It was more than poetic that on the first day of spring, snow fell.
And so did the Cardinals for the final time this year.
To lay to rest a dissatisfying season that shall be hard to forget though the oh so many adoring fans who showered their appreciation at the Yum! in the last week will wish they could.
The denouement was appropriate.
The moment was allegorical.
With 2:16 to play in the 3d, U of L was down 36-51.
The faithful in the stands, all evidence of the inevitability of the outcome notwithstanding, still believed.
They stood hollering, imploring the Cardinals on.
The visitors’ Xavian Stapleton missed a short jumper.
Neither side could snare the carom as it pinballed through several sets of hands, ending up on the floor.
Where it was surrounded by four Cardinals.
The Louisville guys, each thinking one of the others would secure possession, turned and headed up court for a breakout.
State’s Abdul Ado grabbed the rock and, unimpeded, flushed it.
The game in microcosm.
The season in a nutshell.
* * * * *
It is axiomatic within the limits of this glorious passion we reside called Hoopsylvania that securing a ticket to the Big Dance, where there’s always hope for that Cinderella moment, is the Holy Grail.
But for this band of Cardinals suffering unprecedented, odd and trying circumstances, for this program, reeling and facing an uncertain future, the NIT seemed a fitting opportunity.
Though the thud of last night’s defeat resonates short term, there was a reaffirmation of one important, oft forgotten reality that bodes eternal in this community.
There is a spirit force of Cardinal fans, whose loyalty is embedded in the helix of their DNA. Give these multitudes an opportunity, and they shall be a sixth man on the court.
These beleaguered Cardinals, these kids who never seemed to shake the daze that descended with lightning and thunder directly before the season, learned in the end, they were/are/shall forever be loved.
Flawed, inconsistent, exasperating, they remain an important segment of the continuum of University of Louisville Cardinal basketball , the link from past glorious eras to the next, from Jack Coleman and Ish Combs to Charlie Tyra and Phil Rollins to Wes Unseld and Butch Beard to Junior Bridgeman and Allen Murphy to Darrell Griffith and the McCray brothers to Billy Thompson and Pervis Ellison to Luke Hancock and Peyton Siva to Q and Ray.
Cardinal hoops abides.
May this imperfect, improbable season rest in peace.
— Seedy K
5 thoughts on “U of L Men’s Basketball Season Now Rests in Peace”
Turn the page.
Now we turn the page to who will be here for the immediate and near future. I am not sure if I prefer that VJ or Deng return, even if they want to come back. They are not bad kids, but my frustration with their play may have reached the point of no return.
Of course we lose Q and Anas and most likely Ray who is far and away our best player. We should return Mc$$$; Perry, Enoch and maybe Nwora, and Thomas. Seems that Williams is set on leaving.
What we have is lots of playing time, passionate fans and maybe (hopefully) a hot new hire that can galvanize some recruits and respark the program. In basketball, a couple of good players go along way to rebuilding.
It looked bad when Denny was forced out, but we rebounded well—of course, we didn’t have the stench of sanctions and vacated titles then either. (And assuredly we do not rebound well now.)
We need an unexpected shot in the arm—Romeo anyone?
Ray reminded me of Rick Wilson, local kid trying to play beyond himself with a bunch of B players. Wish both could have played on any of our better squads. Loved the NIT energy and hope many will return next hear when the monied take a hike…should be a fire sale for decent seats.
When Chris Mack is named a new era will begin and it is my thought that the base will hop on board. This guy has been doing more with less for eight years. Not referencing you Jim Mc, but I am wondering if all our “fans” who have been bemoaning empty seats next year are even season ticket holders at all. The real fans showed up during the NIT.
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