A bad week for Louisville basketball got even worse Wednesday night. Still in desperate need of a signature win for their 2018 NCAA tournament resume, the Cardinals were whipped from start to finish by No. 5 Duke in an 82-56 decision that was every bit as one-sided as the final score would indicate.
The 56 points were a season low for U of L, which fell to 18-10 overall on the season, and 8-7 in the ACC.
As has been the case all season long, Louisville was dominated in the paint. The Cards were out-rebounded by Duke, 44-30 ,and also provided little resistance around the rim on defense, allowing the Blue Devils to score a whopping 28 points on dunks.
Coming into Wednesday night’s game, Duke (23-5, 11-4) was 19-1 in games where Grayson Allen scored in double figures. That number moved to 20-1 after the senior guard dropped a game-high 28 pints on the Cardinals.
The performance by Allen was eerily reminiscent of some of the past torchings the controversial Dukie has dealt U of L. In five games against Louisville, Allen is now averaging 23.4 points per game. He’s never scored fewer than 18 points against the Cards.
Louisville now has three regular season games remaining. They’re liable to be underdogs in all three. If they don’t play with considerably more focus and effort than we’ve seen over the last few weeks, then they’re also liable to lose all three. If that happens, it would take something resembling a miracle at the ACC tournament in Brooklyn for the Cards to hear their name called on Selection Sunday.
The most admirable thing about this team through the first two months of the season was how they never quit when it seemed like they had every justification to do so. Every time you thought they might just be going through the motions, they stepped up and surprised you in a positive way.
Unless there’s another positive surprise coming soon, it’s going to be a long and depressing March in the Derby City.
Here’s your final box score from Cameron Indoor: