We're going to have to make this quick because I got about four hours of sleep last night and feel like I've been hit with disappointment from every angle for the past 13 hours. That wears on a person.
I feel more confident about this team right now than I did four hours ago. That's not me just trying to restore confidence or spread good cheer (although it is the season). I was genuinely encouraged by the two hours of basketball I just watched.
As long as Gorgui Dieng's wrist is ok (which, unfortunately, is not a guarantee), this team is every bit the national title contender we believed it was after last night's game.
Peyton made a couple of key turnovers in crunch time, but he also was relentless on defense and shot better this week than he has since his freshman season. Montrezl Harrell was the steal of the class of 2012. Stephan Van Treese made Mason Plumlee work as hard as he will all season, and I'm dead serious. Chane Behanan will snap out of his sophomore funk soon and realize again that what's best for the team is also best for him. Russ is Russ...and that's the greatest compliment I can pay him.
There were at least three different times tonight where I thought Duke was going to pull away to the point where Louisville wouldn't be within shouting distance again. Every single time, the Cards somehow clawed back.
Effort and character are never going to be an issue for this group, and that guarantees that this is going to be a fantastic season.
Now if you need me I'm going to be undergoing that Eternal Sunshine procedure that erases this day from my memory forever.