Louisville relents after five grueling overtimes

Finally over.

Sixty five minutes of frustration, underscoring the incredible luck of the Irish, extending through five overtimes, with Notre Dame finally prevailing 104-101 in five overtimes.

ESPN was quick to designate the game as a classic but University of Louisville basketball fans won’t want to be reminded of the ordeal. If they don’t blank it out of their memory banks altogether, there will be some lasting impressions:

  • The contrast between the huddles on the sidelines, one coach, Mike Brey, smiling, chuckling, seemingly not even bothering to draw up plays during timeouts or between overtimes. The other, Rick Pitino, angry, frustrated, constantly in the ear of one of his players, wondering what he’s going to do next, but still plotting strategy.

  • Russ Smith having an off night in almost every phase of the game, apparently ignoring everything the coach tells him, wanting to be the one with ball with the game on the line, oblivious to other teammates, distinguishing himself as probably the most trying player Pitino has ever coached.
  • Peyton Siva fouling out again, afraid to shoot, never a threat offensively, unable to create any shots for himself, contributing only two points. Available for only five minutes during the extra 25.
  • Chane Behanan will be remembered as much for the familiar bobbling of the ball as much as the career high 30 points and 15 rebounds during the loss. Flashes of greatness mingled with some major attention deficits.
  • Gorgui Dieng, still not strong or heavy enough, getting beat up and pushed around inside, despite the 18 points and 14 rebounds in 44 minutes.

One could go on but this game magnified a lot of weaknesses with this UofL team, the same team that could seemingly do no wrong against Marquette last Sunday. The ups and downs, the inconsistencies, the collective mindset, the individuality, the weird nature of college basketball this days, all making it impossible to envision or predict what’s coming next as the season enters the stretch.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

12 thoughts on “Louisville relents after five grueling overtimes”

  1. 1. Bad foul shooting team
    2. Siva is not playing like a Sr.
    3. Russ Smith is still out of control
    4. Inconsistant guard play as a team
    5. We have no half court game
    6. Inconsistant outside and 3PT shooting
    7. Weak bench coaching in tight games

    I hope we fix these weaknesses ASAP!

      1. Included in the weak bench coaching was the failure to call time-out and set up a final play. (Of course, if you don’t have any final play that’s worked for four weeks and/or the players forget or fail to execute, why bother!?!) Someone in the press has to ask Pitino about his apparent failure. To not do so this week is an equal failure on their part.

        Another major heart-to-heart talk between Pitino and Smith as he did earlier in the season is essential. If he doesn’t immediately respond, keep him on the bench and let us lose, if need be. That may be the only way it gets in his head. How can so talented a player be so immature/impulsive!

  2. Never turn the TV off before it’s done. I did when Louisville was up by eight late. Imagine my surprise when I checked the final this morning.

    It ain’t over till it’s over and congrats to the UND squad for “not hearing no bell.”

    1. Unbelievable, Paul. Must have had a really busy day ahead of you to turn a UofL game off before it ended. A former basketball player at that, one who knows that if it can happen, it will, especially at South Bend.

  3. Would someone please tell the announcers that Ware WAS entitled to that vertical space behind Cooley, and it would have been a foul on Cooley when he flung himself backwards whether Ware had been standing on the ground in that space or, as it happened, Ware occupied that space in the air.

    And, I remember before the Pitt game that CRP made the point that yelling at the refs did not cause them to focus on the game, but in fact had the opposite effect. Coach to player communication; hint, hint, nudge, nudge.

    1. While I agree with you regarding Ware, Cooley was pushed from the front with a forearm in the chest, I think it was Chane but not sure. But yea, Ware went straight up.

      1. If you are not pushing Cooley then you are going backwards. As I saw it he disengaged from the normal contact allowed in that game and then launched himself up and back in an effort to snare the loose ball; but, then, I am partial.

  4. On the last ND drive to the basket in regulation there is no doubt in my mind that the referee that called the block got caught up in the excitement of the comeback. At best a no call, more likely a charge. Putting the disappointment aside, you would have to admit it was a really entertaining game.

    1. “Entertaining” to a Card Fan!?!? NOT!!!
      It was like an hour-long series of novacaine-free molar extractions!!

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