Madison Square Garden providing a big stage for a brief resumption of the University of Louisville vs. Memphis basketball rivalry. Memphis nowhere near what it used to be while UofL simply attempting to maintain respectability amidst ongoing controversy.
Taking a little getting used to, seeing David Padgett on the Louisville bench, Tubby Smith with that glare of his, hoping to keep the Memphis players focused. One of the coaches just getting started, the other nearing the end of a respectable career.
Nice to see the Tigers again but once every three or four years is probably enough of them.
One couldn’t help but compare where the two programs are these days, with Louisville having moved on to the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference three years ago while Memphis settles into its fourth year in the American Athletic Conference. Despite the clouds hanging over the UofL program, never doubt that the Tigers would trade places in a New York minute.
Little of the drama that used to accompany UofL-Memphis basketball games of yesteryear. They hadn’t played since 2014 when the Tigers edged the Cardinals by six points in Memphis. Difficult for fans to maintain a grudge when their teams haven’t played in three years.
Memphis did manage to get Louisville’s attention, holding the Cardinals to a 38-38 tie at the end of the first half. The Tigers continued to threaten late in the second half, trailing Louisville 63-59 with seven minutes to go.
Senior guard Quentin Snider would make good on a jumper at that point, his sixth field goal of the game, make a key rebound and add a couple of assists. UofL would never be seriously threatened thereafter, prevailing by a 81-72 score, improving its record to 8-2 for the season.
Snider would lead all scores with 19 points, making good on six of eight field goal attempts, including three of four 3-point shots. He would also be credited with five assists and three rebounds. V. J. King and Ray Spalding making significant contributions as well, with 17 and 12 points, respectively.
The image that will linger from this game will be that of Deng Adel taking aim behind 3-point line, time after time. Establishing himself as a once and future long-range threat, making good on five of eight 3-point attempts for all of his 15 points.
UofL improving its edge in the series which began back in 1948 to 54-36. Nice to see the Tigers again but once every three or four years is probably enough.