The bar is so so very very low.
Such that simply being competitive is a reason to feel, well, not that bad.
At least for some Cardinal fans.
You know, like it’s just a cold with a little fever, runny nose, bad cough. Because a drive through test comes back negative for you know what. So, you quaff some chicken broth, knock down some Tylenol, chug a few slugs of Delsym Day or Night 12 Hour Cough Relief.
You pull the covers over your head and hope you can sleep.
And, pray the Russkie army hasn’t gathered at the Oldham, Bullitt, Shelby and Spencer county lines, looking for an excuse to annex Nulu.
* * * * *
The Professor was a little less sanguine.
“Just terrible shot selection at the end.
True that. But the failure to grab hold of the game started earlier in the 2d. When the Cards would stay close. Pull within a point. Then fail to make a stop. Or make a stop and turn it over. And the disadvantage would lengthen.
The Cardinals went from up a deuce at 49-47, to down a digit at 49-50 when the Tar Heels converted a +1. Then to 49-52 after a couple more Baby Blue charity tosses.
After a Louisville tally it went 51-52, but then to 51-54.
From 53-54 to 53-56.
From 55-56 to 55-58.
From 57-58 to 57-60.
With the clock reading 6:23, U of L pulled even at 60.
Then, like General Cornawallis’s Redcoats in the Revolutionary War, the Cardinals got stuck in the tar when trying to forge a victory. Louisville could not escape the muck.
An ill advised but netted Malik Williams triple cut the Carolina lead to one at 63-64.
Other than that, here’s what caused The Professor’s spot on observation after that tie at six and a half to go.
A Mason Faulkner missed trey. A Malik Williams missed trey. A Noah Locke missed trey. A Jae’Lyn Withers missed trey. An El Ellis missed trey. An El Ellis missed deuce. A Malik Williams missed deuce. And two missed Ellis FTs after the 3:42 stoppage, which could have knotted the contest at 62.
When it came time for calm and resolve, there was none.
When it came time to make a conceivable push for a spot in the NI1T, Louisville faltered, defaulting to the norm of the ‘21-’22 season.
* * * * *
Losing to an NCAA tournament team in a league game on its home court late in February is not a disgrace.
For the University of Louisville basketball program to be sitting at 12-15 (6-11) with the season essentially over in late February comes damn close.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to type those words?
— c d kaplan