I tend to dislike
Bozo Bozich as much as the next guy b/c I feel like he lets his UK bias get in the way sometimes, but I appreciate his point in one of his recent WDRB pieces:
This is Louisville's eighth season in the Big East. How many times have the Cards lost three straight conference games?
Twice – in January 2010 to Villanova, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall; and again in January 2006 to Pittsburgh, St. John's and Connecticut.
The Cards lost back-to-back games in the league twice last season, but their losing streak never reached three.
After playing the Hoyas, Louisville returns home for Pittsburgh Monday night. Eric Crawford and Pat Doney are scheduled to be in Washington D.C. Saturday and will have complete coverage on WDRB 41 during the 10 p.m. news as well as at WDRB.com.
How many times has U of L lost four straight Big East games?
Even in our 2005-06 NIT season (after the '05 Final Four) we managed to keep the losing streak down to 3 at the most.
I'm beginning to worry that if we lose to Pitt on Monday this team might be too far over the edge psyche-wise to pull out of the current tailspin.
This would be historic for Pitino teams at Louisville and though I normally appreciate the optimism from some of my fellow Cards fans, I really don't feel that comforted by those saying "this happens every year with Pitino" and "you haven't been following UofL in previous years if you didn't expect something like this" and "we are a March team" etc.
I don't think we are in a "must-win" position from a NCAA tourney resume point-of-view, but I do believe we are there from a "team psyche" point of view. And according to Rick Pitino (via Eric Crawford) he agrees (at least the "must-win" part):
Pitino also called the upcoming home game against Pittsburgh a "must" win.
Pitt is currently ranked 50 by realtime rpi, 6 by KenPom and they have blow out wins @Georgetown 73-45 and @Nova 58-43. They lost at home to Marquette in OT and against Cinci by 9 and somehow @Rutgers by 5 (after their cinci loss -- maybe a product of the hard fought close loss at home similar to UofL vCuse and @Nova).
I haven't seen them play this season, but per ESPN, they are 4th in Div1 for Assists per game and 11th in Div1 for FG% at 49.2%.
I feel like we usually play well against Pitt (opposite of G'town) but they are an awfully powerful offensive club and with their high assists it would seem playing solid team defense will be a necessity in stopping them.
Hopefully we can figure out what ails us and "stoo" the current slide we are on. Go Cards, hope y'all glass-half-full guys have a better outlook on this game than I do.