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Seedy K’s GameCap: Miami

Sitting here at my desk, I’m staring at a blank Word Press page, trying to figure out what to write about what I just witnessed.

Plus, it’s hard to type because my fingers are shaking. Literally.

Kenny Payne as Cardinal HC was Ofer the Road.

The Cards had lost 22 consecutive true away games.

Top 30ish Miami was 25-1 in their last twenty six home games.

Shorthanded U of L started walk on Hercy Miller instead of recent sparkplug Ty-Laur Johnson, who ended up playing just 14 minutes.

And for all that and all the negatitivitude surrounding the program, this happened.

The team that didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to know how to win was the more confidant squad the entire night.

And closed the deal.

I. Am. Gobsmacked.

Louisville 80, Miami 71.

Can I get a witness??!?!!!

* * * * *

Here’s how we got to the interlude that foretold this could be the night there would be some respite from recent reality.

With 11:52 to play, the Cards hadn’t scored for over two minutes — 2:15 to be exact — and were down 7 at 50-57.

But they tightened up and buckled down. (Am I doubling up on my metaphors? Yes.)

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield tallied a deuce underneath.

U of L got a stop.

Mike James netted two.

The U couldn’t score after a timeout.

Curtis Williams went threeball. 57-57.

A Hurricane fastbreak layup was answered by B H-H.

Which brings us to this sequence unlike any a Cardinal team has fashioned since the daze of Russ and Peyton.

When at the 7:57 mark, the score knotted at 61, James attacked and laid one in off the glass.

Skyy Clark stole the ensuing inbound pass, flipped it to James, scurried to the corner, took a return dish and went string music Coral Gables. (Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve been able to invoke my inner Joe Dean.)

66 Cards, 61 Canes. In eleven seconds time.

At which point, I notice I was actually nervous. Welcome back.

Then it was back and forth.

Miami soon enough tied it at 66. U of L then scored five straight. Miami did the same. 71-71.

That tying slam by the Canes came at 3:28.

Hear me now, and believe me later.

Miami. Did. Not. Score. Again.

Meanwhile . . .

. . .. James went 2/2 at the line.

Clark hit a deuce.

Skyy then converted a 1+1.

Williams drained a couple at the charity stripe.

Huntley-Hatfield drained another freebie when the tale had been told.

So, I shall repeat: Out of nowhere the seemingly hapless University of Louisville Cardinals beat Miami in Coral Gables, 80-71.

* * * * *

Mike James, who scored 16 of the Cards’ first 18, finished with a career high 26. He was on fire from South Beach (which by the by is a shlep from Coral Gables) going 5/6.

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield scored 22 on 9/13 shooting, dominating underneath. 9 boards.

Curtis Williams had 13 on not so good shooting (4/12). But he had 5 assists.

Skyy Clark netted 9, had six rebounds and six assists. He also had six turnovers, but was a rock steady presence throughout.

Kaleb Glenn, who every once in awhile reminds me of Ellis Myles, snared 8 misses.

Ty-Laur Johnson was catalytic in the 1st, scoring 8 in 9 minutes.

* * * * *

Louisville played really good D.

They held the home team to 39% shooting.

They were +11 on Points Off Turnovers.

They were 14/16 at the stripe, where they closed the deal.

* * * * *

Setting everything else aside, on this night, in this game, Kenny Payne’s coaching was top notch. From the game plan to attack the post, and double Miami’s big, to his adroit use of timeouts, to his substitution patterns, he deserves much of the credit for this W.

* * * * *

It is but one game.

I haven’t the slightest intention to draw major conclusions from this sterling victory.

I do know this: Louisville played with a confidence not seen in awhile.

The Cardinals won.

It. Was. fun!

— c d kaplan