A botched goaltending call in the game’s final seconds proved to be the difference as Louisville dropped a 94-92 heartbreaker at Syracuse Wednesday night.
After the officiating crew wrongly confirmed a clearly inaccurate goaltending call against Kaleb Glenn, the Cardinals had 3.8 seconds to try and pull off an upset. Skyy Clark got a clear look at a three-pointer just before the final horn, but the potential game-winner missed the rim entirely.
Here's the sequence where Skyy Clark hits a three to tie the game at 92. Syracuse comes right back down and Kaleb Glenn is called for goaltending, which gives Syracuse a go-ahead basket for a 94-92 win. Cuse was there for the putback if it was ruled a block, but still. You look. pic.twitter.com/AvaN1UQCEz— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) February 8, 2024
Nevermind that Syracuse got the opportunity because every Louisville player got caught sleeping or that had the goaltend not been called they would have had a putback dunk. Minor details.
Louisville ultimately lost the game where it typically does: On the defensive end.
The Cardinals allowed Syracuse to shoot a scorching 60.8 percent from the field and knock down 10-of-22 from three. U of L was also outscored 22-11 at the free-throw line.
Those numbers offset an offensive effort that saw Louisville shoot 53.8 percent from the field and hit 11-of-25 from beyond the arc.
Clark led four Cardinals in double figures with 23 points. He also dished out five assists and recorded three steals. Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (19 and 13) and Tre White (17 and 12) each posted double-doubles.
Syracuse got a career-high 30 points from sophomore guard Chris Bell, who was a scorching 8-for-10 from beyond the arc. Leading scorer Judah Mintz added 21.
If you had no rooting interest, this game was actually fun as hell. Both teams made shots at an absurd rate, did wonderful things on offense, and weren’t particularly interested in defending.
It’s been apparent for most of the season, but doubly so over the last few weeks: Louisville has more than enough talent to be a legitimately good basketball team. They just have no clue how to defend. Until that changes, games like this are going to continue to go the other way.