia

joaniecardThere was, at least for me personally, an exclamation point to U of L’s  disappointing performance against Virginia, a display by the home team which was even more dispiriting than the fact of the 47-63 loss.

That !!!?

I had a parking ticket nestled between the wiper blade and windshield of my car after the game. You’d think those meter watchers would have had something better to do on such a lovely day, that they might have been a bit more understanding to disheartened Cardinal fans.

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Louisville was never in this game. It was an L from the opening tip. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia

Louisville CardFile: Virginia Tech

joaniecardThe first name my fingers seem compelled to type in the wake of  Louisville’s latest ACC road W, 91-83 over Virginia Tech, is neither Damion Lee nor Trey Lewis, the Cardinal done&ones who led the way.

The name is Ken Pomeroy. (Not to worry, I’ll get to the Cardinal stars in a bit.)

Pomeroy is the hoops computer geek whom I and other scribes locally and nationally are referencing this season with increasing frequency. He’s risen to guru status.

We adore him around here, because he’s valued the Cardinals higher all season than the humans who actually watch games and vote in polls. Pomeroy considers many variables, way too many for me to understand them all.

What I do know is they add up to #3 national ranking for U of L, behind Oklahoma and Iowa. Though the Cards’s defensive efficiency ranking has slipped from #1 to #5, its offensive ranking has been steadily improving in league play, and is now 21st best in the land.

Anyway, my point. Yesterday I dug deep into Pomeroy’s subscriber site for explanations of his many stats. Most, I frankly didn’t understand.

What struck me though was this admission. He acknowledges that his system is slightly biased in favor of teams with weaker schedules. U of L’s overall schedule is the 144th toughest in the country, but its non-conference slate was ranked #301. Which is perhaps a reason why his computers so admire Louisville. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia Tech

Hoopaholics Gazette: Talking Meltdowns on Monday

b-ballSeedy K, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Well, uh, yes, I suppose I do.

So, I’m Seedy K, and I’m a hoopaholic.

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Just the other week, I recanted some dismissals from last year, in which I’d railed against Andy Enfield, who’d leapfrogged from a no-name school in Florida to Southern Cal, based on two games in the Dance. And I chronicled how he was something like 5-31 in his first two PAC12 campaigns. But acknowledged recently how he had turned it around this season, and, as of that writing, had his team perched atop the league standings.

So, I sheepishly mentioned my knee jerk reaction to his early setbacks, and heraleded the uptick.

So, now I want to recant my recantation, even though the Trojans are still seemingly in the hunt at 15-5 (4-3).  Enfield’s team went ofer Oregon over the weekend, regurgitating a 16 point second half advantage in the L to the Beavers. Which was a repeat meltdown. Just weeks ago, the coughed up a 22 point 2d half lead, losing to UDub.

 * * * * *

Aaaaannnnnnd . . . it was about the same time I was lovin’ on the Trojans that I lauded Bobby Huggs’ West Virginia as the Team Nobody Wants To Play In The Dance. And that may well be so . . . eventually. But a home L last week to Texas seems to have moistened the gunpowder in the Mountaineer’s musket. Though they did hold on against Texas Tech on the road. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette: Talking Meltdowns on Monday

Louisville CardFile: Georgia Tech

joaniecardWelcome to the Spin Zone.

Where there shall be no joking about a certain emerging U of L Cardinal’s ethnicity. No reference to last year’s Triple Crown winner. No analogy to Pyramids in the Paint. No hoops hieroglyphics.

No joking here, unlike The Rick, who, during his post game radio show after the Cardinals gutty 75-71 W over the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech, proved he knows more about the Play Book than the Good Book.

Yo, Coach, it wasn’t the Egyptians forced to wander the desert, but, uh, vice versa. Anyway, that’s another discussion for another time.

Like I said, welcome to the Spin Zone.

Anas Mahmoud, spinning from the right block across the lane for a nifty floating hook shot, southpaw from the Brooklyn side.

Anas Mahmoud, spinning from the left block across the lane for a nifty floating hook with his stronger hand.

Anas Mahmoud, spinning from the right block, feigning a full traverse of the paint, stopping, switching the ball back from his left hand to his right, for a deft little five foot push floater.

Anas Mahmoud, grabbing the eminently loseable tilt by the short and curlies, thus spinning into the hearts of U of L Cardinal fans hither and yon. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Georgia Tech

Louisville CardFile: Florida State

joaniecardUpdated 1/21 at 1:15.

The dunk, ah yes, The Dunk.

Well, ever the contrarian, I shall not start with that moment. Though, rest easy and be patient, I shall get to it soon enough.

After all it has hoopaholics locally and across the B-ball universe ODing. And, should Dickie V have been telecasting U of L’s 84-65 W over Florida State, we may have had the unfortunate pleasure of watching him implode with hyperbole before our very eyes, his viscera blasting through 55 inch Samsungs across the country. (Thankfully he was elsewhere.)

So, yes, more in a bit about Donovan Mitchell’s splendorous slam, and its place in Cardinal lore. But first, I want to talk about my favorite play of his last night.  Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Florida State

Hoopaholics Gazette: Vegas Odds & Conference Slogs

b-ballSo, there is a guy in Vegas, who was more nervous than the real Supreme Commander Sooner Nation David Boren while watching last night’s Big Monday slugfest between the Sooners and Cyclones.

The fellow had plopped down 5 bucks at a betting parlor in Sin City on a 15 game parlay. He was on a 14 game roll, after Ws by the four favorites in the NFL playoffs, San Jose Sharks, and in college hoops, ‘Nova, VCU, Baylor, Florida, Cal Poly, San Diego State, North Dakota State, Creighton and Wisconsin.

Cal Poly? Really?

All he needed was an Oklahoma victory in Hilton, and at 32,600 to 1 odds, he’d have pocketed $163 large.

He didn’t collect, as we know. But his odds of collecting were actually shorter than those for any suckers who might be foolishly wagering that Rick Pitino will be the next coach at UNLV.

This is a rumor, the half life of which has probably already expired. If not, it shall soon enough.

After Wednesday night’s snow game against Florida State, The Rick and his squad will brave the upcoming winter storm for trips to Atlanta and bucolic, not very accessible Blacksburg, Va. Both on network TV.

If you think RP, looming scandal and all, is going to trade in his bespoke Brioni wardrobe for Patagonia layers, his primetime games on The World Wide Leader and that itinerary for trips to Logan and Colorado Springs for February Mountain West matchups, I got a $1000 raffle ticket for you, winner shares dinner at a Porcini’s table with Pitino, his bride Joanne, Andre McGee, Karen Sypher and Katina Powell. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette: Vegas Odds & Conference Slogs

Louisville CardFile: Pittsburgh

joaniecardJust how justifiably pleased was the often prickly Rick Pitino after the focused Louisville Cardinals 59-41 Big East-ish beatdown of rival Pitt?

Well, during his meeting with the media, he shared some personal info, which is an alien concept for him, contrary to his default MO. He shared that he never eats on game days, such is his nervousness, but had chosen to do so Thursday, due to the late tip. And that he had to take his leave for a moment during a break in the action mid-game for a bit of personal purging.

Said he’d eaten a taste of turkey. No bread. Apparently it wasn’t bland enough.

But, a more telling expression of his pleasure at the Cards’ performance came during his radio interview with Bob Valvano. During which, he further extrapolated on his gastrointestinal discomfort, and the reasons therefor. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Pittsburgh

Hoopaholics Gazette (& A Smidge of Pigskin)

b-ballLet’s just get the Roll Tide thing out of the way, and I’ll move on to what really matters: hoops.

Face it, Nick Saban is probably the best college coach ever.

He’s got the most resources. Something like 40 or more on his staff. A budget bigger than 45 member countries of the UN.

The fiercest fan base. Somewhere today Harvey Updyke is wearing houndstooth, smiling and crowing.

The most talent. How about the play that rookie CB made, when Deshaun Watson dropped a dime to a teammate in the corner of the endzone, only to have the ball pulled from his mitts as he tumbled to the turf? Among, like, many others.

Which means Saban’s a great recruiter, and hires great recruiters. His special teams are loaded with **** and *****.

His teams are fundamentally sound.

Etc, etc, etc.

Last night’s game, between two relatively even teams, both playing at the highest level, turned on one play. A Special Team play. The onside kick. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette (& A Smidge of Pigskin)