A pretty big league game for Louisville tips off in a mere three hours, so it's only right that we take this space to talk a little about the last game.
1. U of L will benefit greatly from this game. This was the type of team effort the Cards have to get night in, night out on the defensive end and on the glass if they want to finish in the top half of the Big East. There were dozens of times the Cards could have folded on the road against a much more talented opponent who was as jacked up for them as they will be for any game this year, but they didn't. If the name on the opponent's jersey hadn't been Kentucky, then there would have been far more good to take away from this game than bad.
2. I still really, really don't like the Kentucky basketball program.
All this recent "you can only be hated if you're awesome" talk is maddening. Kentucky basketball is like a male character from Jersey Shore who simply can't get it around his brain (or whatever) that people could hate him for any reason other than jealousy. It couldn't possibly be that you happen to be one of the world's most disgusting tools or that you detract about five times as much as you add to society or the progression of mankind. No, it's because we all want to be you.
If I've heard "Kentucky's back" once over the last eight months, I've heard it 75,000 times. I'm sure you're the same way.
In our minds, that means that UK again has a solid team and will compete for a national championship this season. In the collective mind of Big Blue Nation, it means that Kentucky basketball is once again the driving force behind the United States of America, the dinner topic of every family in North Dakota and the means behind the only thoughts that can ease the minds of crying infants.
You can't convince these people of anything they don't want to believe, so attempting to is pointless. Let them think their blowout (haircut or victory over Georgia) will be studied by young academics 50 years from now and move on.
3. DeMarcus Cousins should have been tossed. The kid's unstable, and he's the biggest potential mass murderer in the history of the rivalry.
4. That said, the referees allowed things to escalate by not T'ing up Bledsoe. You simply can't let a player go off, be taken out of the game because he can't stop going off, and then continue to go off from the sidelines without punishment. At one point, he shouted "you're f---ing dead" at Reggie Delk. I'm aware that calling a technical on a Wildcat eight seconds into a Louisville/Kentucky game at Rupp Arena is asking for a riot, but you simply can't let that slide and expect tensions to die down.
5. I didn't think it was possible, but John Calipari is even more despicable now than he was five days ago. Threatening an opposing player ("Eric's going to kick your ass after the game; wrong guy") is absurd and deplorable at the professional level, but even more so in the amateur game. But he claims Louisville players were trying to get in his guys' heads before the game, so it's cool.
Anything for No. 8.
6. Edgar Sosa tweeted the following after the game:
2 all uofl fans. Put the blame on me, my teammates played their hearts out, I didn't play well today. No excuses. Better play in Big East.
It was not Edgar's best effort - going up against the best college player of the '10s might have had something to do with it - but shouldering the entirety of the blame for the loss isn't fair, even if it is admirable.
7. I seriously thought I threw my shoulder out of place when Sosa's jumper tied it up at 41.
8. Samardo's got to be better. A lot better.
He wasn't the only one who appeared intimidated at times, but he was the only one who appeared to go through stretches without giving maximum effort. The missed lay-ups and failure to secure rebounds is frustrating, but not running the floor or rotating on defense is inexcusable.
Samuels needs to make significant strides or the worry over his psyche won't be enough to keep Terrence Jennings (or whoever) from stealing more and more of his minutes.
9. He had a less-than-stellar offensive game, but the play Preston Knowles made to tie up John Wall when Wall was tearing down the floor at full blast was one of the better defensive plays I've seen a Cardinal make in some time.
The man knows no fear.
10. Kentucky's M.O. was obviously to try and bait Jared Swopshire into trying to create for himself offensively, and although he struggled mightily early on, Swop actually made some of the biggest plays during the stretch that put the Cards in a position to win. Kudos to him on manning up to a challenge.