To help combat March Sadness, this is the fourth of a series of recaps of significant games in Cardinal history, contemporaneously rewatched, said freshly minted posts to be presented as if the games were played the night before. — c d k
It is at this juncture, with the 2013 Louisville Cardinals one victory over Michigan away from the school’s third national crown, that I feel compelled to offer a mea culpa.
And an apology to the star of the 72-68 national semi W over tough Wichita State. I am deeply sorry for my early season negativitude about him that somehow may have adversely been detrimental to Luke Hancock. My bad. Obviously.
I am thinking of Rick Pitino’s comments during Hancock’s sit out year after transferring from George Mason. The Rick has been known to hyperbolize on occasion.
“Best player on the team.”
“Smartest player on the team.”
Then he named Hancock a captain before he’d even donned a Cardinal uni in the Yum!.
Then LH started playing. And started clanking treys off the side of the backboard, dribbling to the hoop like he’s got the lumbago, and I’m wondering what the hell the big deal is, while screaming to myself, “Put in Blackshear for heavens’ sake.”
Of course, The Rick was absolutely right, while I was so very very wrong. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Wichita State
To help combat March Sadness, this is the third of a series of recaps of significant games in Cardinal history, contemporaneously rewatched, said freshly minted posts to be presented as if the games were played the night before. — c d k
“Meet me in St. Louis, Louis/ Meet me at the fair”
I mean, really, how about that?
For the first time since winning their second crown in ’86, and the first time in the Rick Pitino era, the University of Louisville Cardinals will be among the last four standing at the fair that is the Final Four in St. Louis.
It took some truly serious Cardinal duende to accomplish the task against John Beilein’s upstart, red hot West Virginia Mountaineer contingent.
Before Taquan Dean couldn’t get squared on that last second baseline jumper that would have won it in regulation, the Louisville Cardinals scored on — count ’em — nine straight possessions. Even with that, the Cards needed an extra five to close the deal, completing a comeback as lovely as any ever.
Outscoring They Who Shall Ever Be Known As The Pittsnoggles 16-8 in OT for the 93-85 Elite Eight conquest doesn’t come close to revealing just what the Cards needed to do to secure this victory.
Because, with 2:45 left in the 1st, Louisville was down, uh, 20, at 18-38. Continue reading Seedy K’s GameCap: West Virginia
To help combat March Sadness, this is the second of series of recaps of significant games in Cardinal history, contemporaneously rewatched, said freshly minted posts to be presented in the coming weeks as if the games were played the night before. — c d k
Four days short of three years to the date, I’ve got an answer for you, Wayne Duke.
“Absolutely. The Cards most certainly are now.”
Checking out of our hotel in Indy that magical morning after the Cards conquered UCLA for the ’80 NCAA title, my gang was bantering with the Big Ten commissioner.
“Sure, you’re #1 in the country,” he kidded with an understanding of the lay of the land in the Dark and Bloody Ground of the Commonwealth, “but will you be #1 when you get back home in Kentucky?”
“Well, Wayne, there’s no question today.”
In a packed, intense and loud Stokely Athletic Center yesterday in Knoxville, the Louisville Cardinals, second fiddle in the minds of Big Blue fans for decades, heck forever, moved the b-ball capitol of the commonwealth 75 miles west from the Lexington to Louisville. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Kentucky
When I was a kid I made up a basketball game played with dice.
I’d play out the games, while announcing them. During the LIT, I’d hand print out the bracket and play out the whole tourney. Somehow the Atherton Rebels, where my brother was, and I’d knew I’d attend years later, somehow would more often than not get a friendly roll of the dice.
That precious memory came to me, when I learned what a couple of twenty somethings — Joshua Safran and Jackson Weimer — are doing. They’re going to play out the entire NCAA tournament, on a now extinct video game, March Madness 2010, using an XBbx 360, and stream it over the net on the Twitch Channel of ebaumsworld.com.
They started with a Selection Sunday show for “Corona Madness,” which they produced in Weimer’s basement.
It’s just damn charming, the kind of thing I used to do. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Perfect Tourney Replacement & Coachspeak
To help combat March Sadness, this is the first of series of recaps of significant games in Cardinal history, contemporaneously rewatched, said freshly minted posts to be presented in the coming weeks as if the games were played the night before. — c d k
U of L’s national title battle with UCLA knotted tight at 54, Darrell Griffith’s signature moment finally arrived Monday night, with 2:21 remaining on the game clock at Market Square Arena.
The moment the City of Louisville has been waiting and hoping for since rumors started circulating just short of a decade ago, about a couple of young teen phenoms at DuValle Junior High.
The moment Cardinal fans have been waiting for since Grif and his runnin’ partner Bobby Turner committed to play for U of L, and this year’s Tournament MVP promised the city a national title.
The moment Darrell Griffith willed to existence through talent and his hard work, especially last summer in sweatbox Crawford Gym, dribbling through traffic cones, and hoisting thousands of jumpshots, to overcome the embarrassment of sitting most of crunch time of the Cards disappointing NCAA elimination last season against Arkansas.
With 5:57 to go, Griffith had kept the Cards within reach, after a 6-0 Bruin run, converting a +1 on an oop from Wiley Brown to pull within 48-50. But the Cards nemesis in their previous two final weekend visits under Denny Crum sandwiched a couple Mike Sanders FTs and a KiKi Vandeweghe layup around a DG jumper to lead 54-50 at the 4:32 mark.
The Bruins did not score again. Continue reading Seedy K’s GameCap: UCLA
On Tuesday night, when life was significantly different than it is this Friday morning, I reached out to Doc, Smart Guy and Mr. Bunny, fellow founding members of the Peck Hickman Chapter of Hoopaholic’s Anonymous.
North Carolina was continuing its resurgence toward a return to Tar Heel lofty standards, by whipping up on Virginia Tech. Which victory would mean a date the next evening with Syracuse, whom I was sure they’d beat and then meet the Cardinals.
I shared my thoughts with Doc first, as I had in the immediate aftermath of the Cardinals loss to Virginia, which game we’d watched together. I feared the Cards would not win another game this campaign, fall to Carolina in the ACC quarters. My negativitude spiking, I expressed another fear that the Cards would be a 4 or 5 seed, and would lose to somebody like Vermont in their opening game of the Dance.
After NC’s W, I then communicated with the other duo of hoopaholics, and expressed my feelings about Louisville’s ACC opener.
I used the same verbiage with all, “Never have I been as sure of the outcome of an upcoming Cardinal game, that I am that they will fall to Carolina on Thursday.”
(Save your brickbats about my negativitude. I was just trying to ensure a Cards’ W. Besides we’ve got more serious things to deal with.)
If only the game had come to pass. Continue reading Hoops in the Time of Corona: A Hoopaholic’s Lament
Bucknell, Boston U, Colgate — Oh how I love watching you ball when a trip to the Dance is on the line.
But, I gotta start with some quotes.
Including my perennial favorite from Bill Raftery, who years ago was asked what it was like prepping for the NCAA tourney when he was coaching Seton Hall.
“I don’t know. We never made it to the tournament.”
Insert Buddy Rich rim shot here.
Along the same lines, Seth Greenburg offered his own personal take on his experiences with Selection Sunday, during a halftime interlude recently.
“48 times my teams were on the bubble. 48 times we were left out of the bracket.”
Buddy, hit it one more once.
OK, this back and forth on PTI between Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon doesn’t have anything to do with the bubble or Selection Sunday at all, but it should bring a smile to Louisville Cardinal fans everywhere.
Talking about a certain ability of Denver Nugget pivot Nikola Jokić, the conversation went like this.
MW: “Jokić is the best passing big man since . . .”
TK: “. . . Wes Unseld.”
MW: “Wes Unseld, the best passing big man of all time.” Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: It’s Championship Week
U of L fell to feisty Virginia in the regular season finale, 57-54.
After a sketchy start in Charlottesville, the Cardinals got a hum going soon enough, fashioning a 14-2 run to take charge of the affair. It featured a couple ICBMs from Jordan Nwora and another from Ryan McMahon.
Also to be noted: During the skein, U of L starting center, still injured Malik Williams had entered the fray.
But it was not to be his Willis Reed moment. Out of character gaffes on consecutive offensive possessions and a noticeable limp when trying to run the court indicated he wasn’t really ready.
Yet, at the 10:37 media stoppage, the Cards had doubled up the Cavaliers at 16-8, and were, well, lookin’ good, and up to the considerable task of winning in the JPJ.
Then, after Nwora found Steven Enoch on a high/low set for a slam and a 20-13 advantage, the game turned. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia
Until the 15:36 mark of the 2d of an eventual sixteen point W over hapless Virginia Tech, the University of Louisville Cardinals played like they were Harrison Bergeron.
Except Jordan Nwora, who was energized and played completely throughout.
Bergeron was the main character of a Kurt Vonnegut short story set in 2081, when amendments to the US Constitution have dictated that everybody be fully equal. Thus those that are athletically gifted are forced to wear heavy weights to impede any physical or talent advantages.
And that’s how U of L was playing, against a school the Cards had bested 15 times in a row, and 26 of the last 28. (The 14-16, ’90-’91 squad dropped those two.) Also, the Hokies, with no starter over 6-7, arrived at the Yum! having dropped 8 of 9 in the current campaign.
Yet the score was knotted at 27 at the break. The Cards were playing as if there were weights around their ankles, road blocks preventing stops, and straps preventing full extension on their shots. You know, like the characters in “Harrison Bergeron.” Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia Tech
Penultimacy has arrived, my fellow hoopaholics.
Can I get an Amen?
If April is the cruellest month, mixing Memory and desire (as well as breeding lilacs out of dead land), it is when three of Four shall exit the Big Peach empty handed and there shall be but One standing alone midst the bewildering detritus of the most cockamamie basketball season in memory.
Ah, but March, blessed March, it is upon us, this the most glorious 31 days of the annum, when hoop hopes spring eternal. And there are enough tilts of consequence to sate even the most addicted among us.
Polish your talismans, pull your mojos from safekeeping, set out your lucky socks.
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Here is just how over under sideways down this college b-ball campaign has turned out. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: The March to Atlanta