At the 11:54 media timeout of the opening half, the Louisville Cardinals had not scored for 5:45, missed their last eight field goal attempts, had given up an 0-5 run to Kentucky, and were behind 6-9.
But something eerily telling about the game’s outcome had already become evident.
The Wildcats had committed 6 fouls. Louisville would be in the bonus the rest of the half.
Because I am a diehard Cardinal fan as well as a conscientious reporter of the action, along with copious game notes on a legal pad, I also jot down in all caps along the margin, admonitions and exhortations.
Here’s what I wrote at the early juncture of the rivalry tussle: “MAKE FTS WIN GAME.”
In my mind, I was invoking a personal spirit force I call the Two Arts. That would be Arthur Kaplan, my father who introduced me to Cardinal hoops, and with whom I sat at games for the last 11 years of his life. And Art Zubrod, who had the seats right behind us in Freedom Hall.
They were obsessive about the importance of accepting the charity of freebies.
“Make the first one” still rings in my ears whenever a Cardinal steps to the stripe.
And so, sigh, it came to pass. Or, actually, didn’t.
Though it is a somewhat simplistic breakdown of how UK’s 78-70 win evolved — there were obviously other factors including the Wildcats tougher play and execution during critical moments — had U of L made its free throws, it would have won the game. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Kentucky