This one is going to sting until at least Saturday.
It's easy to say that we lost on the road to a hot team and move on, but our next game will be played in February, meaning missed opportunities like this one are becoming more and more crucial.
Still, if Juan Palacios pushes the game's final shot just a touch harder, it banks in and we're all laughing about his decision to step back and go for the game-winner, and the dozens of problems with the team that are being thrown around right now suddenly don't exist.
Basketball is a strange, strange game.
Not calling a timeout in a last-second situation has always been Rick Pitino's style, and I suppose we can't criticize it now if we didn't after last year's Big East Tournament game against West Virginia, or any of the buzzer beaters in Milwaukee. But what we can criticize is Pitino's increasingly inexplicable preference of Will Scott over Preston Knowles. I'm not saying that the kid should see 15-20 minutes a game, but when Jerry Smith needs a breather it simply has got to be Knowles who takes his place.
This was without a doubt the best overall performance Edgar Sosa has given this season. With the exception of a 30-second stretch where Bad Edgar had his shot blocked by Hasheem Thabeet, failed to give the ball up on a 2-on-1 break, and then missed two free-throws, this was the point guard that can make us the best team possible. He made the extra pass, created shots by getting into the lane, and took shots when they were there for the taking. It was a very encouraging night in this respect.
Despite Sosa's surprisingly positive performance, this team is going to struggle to beat anyone of any merit when both Terrence Williams and Earl Clark play poorly, and they did not play well on Monday night. The two combined to go 4-of-18 from the field and 2-for-11 from the three, but more disappointing than that was the fact that they each pulled down only two rebounds and that the younger of the two went through extended stretches where he appeared lethargic on the defensive end. I understand that Uconn is going to limit ordinarily productive glass-eaters, but just two boards from either of these guys against anyone is unacceptable.
I thought the biggest moment in the game was the no-call when A.J. Price shoved Knowles off in order to make a press-breaking pass, and Hasheem Thabeet ended the sequence with a dunk to make the score 67-63. It was an absolute momentum killer, but you can't say it cost Louisville the game when the Cards missed three free-throws in the last two minutes and ultimately lost by a bucket. Perhaps someone ought to find the number of that free-throw expert that Calhoun brought in after last season.
This is a very tough loss to swallow, but dwelling on the past is the kiss of death in this league, and all of the sudden Saturday's game doesn't look like nearly the gimmie it did ten days ago.