1) How big should Louisville’s halftime lead have been? The Cards went to the locker room up 20, but had already committed 14 (of 26 for the game) turnovers. And missed at least four layups or uncontested dunks. Given those stats, a thirty point lead wouldn’t have been out of the question, had U of L been even more focused than it was. As it was, the Cards defense in the first stanza was as devastating as any game in memory. The Mountaineers were totally rattled. That West Virginia came back after the half is a sign of how tough a team they are.
2) The always astute Eric Crawford pointed out at the half that Earl Clark rarely plays well in afternoon games. I’ll have to check out the stats on that and get back to you. He scored 4 for the game, which equaled his TO total.
3) The always sartorial Rick Pitino went with his traditional athletic casual look on the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Day. The fellow wouldn’t ever wear a suit and sneakers. A haberdashers delight, that dude.
4) A bunch of fans behind me kept wanting to see replays of some controversial calls and non-calls. Which videos never reached the scoreboard. Is there a league or NCAA rule against replaying controversial plays? I’ll have to check on that and get back to you.
5) About five minutes into the game, ref Tim Higgins turned to a couple of guys in the courtside seats and asked, “You want my whistle?”
6) This was most definitely BEast Basketball. Twas no place for the meek. (To reiterate a phrase I’ve invoked often before.) The Cards appeared to be the team that flinched. It ain’t gonna get any easier, guys. Keep playing. The medics will tend to your wounds during the next timeout.
7) With five minutes to go and Louisville’s lead withering to almost nil, I jotted down these questions: Will West Virginia wear out? U of L? D’Sean Butler, who took over the game in the second half, turned it over twice after that, both crucial, both game savers for U of L. TWill committed three of his game high 7 TOs. Obviously, the Cards held on.
8- Jerry Smith and Terrence Jennings are two more of the pieces falling in place for Louisville.
9) Edgar Sosa didn’t commit a TO. Is that three games in a row?
10) UConn is about ready to tip off against upstart Providence, which is a lot better than anybody would have expected. And still under the radar. Let’s hope the Huskies prevail. We want them coming in #1 Monday, after a W, right?
– Seedy K