Louisville was playing for the first time in 18 days and without its best player on Saturday. It showed.
The Cardinals allowed Wisconsin to score 25 of the game’s first 29 points and never really made things interesting after that, falling to the Badgers by a final score of 85-48.
The 37-point margin of defeat isn’t the worst for a U of L basketball team — shoutout to a 61-7 loss to Centre in 1920 — but the Cards did make a bit of history.
Louisville’s 26-point deficit is its largest halftime deficit in program history. The previous record was 23 points when Louisville trailed Pittsburgh 39-16 at halftime on March 8, 2006.— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) December 19, 2020
A Louisville team hadn’t been defeated by such a lopsided score since a 99-59 defeat at, ironically enough, Xavier on Feb. 13, 1956.
The 37-point margin of victory was also not just the largest ever for a Wisconsin team against a top 25 opponent, but the largest ever for any Big Ten team against a top 25 opponent.
Wisconsin torched Louisville from the outside from start to finish on Saturday, drilling more three-pointers (16) than the Cardinals even attempted (14). The Badgers misfired on just nine of their 25 shots from deep, and had eight different players connect on at least one three.
David Johnson, who finished with seven turnovers, led Louisville with 12 points. Quinn Slazinski (11) was the only other Cardinal to hit double figures in scoring.
Given the layoff and the injuries and the lack of Carlik, having a tough afternoon in Madison was always going to be understandable. Losing by 37 though ... there’s not really a rational way to spin that into anything resembling a positive.
Try and forget this ever happened, get Carlik cleared, and hopefully get back on track in a few days against Pitt.