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18 quick thoughts on Louisville/Connecticut

Because 19 would be completely overdoing it.

1. I've toned down the adult language on this site significantly in recent years, but every now and then it's absolutely necessary. This is one of those times, because there's really no other way to say the following: this team is tough as shit.

Mentally tough, physically tough, selfless; if you haven't fallen in love with this team yet, well, you're probably the evil guard from The Green Mile. Didn't know you were a Cards fan, Percy, and quite frankly, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop reading my blog.

There is a 100% chance that things don't stay this rosy for the next eight weeks, but when those dark times do come (perhaps including tonight) we should all try and remind ourselves of the respect these guys have earned. You can make a case that this is the second or third least-talented team Pitino has had at Louisville, and here they are sitting alone in second place in the nation's best conference.

I've done it several times this year, but I will never count this team out again. They've earned that.

2. If Peyton Siva does end up becoming the All-Big East performer we know he can be, this will have to be the stretch we all look back to and view as the breakthrough in his progression.

Also, how adorable was the dunk that sent the game into double overtime? I mean he didn't even move the net! So cute.

3. In the past two months, I have watched three U of L sporting events at my friends Chris and Ashley's apartment: the College Cup win over North Carolina, the Beef O' Brady's Bowl, and Saturday's win over UConn.

I'm moving in.

4. LEO (Dr. Evil voice).

5. Just as we all blamed CardsFan922 for the demise of Mike Marra's season (and rightfully so), I think it might be time to start giving hot hot credit for the revival of Terrence Jennings'.

Card Chronicle staff feature posts: there's a lot riding on them.

6. It's official: Mike Gleason's an honorary Louisville Cardinal. Welcome aboard, buddy. Here's your free Card Chronicle Siva Bear. Of course I'm kidding, nobody gets a free Card Chronicle Siva Bear. Still, glad to have you on the team.

7. Couldn't have been happier that Shabazz Napier clanked one of his free-throws after trying to start something with Siva for absolutely no reason.

8. Best defensive game of the year. We made Kemba try to beat us from the outside (he didn't), we adjusted to keep Lamb from getting space in the middle of the zone, and we did a fantastic job of not collapsing on their bigs when the help wasn't needed.

Great coaching, great execution. Just a tremendous performance overall.

9. Aside from his horrendous pass near the end of the second overtime, Mike Marra was fantastic. It goes without saying that we don't win if he doesn't bury that three in the last minute of overtime.

10. How many times did Preston walk before finding Kuric for the three that tied the game at 55? At least twice.

11. Preston!


12. What sort of magic substance did the people in Storrs put on the floor that made us slip every 15 seconds but seemingly had no effect on the Huskies? Chris Smith changed shoes about five minutes in and it did no good. If Siva doesn't make a hell of a block with the score tied at 64, a slip may have ended up costing us the game.

13. Your official down by five at the half resume from the past two seasons:

1/29/11 at Connecticut (won by 1)
1/15/11 vs. Marquette (won by 1)
12/11/10 vs. UNLV (won by 8)
3/6/10 vs. Syracuse (won by 10)
2/1/10 at Connecticut (won by 2)
1/6/10 at Providence (won by 22)

Louisville trailed by five at the break once in both the '07-'08 and '08-'09 seasons. It lost both those games.

14. Terrence Jennings does not miss free-throws in crunch time. Please continue chanting his name.

15. Rick should go casual more.

16. Kemba apparently talked trash to Russ Smith - "Hey there, little Russ" - after a made basket in the first half. Way to aim high. You're the front-runner for the Wooden Award and you're going after a guy averaging less than three points a game.

Tim Henderson, if there are any skeletons in your closet you may as well come clean now, because Kemba Walker will be busting them out at some point during the return game.

17. Stat Sheet notes:

* Louisville started 17-4 during the 2008 and 2003 seasons (since 1996).
* Lville beat the spread by 4.5 points. That makes the 10th time this season the Cardinals have beat the spread.
* Louisville has played in 1 overtime games this season. Over the last 5 seasons the Cardinals have played in 8 overtime games with a record of 6-2.
* The Cardinals have won 3 close games this season (a win by 5 or less points). Since 2005, Louisville has won 19 close games.
* Prior to this game, Lville played 44 Top 25 opponents in the last 5 seasons with a record of 19-25.
* The Cardinals have won 100% of the time this season (9-0) after recording 30 or more field goals made.
* Louisville has won 100% of the time this season (8-0) when its had a field goal percentage of 48.4% or better.
* Louisville has won 81% of the time this season (9-2) after committing 15 or less turnovers.
* Lville has won 100% of the time this season (9-0) after holding an opponent to under 26.7% three point percentage.
* Lville has won 85% of the time this season (12-2) when opponents record 2 or less blocks.
* This season Louisville has won 81% of the time (9-2) when Preston Knowles has 3 three pointers or more, 85% of the time (6-1) when Peyton Siva has 7 assists or more, and 83% of the time (10-2) when Chris Smith has 5 rebounds or more.
* Lville set a season low for steals.
* The Cardinals have recorded more assists than their opponents for the past 5 games.
* Louisville has recorded fewer free throws made than their opponents for the past 6 games.
* This is the 2nd win of the season where the Cardinals came back after being down at half-time.
* The top two scorers (Peyton Siva and Terrence Jennings) accounted for 44.3% of the points.
* The top two rebounders (Terrence Jennings and Chris Smith) accounted for 41.6% of the rebounds.
* Peyton Siva has led the team in scoring in 5 out of 21 games this season.
* Terrence Jennings has led the team in rebounding in 5 out of 21 games this season.
* Terrence Jennings recorded the 1st double digit rebound game of his career.
* Terrence Jennings recorded a double-double. It was the 1st of his career.
* Terrence Jennings set a career high with 10 rebounds, 16 points, and 5 offensive rebounds.

18. See you all in a few hours.