Hoopaholics Gazette: Memphis State folds, Blue Demons roll & a Pop Quiz

Welcome back for more subjective sometimes pissy ruminations and pontifications about the glorious world of college hoops.

But first, my fellow hoopaholics, a pop quiz. #2 pencils and ruled paper out. Ready?

What happened in the last week for the first time in college basketball since January, 1993?

Clock is ticking. No going to the Google for the answer.

OK, time’s up.

What happened in January 25 of ’93 is that unranked Long Beach State upset AP #1 ranked Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse.

The next such occurrence of such an unusual event, as if you hadn’t already heard, came when Evansville’s Purple Aces upended the Kentucky Wildcats in Rupp Arena. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette: Memphis State folds, Blue Demons roll & a Pop Quiz

Louisville CardFile: North Carolina Central

I, for one, will be so glad when this spate of exhibition tilts has run its course.

Even a bit of honest to Betsy research did not fully reveal the alleged raison d’etre of such as the Global Sports Shootout, in which the U of L Cardinals are now immersed.

Other than in 2019, this fiction of sorts allows the University of Louisville to a) Play four games against easily beatable foes but they only count as one against NCAA schedule limitations, and b) They can add those games to season ticket packages and increase revenue.

If anybody is aware of any other purpose(s), please advise.

What these exhis bring about is lots of empty seats. The ones with butts in them are filled with fans justifiably more interested in the new chicken sandwich stand in the concourse than the game. Which lack of energy often leads to flat play on the court. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: North Carolina Central

Louisville CardFile: North Carolina State

The set up was too perfect — Edward Bulwer-Lytton style — and the denouement too off the charts sublime.

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional interludes when it was checked by a violent gust of wind . . .

The improbably resourceful, surprisingly successful, fitfully resurgent University of Louisville Cardinals took the field at Carter-Finley Stadium hoping to fulfill a goal that was, let’s be frank, a pipe dream just months ago.

Bowl eligibility.

Other events of the day made a victory Saturday night in the Tobacco Road bluster even more imperative. The Cardinals final two opponents, the other impediments between them and six victories, appeared more formidable than when the day began.

Syracuse 49, Duke 6. Kentucky 38, Vanderbilt  14.

Take care of biz now, lessen the pressure of the final battles to come.

So, how do the Cardinals start?

Well, as if they want to make sure everybody watching understands, “Hey we’re the same guys who were here last year.” Continue reading Louisville CardFile: North Carolina State

Louisville CardFile: Indiana State

Hop in the Way Back Machine with me for a second, I want to show you something from back when.

Alright, actually just a short trip to last Sunday, to remind you how the Cards started against Youngstown State.

See how Louisville turned it over on the first possession after getting the tip.

Then the Cardinals scored on their next 11 possessions, draining their first 11 shots from the field.

So, here’s how Wednesday’s 91-62 romp over Indiana State began.

Cards get the tip. Cards throw it away on a similar attempt to pass it into the post on the first possession. Cards fall behind 5-8, then go on a 13-3 run, which featured a Jordan Nwora stepback three, a Dwayne Sutton long bomb on a feed from Nwora, and a Darius Perry trey.

U of L had drained 7/8 from the field for that 18-11 advantage at the first media stoppage. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Indiana State

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week

Looking back at last week’s picks, as is my wont before providing this coming slate’s victors, I must admit, the locals let me down.

Much to my chagrin, the Louisville Cardinals threw in a clunker at Miami.

And the Wildcats, who let me down only because I picked them to prevail which would have increased my winning percentage, did what UK usually has done in my lifetime when battling Tennessee. They tumbled down Rocky Top.

Stupid me for thinking Kentucky would beat even this season’s mediocre Volunteers. Must have been having one of those LSD flashbacks they warned us about back in the day.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut . . .

. . . Underdog Minnesota vanquished Pennsylvania State to remain undefeated in nine.

. . . Underdog LSU glossed up its already snazzy resumé with a W in Tuscaloosa.

. . . Mediocre Texas survived K State, which had recently toppled Boomer Sooner.

As predicticated right here.

3-2 for the weekend, pushed Seedy the Swami to 36-21 on the campaign.

As the season rounds the turn and heads for the home stretch, here come five Week XII winners:

Indiana @ Pennsylvania State. Part of the well worn shtick here are my annual references about how Hoosier fans always care more about hoops, and how they’re not paying attention to the perennially also running IU football squad. And I’ll normally pick whomever the Sunny Siders are contesting, and usually be correct. Well, something’s happened on the way to tipoff at Assembly Hall. More Crimson & Cream fans are taking note of what’s going down on the field turf at Memorial Stadium. The Hoosiers are 7-2, 4-2 in the B10, albeit not against the scariest of schedules, but way mo’ betta’ than their spate of losing records through the last, oh, decade or so. The Nittany Lions hopes for the Final Four were derailed last weekend in Minneapolis. How will they respond to the disappointment? Has Indiana improved enough to prevail in State College? Not really. But, hey, Archie’s ballers get Troy on Saturday.

Oklahoma @ Baylor. Flavor of the Month Matt Rhule’s Bears are one of the real how they doin’ that? stories of the season. They seem to always fall behind, and, so far, have always come back to snatch another scalp on the totem pole of victory. 9-0 for the season. 6-0 in the B12. It took three OTs to best the middlin’ Horned Frogs, but best them they did. Their Houdini act notwithstanding, doubters remain. Are they good? Or just lucky? Or, I suppose, both? We should, or may find out Saturday when they host the Sooners. Who escaped Iowa State, after the upend to Kansas State. I think the Green might be better than folks believe, worthy of their unblemished record. But feel the visitors shall conquer.

Georgia @ Auburn. Well, look who discovered the mother lode in the latest Selection Committee bracketology. The Georgia Bulldogs, who, that L between the hedges to the Gamecocks notwithstanding, are currently IN. In the fourth spot. Hmmmmmm. But I gotta ask, how many more boneheaded game decisions does Kirby Smart have circulating through the synapses of that brain of his? He sure has a penchant to find and use one at the most inopportune times. Meanwhile Auburn’s two Ls were both competitive Top 10 defeats, one in Gainesville, the other in Baton Rouge. Plus they’ve got the opening weekend W over the Quack. Toomer’s Corner, prepare thyself to be toilet papered.

Kentucky @ Vanderbilt. I hate having to pick this game. It’s only a matter of journalistic ethics — I always consider UK and U of L when they are playing — that prevents me from going to Minnesota @ Iowa or Tulane @ Temple. Hate it. Because the QB-bereft Cats aren’t very good. And Vandy sucks. But the ‘Dores did beat Top 25 Mizzou. Go figure. Last weekend, while the Cats were getting beat yet again by Rocky Top, Vandy laid down at Florida, zed to 56. Because the 4-5 Wildcats want to bowl, and don’t want it to depend on the season closer against arch rival, they have more on the line this weekend. Though I may rue the moment I type this: Big Blue.

Louisville @ North Carolina State. Respected Dave Doren’s Wolfpack had fashioned two 9-4 campaigns in a row coming into this season, when they were expected to be solid again, per guru Phil Steele. But injuries and whatever else might be in play have disrupted all that hope. Their only W in the ACC was by six points over hapless Syracuse, and their four Ls have been by 18, 21, 24 and 25. Louisville is all of a sudden a conundrum. Obviously considerably better under the new regime than last season, but ever wobbly. The nightmarish beatdown they suffered at Miami was like deja vu all over again. Can the Cards revive? Will they do the tighten up on Tobacco Road? In Coach Satt I believe. By dawn on Sunday, Fun is Bowling in this post season will be real for the Cards.

— Seedy K

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: What do we know so far?

So, yeah, this time last year how the season was going to play out was pretty much already settled.

In week one, Duke turned Kentucky over under sideways down in the Champions Classic, and the throne was being assembled atop Mt. Zion, since the Blue Devils were a Brent Musberger Vegas deadbolt lock to capture Coach K’s 114th national crown.

UVa was coming off the biggest upset in the history of sports, the first #1 seed to lose to a #16, and Tony Bennett had secured the sobriquet as the “most nicest most decent guy to never even make it to the Final Four.”

How’s all that turn out?

Which is to underscore, that after Week I of College Hoops ’19-’20, we know nuttin’ honey.

Except this: Hoopaholics everywhere are in that euphoric state of “Basketball is Back.”

So whattaweknow, whataweknow? Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: What do we know so far?

Louisville CardFile: Youngstown State

Coach Chris Mack reacted as good coaches with legit national contenders are wont to do, even after the Cardinals distanced themselves from visiting Youngstown State from the get go in a 78-55 beatdown.

OK, not quite from the absolute beginning, but close enough.

We’ll get to that in a moment. First to Mack’s opening foray.

Before taking questions in his post game presser, he advised that he was more than a little disappointed. Because the Cardinals gave up 19 offensive rebounds, 11 in the opening half. Which board work resulted in an almost unbelievable disparity in 2d chance points.

The Penguins offensive windexing resulted in their tally of 25 after errant shots. Compared to but 4 by the Cards. -21 in 2d chance scores is not a good thing.

What that stat also says to me is this, since the Cards won by 23: The University of Louisville has a legitimate chance of living up to preseason hype. U of L took care of biz in any other  number of ways, such that the statistical anomaly, bothersome as it is, didn’t matter.

 * * * * *

Here comes the first mention of the season of The Professor’s favorite homily.

You look good when you makes shots. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Youngstown State

Louisville CardFile: Miami

I’ve been on a diet for several months now.

Eating healthy foods. In healthy portions. Exercising.

Avoiding that handful of chips, or that “you can have just one cookie.”

I get on the scale first thing every morning.

Slowly, and given that I’m staying the course, inexorably, I’m dropping the avoirdupois.

But there is a strange phenomenon that is unsettling. But must be accepted.

I’ll get on the scale one day and hit a new low. Then, the next day, even though I haven’t jumped the rails in any regard, I’ll weigh a couple of pounds more.

It’s inexplicable. Most vexing. But I haven’t used it as an excuse to head over to Bennie Impellizzeri’s for my favorite pizza.

I accept those “setbacks” as part of the process. I stay the course.

So that’s my perspective when considering Saturday’s horrid performance by the Louisville Cardinals in Hard Rock Stadium. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Miami

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week XI

Bottom line is I should have taken last weekend off. Like the majority of the Top 20.

But no, I stayed the course and suffered for it.

2 Ws. 3 Ls. 33-19 on the year.

Not to worry. I fired my entire staff, and am feeling rejuvenated with fresh input, heading into the most important weekend of the year.

For the first time in college football history, there will be two battles on the same Saturday in which both combatants are 8-0.

And the Louisville Cardinals take their first stab this year at bowl eligibility.

Let’s go. And don’t be telling me how I only choose easy games to predict. Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week XI

Louisville CardFile: Miami

With its way-easier-than-the-final-score-indicated 87-74 evisceration of Miami Monday night in Coral Gables, the Louisville Cardinals ended the Carl Spackler jinx.

So they’ve got that goin’ for them. Which is nice.

Assistant coach Luke Murray’s dad is finally off the schneid. He showed up at several Cardinal games last year, but U of L dropped them all.

To consider last evening’s affair from a golfing perspective, as as a looper like Spackler would, I’d say it was like match play and the Cards were up 9 and 8, but they continued playing and ended 3 up.

OK, enough Caddyshack silliness.

Two men down, with plenty of stuff to still work on, U of L opened the campaign with a decisive conference win on the road. Always a good thing. Even if the foe is as mediocre as Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes.

 * * * * *

So, let’s talk about the Card’s heralded feature attraction, Jordan Nwora. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Miami