Tag Archives: NCAA Tournament

Games That Never Came: U of L vs. Indiana State 3/17/79

Fans, coaches, and athletes of every school, team, franchise, and sport have those “If Only” battles through the years, the ones that never came about. 

This is the third installment  of a here’s-what-never-happened series of indeterminate duration featuring what might have been but never was for various Louisville Cardinal contingents through the decades.

Most always lost in the lament over the extremely disappointing final weeks and eventual meltdown of the ’78-’79 men’s hoops season is the intriguing encounter ahead, had the Cards not lost to Arkansas to end their season.

The Louisville Legend vs. Larry Legend.

Dr. Dunkenstein and mates against The Hick from French Lick and his fella Hoosiers.

The Cardinals would have battled Larry Bird and the undefeated Sycamores of Indiana State, in that school’s first Dance ever, for the opportunity to compete in their fourth Final Four, third of the Denny Crum Era.

But, history books chronicle how that campaign ended with the proverbial whimper, not a bang.

On the morning of February 9, Louisville stood 21-3 after besting Tulane in New Orleans for a 16th W in a row. The Cardinals were ranked #5 in the country by Associated Press. Continue reading Games That Never Came: U of L vs. Indiana State 3/17/79

Games that Never Came: U of L vs. Notre Dame 4/01/18

Fans, coaches, and athletes of every school, team, franchise, and sport have those “If Only” battles through the years, the ones that never came about. 

This here’s-what-never-happened series of indeterminate duration features what might have been but never was for various Louisville Cardinal contingents through the decades.

If you have any suggestions, put them in the Comments section below.

First up, the national championship tilt, Jeff Walz’s women’s basketball squad never played against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2018.

March 30, 2018. Columbus, Ohio.

The U of L Cards suffered a serious setback, down 2, with 2:42 to play in the national semi-final against Mississippi State.

Eye of the Tiger pivot Sam Fuerhing didn’t like a call. She slapped the floor in disgust and frustration. The T was her 5th. DQ.

The Bulldogs converted both charity tosses, for a four point advantage. Continue reading Games that Never Came: U of L vs. Notre Dame 4/01/18

Cardinal Fan Base on the Brink?

Going full PTI on you, let’s play, “What’s the Word?”

The first category from our producer?

“Fans of University of Louisville Men’s Athletics are _______?”

OK, then let’s not beat around the bush, and get immediately to the toughie.

“Unsettled?”

“Perturbed?”

“Frustrated?”

“Gnarly?” (OK, that was just one surfer wannabe I saw wandering through the park with a U of L shirt on.)

“Pissed?”

Let’s just settle on this. Anecdotally from conversations with many longtime faithful I’ve chatted up in the last little while, the word that comes to mind, in addition to all the above, is “Unhappy!”

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I’ve had a couple of very recent conversations in which I’ve heard not very flattering reflections about U of L’s sports administration. Continue reading Cardinal Fan Base on the Brink?

Fate of Card 9 Caps Year to Forget

I remember the screed, the fuel-fired gist of which, subtle as an Oliver Stone movie, was there was no such thing as 12:00 AM or 12:00 PM.

That there was only 12:00 Noon or 12:00 midnight.

The former of which came midday when the sun was high in the sky; the latter in the dark of night, when the date flips and Cinderella’s carriage turns back into a pumpkin.

Except for this Memorial Day. The Louisville Cardinals’ baseball season expired at High Noon, when their name was not among those designated for a regional in the NCAA tournament.

It was a sad but justified end to this seriously disappointing campaign for the U of L 9.

It was a most appropriate finish to this academic year for the three major men’s sports programs. Continue reading Fate of Card 9 Caps Year to Forget

Cards Win Tourney Opener, Work Left to Do

At the point when I had to turn off the telly and head off to meet some pals for a long scheduled lunch, it seemed like that necessity might save me considerable anxiety.

Surprise starter Kaleb Corbett gave up two to Clemson in the top of the 1st. Caden Grice who knocked four homers in the Purple and Orange’s recent weekend sweep of U of L, had yet another long ball.

“Here we go again” was my immediate fear.

U of L got ’em back in the bottom. A Henry Davis fielder’s choice moved Card runners to 2d and 3d. A Lucas Brown sac fly brought one home; an Alex Binelas two-bagger the other.

Then the Tigers got three more in their half of the 2d.

So, it wasn’t all that frustrating to turn off the radio in the Captain’s Quarters parking lot with Louisville down 2-5. Continue reading Cards Win Tourney Opener, Work Left to Do

Destined for Another Season of Discontent?

Thank heavens for Elle’s 5th birthday parade.

Elle is my granddaughter Claire’s bestie.

Elle is a bright but not Cardinal red Teddy Bear.

The proceedings were set for mid Saturday afternoon. My presence was commanded. A joyous order, to be sure.

Except that it coincided with Louisville Cardinals’ regular season closer against the ‘Canes.

Then again, this time around, it came as a blessing. An escape from the escape that is my fealty to Louisville sports.

So, instead of yelling at my TV screen, instead of screaming over Sean Moth’s call on the way to the Saint Matthews Parade Grounds, I was hanging with Claire. Reading a book of hers that resonated for her and me.

And Elle, of course. And Claire’s giggly pals, Gracie and the inquisitive Mattie. Who, as she and her sister ran up, pointed at me, and asked, “Are you the grandfather?”

Then she asked about the scars on my leg. Curiosity is going to take that charming lass a long way.

Oh, the beauty of hangin’ with adolescents to cure the ills of the world. Continue reading Destined for Another Season of Discontent?

Cards Salvage Series, Sweep Two

The U of L Nine’s seriously important weekend series against the dudes from the Land o’ Crash Davis had, shall we say, an inauspicious beginning.

After Friday night Cardinal ace Michael Kirian’s first 7 pitches in front of increased attendance at The Jim, Louisville was down, 0-3.

It was only the beginning of troubles.

Meanwhile Duke hurler Jack Savoy, if not exactly Ebby Calvin LaLoosh after Annie Savoy fixed his mechanics, did go seven, surrendering just 4 hits and a lone run.

After a disastrous weekend at Clemson, where the Cards came away clobbered Dabo-style, they had bounced back Tuesday against the Commodores. Yet Louisville’s necessary midweek W over vaunted Vanderbilt had nary a smidgen of carry over effect.

Cards bats were somnambulant. Continue reading Cards Salvage Series, Sweep Two

Pesky, Persistent Cards fall in Hockey Shootout Semi

Context: My relationship with field hockey was a score of years ago, short-lived, and lasted for only several years.

The prepster-aged daughters of friends played for their schools. I learned the importance of the season-opening Apple Tourney.

My last game watched before yesterday was during that bygone interlude, when a Collegiate Amazon, who lived in my condo building, scored a scintillating, break away goal to win the state championship.

Despite a general lack of expertise and full understanding of the sport, I shall report on U of L’s heartbreaking defeat to Michigan.

Here’s what I do know beyond peradventure, be the hockey on ice, or artificial turf.

You got to put the biscuit in the basket. Continue reading Pesky, Persistent Cards fall in Hockey Shootout Semi

Baylor: Shouldn’t We Have Known All Along?

There is but small comfort knowing I’m among the many erstwhile college hoops scribes, with a delusional belief in the power of our observations of the game we love so much, who misfired. Or, were leery of pulling the trigger.

We woke up this morning with egg on our faces, before even heading into the kitchen to make breakfast.

It’s not that I picked Gonzaga to win the title. I did not. You can go look.

But I certainly did not listen to myself.

If only I’d had the confidence to listen to my convictions, I’d be able to lord my “expertise” over all this morning after.

On Sunday, after the national semis, I wrote this about the eventual champion: “In its semi-final smackdown, Baylor looked, well, let’s be frank here, UN BEAT A BLE.” Continue reading Baylor: Shouldn’t We Have Known All Along?

Hoopaholic’s Countdown to Tipoff

What I still haven’t figured out yet in advance of watching tonight’s to die for Gonzaga vs. Baylor clash for the title is caffeination level.

I have the same conundrum every year on the last Monday of the season.

I’m an early to bed early to rise hoopaholic. The 9:20 tip time is frankly mighty close to when I usually hit the hay. I forget from year to year exactly when I should consume an energy boosting beverage, so that I’ll be alert the whole game, but be able to fall asleep after One Shining Moment?

Do I take one of the several green tea laced drinks in the fridge? A cup of joe? And, more important, how much and at what time?

Decisions, decisions.

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Other than that, I’m wondering just how historical is this matchup between clearly the two finest squads in the land? Teams that were supposed to be the best heading into the season, and remained the best throughout. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Countdown to Tipoff