It was not a good night for the Louisville Cardinals.
On the court. And, for fans watching.
That’s to say it somewhat gently.
At the 7:17 media timeout of the opening half of Louisville’s dispirited loss to Miami, the Cards were already in the hole at 12-19. I flipped over to see how Lamar Jackson and his Ravens were doing in Buffalo.
At which moment, reliable Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker doinked a FG attempt off a goal post.
At the first stoppage of the 2d, when Louisville’s disadvantage had increased to -9, I again checked on the NFL game.
At which point, reliable Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker doinked another FG attempt off the left goal post.
Later, the Cardinal hoopster’s fate sealed in a 72-78 setback in the eery quietude of a Coral Gables gym, I settled in to cheer on the former Heisman winner and his mates.
Only to see Jackson hurl a 101 yard pick six. Followed by the scary site of viewing him on his back on the endzone tundra, then being walked to the locker room, not to return.
It was not easy to fall asleep.
It was not easy to stay asleep.
* * * * *
Louisville’s play in the opening twenty was, choose your descriptor:
And, that’s just the As.
Some of them, anyway. Abominable and/or atrocious would also be apt.
Chris Mack adjectified his team’s performance as “sickening.”
Being somewhat more analytical, he also called his troops, “completely undisciplined.”
There is no reason to discuss any details from the first half.
It was the worst performance by a Cardinal team in memory. Yes, way worse than in Madison. At least that was against a legit, mature B10 team with all its parts.
Jim Larranaga’s Canes were duct taped together like a Tuesday night at the Y, when your opponent grabs a guy shooting hoops at a side basket because they’re a man short, when he’s forced to go to his sister-in-law’s birthday party. And it turns out the pickup dude’s a baller, used to play at Fern Creek, and starts netting treys from out on 2d Street.
At the break, Miami 33, Louisville 21.
* * * * *
Here’s how futile the 2d stanza was, when the Cardinals played marginally better.
At least on offense.
After giving up a Hurricane 3 on the first possession, to fall behind 15, the Louisville Cardinals scored on their first eleven possessions after intermission.
First eleven times with the ball.
Yet still trailed, 44-48.
Riddle me that, Batman?
“No riddle, Seedy. You got to play defense.”
The Cards pulled within a deuce at 46-48, but immediately gave up a three to fall behind by five.
The not-to-be-denied Hurricanes held their visitors at bay. U of L never had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead the rest of the night.
After intermission, Louisville hit 17/32, drained 3/10 from Treyville, made 14 of 16 FTs. In the 2d, the Cardinals outscored the victors by 12 in the paint, by 9 on second chances, by 8 after turnovers, giving up none, and surrendered no points on fastbreaks, while scoring ten themselves.
And, still lost because . . . no riddle . . .
. . . you got to play defense.
* * * * *
A word about Isaiah Wong, Miami’s sophomore from Piscataway, who was able to do whatever he wanted.
Literally, not figuratively.
30 points. 12/20 from the field, 3/5 from South Beach. (Which is a long way from Coral Gables.) 3/5 at the line. 7 rebounds. 6 assists.
Would somebody check that guy. Please!??!!!.
I was reminded of the performance by Cincy’s Roger McClendon, during the Cards ’86 title campaign. Bearcats prevailed in an upset at Freedom Hall, 84-82.
McClendon was en fuego 35, 24 coming in the 2d.
21 of Wong’s total came after the break.
* * * * *
That’s all I got.
Significantly better than Miami, Florida State visits the Yum! Monday night.
Fresh off a seven point victory over the Tar Heels.
It the Cardinals don’t tighten up, it could get U.G.L.Y..
— c d kaplan