It feels like about 15 minutes since Dante Cunningham and Reggie Redding's potential game-winners touched each and every part of the rim, but in just mere hours the Louisville basketball team will again be taking the floor against a highly ranked and regarded league foe.
With an enormous road win still so fresh in mind and with a likely home game against the undefeated No. 1 team in the country next on the docket, it's possible for some to underrate the significance of tonight's game. Tonight isn't just huge because Notre Dame is ranked 13th or because another win would have team confidence sky-high heading into Saturday's game with Pitt, it's huge because on Feb. 12 these two teams will be meeting again in the Joyce Center, and the Irish lose there as often as Preston Knowles takes a defensive possession off.
While nothing can ever be taken for granted in this conference, the prevailing logic is that if the Cards can't get the Dame tonight, they're not going to be able to get them a month from now either. That's two losses to one team, an especially massive blow when you have six other games against top 15 teams on your schedule.
Don't let anyone tell you that tonight isn't big. I'm going to be saying this for all but like three of the games we have left this season, so you might as well just go ahead and become friends with it.