Can Louisville find an unlikely Hero on Saturday


It’s been over 1400 days since Louisville has beaten Virginia in basketball. You have to go all the way back to March of 2015 to see the Cardinals in the win column in the series led by Virginia 13-4..


I knew the Cards were gonna hit the game-winner that day. That’s why I started taking this video. That was one of those days in the Yum Center I’ll never forget. I just knew they’d win but was just as surprised as everyone when an unlikely hero emerged.

Mangok Mathiang is a Louisville basketball player that had his ups and downs on the court. In the game, before he hit this big shot he had played just 4 minutes fouling out. He was a player that took a lot of grief from the fans so it was good seeing him have his moment. The players were enjoying it too.

Reminds me of another guy who has been struggling…

As Coach Mack was pouring over old game footage preparing for this game he had to notice how VJ stood out against the Virginia pack line D. I think that he could really impact this game and hope he gets some clock.

VJ King has had a tough season and has had a career of ups and downs. But Virginia hasn’t been able to stop him. VJ is averaging 11.8 points and 2.8 rebounds against the Cavaliers in his career. He scored a career-high 24 points against Virginia during his freshman season.

Virginia is one of the best teams in the country but they have shown a chink in the armor over the last few weeks. Including a clunker that almost cost them a home loss to Notre Dame. Our Cardinals have struggled on offense as of late, however, they are still a solid club and can be especially tough at home on the defensive end. Louisville is an impressive 13-3 at home this season.

I think an unlikely hero will emerge on Saturday. I think this Louisville team needs an unexpected outing from someone. Not only for this one but to make any kind of serious run down the stretch. There have been a lot of ”the game VJ King shows up” predictions and this is mine.

Go Cards!

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Time to build some momentum



With just five games left in the regular season, I think it is important for teams to build some momentum heading into the postseason. At this point in the season a team should know who they are and if they don’t they have a pretty good idea. This is the time of the year where you do those things that have made you successful and avoid slipping back into the things that aren’t so good.

This Louisville team has battled the turnover bug all season… Over the last couple of weeks that has manifested itself into late game collapse. This team has to try and put that behind them and at this point, it might be just as mental as it is fundamental. I bet Coach Mack and his staff have gone over out of bounds plays a few times this week.

Protecting the basketball won’t get any easier tonight in the Dome. Coach Boeheim’s teams are known for that stingy two-three zone defense and having those very athletic and explosive wings on offense. Things aren’t any different this season as Syracuse ranks 20th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.397), 21st in blocked shots per game (4.9), 24th in scoring defense (64.3) and 21st in turnover margin (+3.6).

I’d love to see this Louisville team find some consistency and build some momentum after splitting their last 6 games. This team has done a good job of putting things behind them. They are resilient. They need to put the last three games behind them. Finishing this game tonight would be big. Hope our frontcourt comes to play. They will have to be active on the baseline and good passers against the zone.

It’s never a good time to go into Syracuse for a basketball game, but it gets even tougher this time of year. Cuse always has a strong kick to finish the year. The Cards will get their best effort tonight. I thought this would be one of the toughest games on our schedule and still believe that.

I’m optimistic. It’s easy to feel good when you have the best player. Tonight we have the best player. Jordan Nwora leads Louisville with an average of 17.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He will be playing in front of some home fans tonight. Hope he gives them a show.

Go Cards!

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Survive and Advance


Credit a very good Clemson defensive scheme today it was like I was watching a basketball game being played in quicksand. Our Cardinals earned every basket. They split games this week but I think have learned a lot about themselves during this stretch.

I’ve said it many times on this Page that the college basketball season is a marathon and not a sprint. Just as a person has to find something deep within themselves in a marathon a basketball team must dig deep during a college season to overcome the challenges they face throughout. Those challenges prepare them for the postseason run.

This Louisville team has been challenged about as much as anyone and they’ve won 18 games. I think if they win two or three more they should be a lock at no worse than a 5 seed. Coach Mack is going to have to address his teams inability to finish games. They’ll have ample opportunity to figure it out with the games they have left.

Nothing pretty about anyone today but did like CC’s effectiveness throughout. He really showed moxie in the second half scoring 16 points and hitting 5-7 shots to bring Louisville back from a late 7 point deficit. And Jordan stepped up late. That late dunk and game-winning blocked shot saved us all a lot of heartaches.

The Tournament is just as much about surviving as anything. Our Cardinals are learning how to survive. They survived today.

L’s Up!

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Can the Cardinals seize Big moment at home


Make no mistake about it this Louisville Basketball team has had some great moments this season. They have won some games and had some success that they weren’t supposed to. But I don’t feel like they’ve been able to capitalize on the one big moment. The statement victory…

They’ve had the gym busting at the seems full of Cardinals fans a few times this season and have fallen just short of the big victory. For me, the Kentucky and North Carolina games come to mind. Both times were an opportunity to seize a big moment but it didn’t happen.

They’ll get one final chance next weekend with Virginia coming to town but have a chance tonight not only to seize a big moment but to pull off what would be the biggest upset of the College Basketball season with Duke in town.

From the opening tip of the season, there has been one question in College basketball: How do you stop Zion Williamson and the very talented Blue Devils? Only two teams have been able to solve that riddle this season. Since that second loss Duke has been dominant.

They are playing their best basketball of the season right now, which includes seven straight wins and outscoring teams by an average of 20 points in their last five games. On the road this season a perfect 5-0 winning by an average of 14.2 points while shooting 51.4 percent from the field.

I tried to think back when Louisville played a team this dominant in basketball. I’m reminded of the NCAA Tourney game in 2013 when the women’s team played against Brittney Griner and that Baylor team. They said that there was no way Jeff Walz and his team could pull that off but they did.

Coach Walz used what he called the ”Claw and One” in that game to stop the 6-8 Griner. He had her surrounded the whole game while the Cardinals hit a barrage of Three-Point shots.

You have to think the Men’s team has a similar strategy planned tonight and that Coach Mack has installed some kind of gimmick D to slow down Zion Williamson. The trouble with Duke is if you slow him down what do you do with RJ Barrett who is averaging 23.1 points and 7.2 rebounds a game.

Our Cardinals have split their last four games and are still looking for that statement victory. They got a wake-up call on Saturday in Tallahassee. Players mentioning after the game that they had got ”too comfortable” breaking team’s pressure. They will play against a long, athletic, fast, physical defense tonight.

The turnover bug can’t show its ugly head tonight for the Cardinals to have a chance. You have to think it’s going to take a lot of scoring and every possession will be important. Gotta think that we’ll need a lot of three-point buckets as well.

Tonight it’s about stepping up to the challenge and executing a great game plan. Would love to see Jordan Nwora have a big night. He’s been great but just like this team don’t think he’s had that one big statement this season. He’ll have to be big for the Cardinals to have a chance.

Here we are again. Primetime College Basketball game. Another chance for this Louisville team to get a bigtime win and seize a big moment for the Yum Center crowd. Let’s hope the blackout doesn’t end up a somber occasion. I can’t wait for the tip. Enjoy it, folks!

Go Cards!

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The ACC Gauntlet Continues for the Cardinals


Our Cardinals are playing their 3rd Top 25 team straight and 2nd straight Top 25 team on the road Saturday afternoon. #22 Florida State has a four-game winning streak and the Seminoles have won 10 of their last 11 home games.

This Florida State team is playing some of their best basketball of the season. They play solid on the defensive end of the floor ranked 79th in FG% defense and 55th in steals per game. They are a physical team and crash the glass ranked 57th in rebound margin.

When you have to play a hard-nosed defensive and physical team on the road it’s going to be a challenge. To add to that challenge Florida State is also pretty good at getting the ball to the basket. They got six guys who can score consistently at every level.

Florida State is running into a pretty good Cardinal Basketball team. They have been really good on the road this season where they are winning games by an average of 12 points this season. They have won 4 of their last five ACC Road Trips.

The Cardinals defensive numbers have been trending upward over the last few weeks. Now up to 71st in the country in FG% Defense and up to 98th in the country in 3pt FG% defense. They have also become more consistent on the offensive end of the floor now one of the Top 55 teams in the country in scoring offense…

Our guys are finding ways to score even when Jordan is being kept in check by teams. Dwayne Sutton has been a beast. And CC has been running the offense like the seasoned veteran he is. I really don’t know where this team would be without these guys. Steven, Malik, and Ryan are also averaging 8 points a game during this stretch.

This Louisville team seems to play much looser and freely away from the Yum Center. For some reason, this team still gets the Home Game jitters. They have been all business away from the Yum Center and I really think they’ll match up well with FSU on Saturday afternoon.

Louisville has been the more consistent team and the Seminoles have failed a few times this year to raise their game against quality competition and is just 4-7 against the spread this season at home. I expect a battle but one that the Cardinals will win. Enjoy it, folks!

Go Cards!

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Signing Day more than just numbers for Louisville Football


This is my first football post on the website since around October. Like most of you, I want to get excited about Louisville Football again. I attended my 7th straight Louisville Signing Day party on Wednesday night. I’ve sat thru a lot of great player footage at these events over the years and listened to some great Coaches describing their new players.

I still remember the Signing Day Party in 2015 and Coach McGee closing out that night talking about Lamar Jackson.

I think we all knew that he was going to be special. There was a buzz in the air and we all felt great about Louisville Football that night.

I felt a similar buzz in the Brown Williamson Club on Wednesday night. It wasn’t because we signed a future Heisman winner, and it wasn’t because we signed a highly ranked class. There was a buzz in the air because we signed guys who will be the foundation of a new Era of Louisville Football.

Coach Satterfield and his staff had 58 Days to shore up the 2019 Recruiting Class. They ended up inking 16 players in this Class. Four guys signed early and 12 guys signed on Wednesday afternoon.

The class includes five offensive linemen (most desperate position), four linebackers, two running backs, two tight ends, a cornerback, defensive end and quarterback. They were able to get some great guys in such a short amount of time including 4-star LB/DE Ja’Darien Boykin and 4-star LB/DE Zach Edwards.

This class was about much more than the number. The new Cardinals will play a big role in the culture change that the new staff is trying to instill in the Locker Room. Sure it was about trying to find guys that were good but this time it was just as important to find Good guys…

I think the new Louisville Football staff hit their mark. And you could see the roots of that culture change on Wednesday night listening to them describe their new players. It was also apparent in how the Coaching staff was interacting with each other. This is already a very tight-knit group. The excitement is real for them and you could see that.

Excitement is contagious and it made its way around the room on Wednesday night. Things are headed in the right direction and its the guys who signed in this class that will be the foundation going forward. I’m looking forward to Spring Practice and looking forward to getting the bad taste out of my mouth from last seasons debacle. I want to be excited about Louisville Football again.

Welcome to our new Cardinals:

OL Zach Williamson

CB Jamel Starks

LB Allen Smith

RB Aidan Robbins

TE Ean Pfeifer

LB Monty Montgomery

RB Jalen Mitchell

TE Dez Melton

OL TJ McCoy

LB Dorian Jones

OL Jackson Gregory

LB Zach Edwards

QB Evan Conley

OL Renato Brown

OL Joshua Black

DE Ja’Darien Boykin

(Graphics courtesy GoCards.com)

Cards have a tough road ahead…


Over the next few weeks, our Cardinals are going to be playing some of the best basketball team’s in the country. There are no days off in the ACC and things only get tougher on the road. Tonight Louisville heads to Blacksburg to play #13 Virginia Tech. The Hokies have won three straight and are 11-0 at home this season.

Virginia Tech embodies the personality of their head coach in their man-to-man defense: intense, tireless, and in your face. They don’t play a ton of zone, but if they see an opportunity to use it to their advantage, they won’t hesitate to exploit an opponent’s weakness.

This Hokie defense just held NC State to the lowest scoring output in the shot-clock era. Virginia Tech held the Wolfpack to just 16.7% shooting from the field and 7.1% shooting from beyond the arc. In their own gym.

The Hokies are ranked 66th in the Country and holding their opponents to an average of 62.1 ppg on 41.2% shooting from the field. They are also ranked 13th in scoring defense, and 19th in turnover margin.

Virginia Tech has been outstanding on both ends of the court as the Hokies rank 56th in scoring offense, 5th in FG% and 2nd in 3 point FG%. In Buzz’s offense, he will emphasize the paint touches, using their guards to slash to the lane and work the ball through the paint to find the open man. They will get to the free-throw line and kick it out for the bomb.

I don’t feel like our Cardinals took a step back on Saturday but they did fail to capitalize on another big moment. I felt like the toughness just wasn’t there on Saturday. The Cardinals have been tough on the Road. They have won 4 of their last six and is outscoring teams by an average of 10.7 points on the road this season.

Tough is the keyword tonight. It’s really going to take a gallant effort to get a win. Our guys have responded well this season after setbacks. Coach Mack has created a competitor culture since being in Louisville. These guys have lost games but not once have they quit. They keep competing. Jordan Nwora and Steve Enoch struggled in the last one. I think these guys will be key tonight. Nwora needs to own the perimeter and Enoch needs to own the paint.

Virginia Tech fans and their players have had this game tonight circled on the schedule. A 14 game losing streak to Louisville will be on the line tonight. They don’t get us this year that streak may get much bigger. With that in mind, I’m not overly confident in this one. I am confident our guys will play hard.

Enjoy this one folks. This is one of those college basketball rivalries I remember from my childhood. Some of those old Metro battles were great. The game tonight should be a good one. Go Cards!

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Things are much tougher The 2nd Time Around



Conference play is tough but it is much tougher the second time around. 21 days ago this Louisville team walked into Dean Dome at Chapel Hill with a lot of questions. They found some answers to those questions that day and have had all the right answers since.

The Cardinals are riding a six-game win streak beating UNC, Boston College, Georgia Tech, NC State, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest in that time. Winning those games by an average of 18 points. Its the longest conference win streak in the Cardinals’ five years in the ACC.

This Louisville team has been able to build off of each win. Becoming more consistent on the offensive end of the floor and more deliberate on the defensive end of the floor.

The Cardinals have scored 80 or more points in 13 of its 21 games are 14th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency by Kenpom and second in the ACC in scoring offense. Louisville has allowed less than 55 points in three of its last four games and held nine opponents under 40 percent shooting on the year. The Cardinals are 24th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency by Kenpom.

Things have just continued to get better for the Cardinals since that win in Chapel Hill. It’s like this team used that game as a springboard.

The Tar Heels are currently sitting on a four-game winning streak of their own, taking out Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in that stretch. And I think they have probably used that home loss to the Cardinals as their springboard.

Their biggest challenge of this season so far is getting their pieces all working together and finding their identity. Roy Williams is known for playing a certain style, one characterized by a fast tempo, offensive rebounds, exceptionally tall front lines and shooting a lot of free throws, to name a few. They’ve been using their athletic advantages and doing those things more consistently currently ranked 12th in KenPom’s offensive efficiency they are also 13th in defensive efficiency.

The Cardinals are 28-2 since March 1, 2003, in home games against teams faced on the road earlier in the same season, as it will be when UofL plays North Carolina on Saturday. The Tarheels are currently 4-0 on the road in the ACC this season.

This is all set up to be one helluva a game. The Cardinals might have caught the Tarheels sleeping a little in that first matchup but you can bet they’ll be wide awake this time around. With nothing but payback in mind.

The Louisville Basketball program will pay homage to The Great One with the White Out theme on Saturday. Ali was at his best when facing his toughest challenges. One of my favorite Ali quotes:

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

Louisville basketball fans and the guys on this Louisville Basketball team all know what it’s like to be defeated. We’ve been beaten to hell and back over the last couple of years. We have all waited for a big game like the one on Saturday. Top 20 matchup, big atmosphere, a battle for conference supremacy. The Program has made its way back.

A looming factor here will be Louisville’s 83-62 victory over the Tar Heels back on January 12, and the result of this game will tell us a lot about each team as we head towards March. Enjoy it, folks!
Go Cards!

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Down the stretch they come…


Down the stretch they come is the most exciting phrase in horse racing… In that stretch run, the athlete has to be at peak performance as this is the toughest part of the race. This Louisville Basketball team is coming down the stretch run of their schedule. It will be pretty exciting. And it will be the toughest part of the season for this group.

After tonight the final 10 games of the season will include a game with #9 UNC, #2 Duke, Two games with #3 UVA, a game with #12 VT, a game with #25 FSU… and game at Syracuse. Cuse isn’t ranked but there aren’t any easy ones at the Carrier Dome in late February. Folks this is a stretch run. We are going to really find out what this team is made of over the next few weeks.

Tonight will feature teams going in different directions in the ACC. Wake Forest has lost six of their last seven games and has been dismal on the offensive end of the floor shooting just 38% from the field in their last five games. It’s hard to make any kind of argument for the Demon Deacons in this game other than they have the home court.

In contrast, our Cardinals enter this game playing their best ball of the season and are shooting 46.7% from the field while winning by an average of 16.2 points during their five-game winning streak. Louisville is outscoring teams by an average of 10 points on the road this season. The Cardinals have won three of their last five road games.

I don’t know what is going to happen as this team faces the toughest part of their schedule after tonight. But it has been fun up to this point and I’d like to believe that Coach Mack has been building these guys for the stretch run. I’m looking forward to it.

Should be another big win tonight. Enjoy it, folks. Go Cards!

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Cards Return Home as a Top 25 team



For the first time in a long time, our Cardinals have made their way back into the AP Top 25 as the 23rd ranked team in the country. They will play the 17th ranked NC State Wolfpack tonight at the Yum Center.

This Louisville team has been rolling thru the Conference Schedule winning 4 of their 5 ACC games so far by double-digits. They have done that with great offensive play. This Louisville team can score points in a hurry bringing back the ”boom” we had learned to love. They are currently ranked #46 in the country in scoring offense.

They have also done it by taking better care of the basketball. This team was a turnover machine during the first part of the season but have now become one of the better teams in the country at not giving away the ball. The Cardinals are ranked #68 in the country in Fewest Turnovers.

This group had to learn a whole new defense this season under Coach Mack and it has taken them a little longer to come together on that end of the floor. But during this current 3 game winning streak, they have seen those numbers come up. Now up to 105th in Field Goal % defense and 127th in Three Point Field Goal %. I’m excited to see this team when the lights really come on.

It’ll take a good defensive effort tonight against a good Wolfpack team. As a team, NC State is averaging the 6th-most points per game in the country, putting up 86.7 points per game, shooting 49.4% from the field, 38.1% from 3-point range and 69.8% from the foul line this season.

This NC State team is hard to defend 17th in assists per game and do a great job at giving themselves second-chance points. They hit the glass. They are ranked 10th in the country in Rebound Margin. They will get after the Cardinals on defense as well ranked 10th in Turnovers Forced.

It should be a great game between two well-coached and scrappy ACC teams. If this Louisville team plays as they have been they shouldn’t have any problem taking care of business. They can’t afford a slow start tonight either. Especially as efficient as the Wolfpack is on offense.

Enjoy it, folks! Go Cards!

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