The worst season in the modern history of Louisville men’s basketball has mercifully come to a close.
The Cardinals led by three at halftime, but a flat second half resulted in an 80-62 loss to Boston College in the first round of the ACC tournament Tuesday in Greensboro. The defeat was Louisville’s first in the first round of a conference tournament since 2006.
As was the case too many times over the last four months, second chance opportunities and seemingly invisible defense doomed any chance U of L had of springing an upset. The Cardinals allowed BC to corral 15 offensive rebounds, 11 of those coming in the second half. The Eagles turned those second chance opportunities into 17 huge points.
Louisville was led by El Ellis, who wrapped up his season and potentially his Cardinal career with a 16-point performance on 5-of-16 shooting. Brandon Huntley-Hatfield chipped in 13 points and JJ Traynor added 11.
Boston College was without the services of leading scorer and rebounder Quinten Post, who suffered an ankle injury early in the first half of the team’s regular season-ending loss to Georgia Tech. Post scored 22 points in the first meeting against Louisville back in January. Despite foul trouble, Makai Ashton-Langford led four BC players in double figures with 16 points.
Louisville wraps up the 2022-23 season with an overall record of 4-28. The 28 losses are the most in the 109-year history of the program, smashing the previous record of 20 set in 1997-98.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully wrap my mind around what just happened.
In four seasons from 2012-2016, we watched Louisville lose a total of 28 games. We just watched one Cardinal team lose that many in four months.
I don’t care what the extenuating circumstances are — postseason ban, death penalty, only allowed to field a roster of players shorter than 5’7 — I never, ever thought I’d witness Louisville basketball hit a depth this low.
The climb out of this hole needs to begin immediately, and the steps in the right direction need to be immense.