Long time ago, way back, an eternity.
Nobody ever taking anything for granted in South Bend. Not with the University of Louisville basketball team not having a won a game against Notre Dame since 1994. Twenty-five years between UofL’s 85-83 overtime win that year and the Cardinals’ 82-78 win in double overtime on Tuesday.
If David Padgett is still around a couple of decades from now, fans will be referencing the game in January of 2018 when he ended the losing streak. A 32-year-old interim head coach, no head coaching experience, the youngest mentor in the NCAA’s toughest division.
Padgett doing something his mentor wasn’t able to do in six chances at South Bend. Another major booster shot for him and, indeed, for a team that keeps getting better, improving its record to 14-4 overall and 4-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Finding a way to win while being outrebounded 48-34 by Notre Dame and with Matt Ferrell and Martinas Geben scoring 23 points and 22 points, respectively. Achieving a rare feat, with his team making more free throws than the home team at South Bend — UofL sinking 15 of 17 at the free throw line while the Irish were making only 7 of 11.
Convincing his people that they could win, trusting them, them trusting him, listening, executing, refusing to wilt. Something really good happening here, people.
— Quentin Snider needing 21 points to make the 1,000-point club, doing it with a point to spare with his 22 for the night. The last two the game-clinching free throws with six seconds on the clock. Seven assists extraordinary.
— Ray Spalding making those scary hook shots look easy, especially at crunch time, with 23 points, 12 rebounds and two assists.
— Deng Adel giving up the basketball, working it around, letting other people score, winding up with 12 points and a couple of assists.
— Ryan McMahon three from downtown and 9 points.
— Anas Mahmoud with four of those marvelous blocks.
A win in South Bend at long last, Padgett making it happen.