There have been times through the decades that I have been disappointed by the Louisville Cardinals.
By their performance. By their attitude. By some untoward, unnecessary actions.
I needn’t move on to any other letter of the alphabet, I trust you understand my drift.
But, for the life of me, I cannot remember when I’ve been more disgusted.
Not so much with the team’s somnambulant play, though that’s part of it. And focusing on that would be to shortchange El Ellis, Sydney Curry, Sam Williamson and Noah Locke for his shooting. But for their energy, U of L would have lost at home to one of the worst teams in the history of the ACC.
Which they almost did anyway.
The word I wrote in my notes, after the inexplicable actions from the bench of U of L’s coach and U of L’s senior leader in the final minute, was REPREHENSIBLE.
Meaning “deserving of censure or condemnation.”
As I watched the last dumbfounding :47 seconds unfold, I’m sure there was enough smoke coming out of my ears to set off a fire alarm, had I been sitting near one.
* * * * *
In a back and forth battle, after 16 lead changes and the 6th and final tie at 63 all, U of L appeared to take charge.
It started with an El Ellis driving deuce. 65-63. (Actually he connected on a triple on the possession before, but that was countered by the visitor’s slam.) Then the Cards’ savior converted a 1+1 after several squiggly possessions by both teams. 67-63.
A Sydney Curry layin on a nice feed from Sam Williamson sandwiched a couple made and a couple missed Pitt FTs. 69-65.
At :47, Noah Locke netted a cold blooded trey from straightaway.
Ellis missed the front end of a 1+1, after an empty Panthers’ possession. It happens. Williamson snared the missed charity toss, getting fouled in the process.
But before he stepped to the line, Malik Williams who had fouled out, thanks in part to T in the 1st, committed his second technical from the bench, his 6th foul of the game, and was ejected.
After Pitt drained both technical freebies, Sam missed the FT, but to make amends hustled back and blocked a fast break Panther gimme.
At which point, another technical was assessed, I believe to Coach Chris Mack. I’m writing this immediately after the game to vent. And I’m so mad I couldn’t abide taking in his post game comments.
I’m advised he said something during his radio interview to the effect, “I said some things I shouldn’t have.”
Really, coach? At crunch time, with the game still in the balance?
So two converted FTs cut the Cards recently secure margin to three.
When steady Jarrod West netted two FTs at :14, the game was then in hand at 74-69, right?
Jamarius Burton bullseyed another bomb. 74-72.
West hit one of two at the stripe, meaning at least it would take OT for the Cards to blow the game. But Burton’s last gasp missile bounced off the back of the iron.
U of L escaped the slog. 75-72.
* * * * *
Hear me now, and believe me later.
The University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Team that showed up Wednesday night in the Yum! will not make the NCAA tournament.
Louisville’s performance was rudderless, and to toss out one more “d” descriptor, desultory.
El Ellis saved the day. Sam Williamson in the 2d and Syd Curry in his 18 minutes showed some spunk was strong, played with gusto. Noah Locke drained three really important treys.
And the rest did enough to survive.
OK, one more:
Can you tell?
— c d kaplan