If Louisville is going to win the last major Big East event it ever takes part in, it's going to have to do it the hard way.
The Cardinal Nine saw their 16-game winning streak snapped in stunning fashion on Wednesday night, falling to No. 8 seed Connecticut 3-2 in the first round of the Big East Tournament in a game which lasted 12 innings. It's the first time since 2008 that a top seed has lost its opening game in the tournament.
The star of the evening for the Huskies was starting pitcher Carson Cross, who surrendered two Cardinal runs in the first inning, but was sensational the rest of the way. He pitched into the tenth inning and gave up just seven hits and no walks while striking out three.
Adding insult to injury for Louisville was the fact that the Cardinals were forced to use starting pitchers Kyle Funkhouser (4.2 innings) and Dace Kime (3.2 innings), as well as closer Nick Burdi (2.1 innings). It'll be a tall task for the pitching staff from here on out, as U of L would have to win five straight games over four days to claim the championship.
On the bright side, let's keep in mind that the last loss for both the basketball and football teams also came in overtime (extra innings)...so...there's that.
The Cards will face the loser of tonight's Rutgers/South Florida tilt in an elimination game tomorrow night at 5 p.m.