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Louisville drops third straight with 78-73 home loss to Syracuse

This is bad.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

All the good vibes that had been present thanks to Louisville’s surprisingly hot start in ACC play are now gone. The Cardinals have lost three straight and four of their last five. The most disappointing and harmful defeat from that group came Monday night, when Syracuse left the KFC Yum Center with a 78-73 victory.

For the second straight game, U of L looked inexplicably lethargic in a game could ill-afford to lose. The Cards played a woeful defensive game against the second worst offensive team in the ACC, allowing Syracuse to shoot 47.2 percent from the field and put up 78 points after behind held to 60 or less in each of its last three games.

Ray Spalding’s dominant play on the inside allowed Louisville to get back into the game, but poor decision-making in the final minutes once again ultimately sealed the home team’s fate. Spalding finished with a team-high 18 points on 7 of 8 shooting, and a team-high nine rebounds.

I’m not sure what else to say about this one. Syracuse only has three guys who are capable of scoring at all, and Louisville somehow allowed each of those three guys to go off. No one could stop a straight line drive, no one could help without fouling, and no one seemed to really care until the team was already behind by double digits.

I’ve got no idea what happened to this team the last two games but everything looked different than it had the prior three weeks. All the good vibes are gone and I’ve got zero clue what to expect in the month ahead.

If they don’t win the next two, then it’s hard to see this having a happy ending.

Here’s the final box score: