It actually happened. I’ve now seen it live and on TV.
I mean . . . really.
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I’ve attended just about every home game U of L has played since 1952. And watched just about all others on TV.
While I’m an old fart with fading memory, I don’t recall a U of L team that ever came back from so far so late in the game as this year’s undermanned squad did today.
To check my memory, I tapped into my Louisville Cardinal support group, cbcard and smartguy. All three of us came up with the same 3 games.
The one at South Carolina in the late 80s, when U of L got fat on technical foul charity tosses, after a fight broke out and fans attacked the Cardinal players. U of L won that one. It went to OT, if memory serves.
Of course, the most important of the great comebacks. West Virginia in the NCAA Regional Finals. That one also went to OT.
And the one all fans remember. Tennessee in The Rick’s first season.
There’s also the Arkansas game in the Regional Semi-Finals in Knoxville, a date with the Wildcats for a Final Four berth to the winner.
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I’ve never been shy about dissing Terrence Jennings. So now I shan’t be spare with my praise of his performance down the stretch.
The kid manned up. Manned up big time.
In the final 5:30, TJ had 2 defensive boards. And 2 offensive boards. And a block, on Marquette’s last possession no less. And played strong D, altering at least one other shot.
And was 4/4 at the line. Two of which came after he was fouled while grabbing a huge offensive board with :24 to play, cutting the Marquette lead to 69-70.
Preston Knowles was guided by radar. In the Zone. En fuego. Choose your cliche. 4/4 from beyond the arc.
Elisha Justice was rock steady. No turnovers during the comeback.
Stephan VT got it all started with a steal and break away dunk.
Chris Smith was stalwart.
Kyle Kuric played like a Hoosier. Heady. Realizing he wasn’t guarded on the winning play, he drifted to the hoop.
And Rick Pitino drew up a perfect play for the winning score.
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The Milwaukee message boards are all over Buzz Williams. (At least the few that aren’t locked into the Packers.)
He pulled the Golden Eagles back. They stopped attacking.
That said, even though Marquette wanted to hand the game to Louisville doesn’t mean U of L had the wherewithal and heart to take it.
But they did.
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All the joy and hoopla aside, in the end, Louisville still needs to win the next three — St. John’s, Providence, West Virginia — to stay off the bubble.
A win like this can kick start a team. Hope so.
I don’t want to wallow in the negative — which I did in the other blog I posted on this game – - but the Cards were simply awful for 34 minutes of this game.
Which is the Cardinal team that will emerge?
This team, this season, is still a work in progress.
– Seedy K