As the sports coverage and gameday commentary wore on into the evening it occurred to me that the Cardinals may have done themselves an enormous favor, (inadvertantly) by mailing in the first 17 minutes of the second half. Pitino's silver lining was that the team was tested down the stretch, that they were able to win and yet still learn the lesson that building a lead and coasting is very dangerous and not worth the lack of effort.
Certainly it is unwise to argue with coach, and I won't here, but I can supplement that silver lining. Had we continued with the rout, won the second half battle and defeated WVU by 25, 30, 35 points, the talking heads would have been unable to stop themselves from proclaiming the cards the nation's hottest team, the team to beat. Instead the cards' "collapse" gave the crew another reason to question the team's toughness. The turnovers gave them an easy out to turn their adoring gaze toward UConn. What I'm saying is that the last thing the Cards need is to be favored in public opinion over a no. 1 team (favored by the books is a different matter I think, since oddsmakers don't give a rat's snizz what Bilas thinks). It is the collective voice of the doubting media that will echo in the cards' heads as they prep for Monday night's matchup. Pitino is given yet another coaching tool, another talking point in his motivational message to the boys.
I'm not saying that had we throttled the 'eers we'd take UConn for granted, and I'm not saying this close call will give UofL everything it needs to win, I just think we have tilted the emotional needle in the right direction. As a team that always plays better from the underdog position the last thing we need is for our guys to read a bunch of great press.
>>The emergence of Jennings looms over the rest of the Big East. Maybe it's just me, but he looked better in 9 minutes than Sam Sam has looked all year. And Sam Sam hasn't looked bad. TJ's progression has been exponential, if it continues at this pace he'll look like Barkley by March. The combo of TJ and Sam gives us an awful lot of fouls to throw at the Thabeets, Blairs, Harangodys and Hansbroughs of the world.
>>God bless JSmith, if he comes out of his slump even Digger won't be able to pick against the cards.
>>My daughter is now 9-0 in her cards shirt, applesauce and all.
>>I'm not necessarily expecting us to win Monday, might be better in the long run if we don't. But if we do win I think we should start the next week as the no. 2 team in the country. If OU loses we can make that no. 1. No. 1. Wow.
What do you think?
Is it better for us if we lose to UConn and stay ever-so-slightly off the radar?
How many losses can we take and get a 1 seed?
How badass will you feel if we DO get a 1 seed?
Is there any chance Digger Phelps doesn't watch mexican soap operas?