Moving on or "letting the past be the past" isn't really my thing. I tend not to appreciate something until it's taken away or has grown so tired of my (accurately) perceived indifference and steady stream of sarcasm that it decides a Burger King parking lot is as good a place as any to pull the plug. It's only when I no longer have these things at my disposal that I can't stop thinking about them.
We've now officially entered that awkward post-Derby phase where it's still too early to talk about the UK football game and all of us are trying to figure out how much we really care about U of L baseball. The good news is that the worst days of basketball withdrawal (think Trainspotting) are well behind us and the transition to our summer selves (read: normal human beings) is either complete or nearing its conclusion.
For those who still haven't acknowledged that the grass is again green and your shoulders are again severely, severely burnt, I think it's important that you achieve closure immediately. And I think it's equally important that you do so in the form of a fake awards show.
Co-hosted by Don Russell and Bryant Northern
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Edgar Sosa
Love him, hate him or like him but still get kind of annoyed by the way he plays sometimes, this team was only performing to its potential when Sosa was. In his senior season he averaged career bests in points, assists, field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage.
BEST GAME (FOR LOUISVILLE): Louisville 78, Syracuse 68
Last game in Freedom Hall, defeating the No. 1 team in the country, securing a spot in the NCAA Tournament; honestly, I think March 6 felt more like what I imagine celebrating a national championship would feel like than the day in '05 when we beat West Virginia. It was an unofficial holiday unlike any I've ever celebrated and any I'm likely to celebrate.
Louisville 66, Syracuse 60
Louisville 78, Connecticut 76
BEST GAME (OVERALL): Louisville 91, Notre Dame 89 (2 OT)
A tremendous game against a scrappy, Gody-less Fighting Irish squad which, in hindsight, may have been the difference between the NIT and the NCAA Tournament for U of L.
Louisville 78, Connecticut 76
West Virginia 77, Louisville 74
WORST GAME (FOR LOUISVILLE): St. John's 74, Louisville 55
Questionable calls made the losses to West Virginia, Pitt and Seton Hall extremely difficult to swallow, but being blown out by a St. John's team that, at the time, had just two Big East wins was the low point of the season. When Louisville walked out of the Garden on Feb. 11 it was one game above .500 in the conference and unquestionably on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. Though the situation would be remedied just days later at Syracuse, this was a bad night.
Marquette 69, Louisville 48
West Virginia 77, Louisville 74
WORST GAME (OVERALL): Louisville 80, Appalachian State 53
I remember that I attended this game, and literally nothing else. Did Brickley play? Was there a jump rope involved at some point? Hoola-hoop? Goo from My Borther and Me?
Louisville 80, Stetson 48
Louisville 84, Louisiana-Lafayette 69
BEST DUNK: Rock Buckles/Jerry Smith (Oral Roberts)
Pretty stiff competition in this category, but the four-handed slam earns the title due to shear ridiculousness.
Peyton Siva (Bellarmine)
Kyle Kuric (Syracuse)
MOST VALUABLE JUNIOR: Preston Knowles
It's like how Brad Pitt or a Brad Pitt movie is nominated for an Oscar every year: we just want him at the ceremony.
All junior Ladybirds.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: "I F'ing love you, man"
Jerry Smith and Edgar Sosa dealt with more adversity during their senior season than I would assume either had anticipated, and they earned that moment following Sosa's heroics against Connecticut in Storrs.
Kyle Kuric's final dunk in the second Syracuse game
Anything else that happened in the second Syracuse game
BEST OPEN THREAD: Louisville vs. Stetson
Combine some shaky WHAS coverage with the worst opponent on Louisville's schedule, and hilarity ensues.
Louisville vs. West Virginia (Nearly 1500 comments of outrage)
NCAA Tournament Selection Show (The insanely over-the-top freak-out is hysterical)
LEAST VALUABLE FAN: Med School Douche Sitting Behind Me (Connecticut game)
The 101 awful jokes made in an attempt to impress the girl next to him were enough to warrant a nomination, but it was the steady stream of indisputable facts like Jared Swopshire being left-handed, Reggie Delk being a sophomore and Samardo Samuels hailing from Haiti that secured the award for this odd-looking young man.
Obliterated Guy With Ridiculously Good Seats (Syracuse game) - What's your M.O. when you have amazing tickets you could probably sell for $500 to what will end up being one of the most memorable games in Louisville basketball history? Well if you're this guy it's be blacked out 30 minutes before tip and then stumble up the stairs before halftime never to return again. At least it was worth it.
Danny Sinnard (Georgetown Exhibition) - Yes, he's one of my best friends and yes, he brought me to the game, but when you make ridiculous comment after ridiculous comment in a completely shameless effort to get mentioned on an obscure, team-specific college sports blog, you have to be called out.
BEST HOME CROWD: Syracuse
O.J. Simpson and the '68 Heisman race.
BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE BY A CARDINAL: Kyle Kuric (Syracuse)
No more words necessary.
Samardo Samuels (Notre Dame)
Edgar Sosa (Cincinnati - Big East Tournament)
BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE BY AN OPPOSING PLAYER: Scottie Reynolds (Villanova)
Scoring 16 straight points in the final six minutes of a game and finishing with 36 for the night will generally earn you this honor.
Austin Freeman (Georgetown)
Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame)
BEST DRESSED PLAYER IN STREET CLOTHES: Chris Smith
This was setting up to be the Giants/Braves '93 pennant race of sartorial supremacy when former champ George Goode went down with an injury early in the season, but Smith must have had his brother take him on a shopping spree over Christmas break because the junior-to-be ended up running away with this title.
BIGGEST PERSONAL OVER-THE-TOP REACTION: Kuric's last dunk against Syracuse
My personal Heaven includes little more than semi-conscious jumping, grabbing and hugging at Louisville basketball games.
Sosa's jumper to tie the Kentucky game - Literally through my right arm out. Lost my shot at the show.
Preston three from the corner against Pitt - I don't even remember the exact situation, just thinking that my celebration was about three times as intense as anyone else in the room.
WORST FIRING OF AN OPPOSING HEAD COACH: Jerry Wainwright (Depaul)
All it did was free up the Human Cartoon to succeed Coach K and prolong the Duke era of college basketball by another couple of decades.
MOST ANNOYING PERFORMANCE BY AN OPPOSING PLAYER: Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati)
You can't go left and that two-game run in the Big East Tournament will end up being the high-point of your post-high school career.
Chris Wright (Georgetown) - Talking shit on Twitter and then backing it up...annoying.
Chris Braswell (Charlotte)
LEAST VALUABLE OFFICIAL: Mike Kitts (West Virginia)
You know what? I'm still not over it. I want Kitts banned from the Garden next year, too. And I want him to take me to Red Lobster. We can split the bill, I'd just enjoy the company.
Jim Haney (West Virginia)
Jim Burr (Seton Hall)
BEST RUNNING THEME: Advantage
Only funny because I think five people brought it up dead seriously before it morphed into a joke.
Being down five at halftime
Who is AnVillen?
Card Chronicle Ombudsman
BEST ANVILLEN VIDEO: Syracuse
I imagine this is how I will begin every morning beginning around Oct. 15 or so.
This may not have been the season that most of us were envisioning this time a year ago, but its unpredictability made for some great times on this blog. What's truly amazing is that Card Chronicle nearly doubled its traffic a season after Louisville was the Big East regular season and tournament champion and the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Thanks to all of you for making this such a wonderful refuge.