DENVER, CO - MARCH 17: Preston Knowles #2 of the Louisville Cardinals reacts after coming out of the game because of an injury while playing against the Morehead State Eagles during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Game over. Tournament over. Season over. And...Preston Knowles' career over.
It hurts. No matter when and where this ride ended, we knew it would, to some degree. But not this bad. A roster of talent with so little fanfare and yet so much personality. The comebacks, the technical fouls and everything else CardsFan922 chronicled yesterday.
But why did it have to end this way? Not to punchline Morehead State. Not in the first tournament game. Not with Preston robbed from his last minutes as a Cardinal due to injury.
Watching Knowles parked on the Louisville bench after the game, stuck in a foggy, near-catatonic state, my heart started to break. At no point in his four-year career did he give less than 100% and there sat Preston, helpless, having just witnessed his team falter down the stretch, trying to figure out the same question we are all asking ourselves: Why?