9 – The Shot heard around the Bluegrass State
It was early into the 2008-2009 Basketball season and the preseason #3 Cardinals had dropped to #18 in the rankings after suffering 3 losses including a huge upset by instate Western Kentucky. After being dubbed one of the biggest early season disappointments it was looking like a season that could possibly be spinning out of control. Especially when Rick Pitino issued a press release that he had told his junior point guard Edgar Sosa to transfer. Sosa told Pitino that he just needed one last chance to make things right.
On January 4th 2009 big blue nation rolled into town and he would get that chance. And he would make the best of it. UK had some troubles of their own as new coach Billy Gillispie was struggling to win over the fans in Lexington. This would be his first trip to Louisville and would turn out to be his last.
The Cards took control of this game early and seemed to have the game won at 71-64 before the wheels came off. Two careless turnovers by Earl Clark and a scoring furry by UK’s Jodie Meeks led to a tie game at 71 with 23 seconds left on the clock. You could hear a pin drop in Freedom Hall as the Cardinals inbounded the ball to Edgar Sosa. Sosa dribble down across the half court line and with 2.8 seconds left heaved up a 24 foot shot that was good all the way. The roof came off of the Hall as time expired on the Cats to give UofL the win 74-71, and give them their first home win over UK since 2002.
After scoring 18 points and hitting the biggest shot of his life Sosa was quoted saying “I know that I can play this game and I know of the things I’m capable of doing on the court.” After going from zero to hero on Coach Pitinos list he was quoted as saying “I am really happy for Edgar because it’s been very difficult on him and he got an opportunity to be a hero, which he was.”
Any time my Cards beat the Cats it’s a great moment. But it’s really special when the game summary looks like the ending to a Hollywood Production. And that’s why this one is ranked #9 in my countdown.