File The Memories, Pittsburgh Looms

By Charlie Springer

Anyone else have trouble sleeping the night of the Notre Dame game? Eyes closed but the mind still churning, dwelling on T-Will dunks, Earl Clark explosions, Samardo Samuels put-backs, Terrence Jennings blocks, Edgar Sosa’s prayer shots, and Kyle McAlarney being hounded by Jerry Smith, Preston Knowles and Andre McGee.

Visions lingering, lingering longer than those years-ago hangovers. The observer had to catch a three-hour nap the next afternoon to get back to normal. Tuck the memories away for now, move on. There is work to do, other issues, each game bigger than the last one.

Still, the observer would venture that Louisville hasn’t played a game at that level against such a good opponent since 1986. Yes, of course, we remember the comeback versus West Virginia in 2005, the Tennessee finish in 2001, and all the Memphis and Marquette thrillers.

Games like these are what turn ordinary fans into full-fledged fanatics and raise expectations through the roof. Four breath-stopping finishes in less than 10 days. The difference between Monday’s game and the other games is that UofL was playing at a much higher level against Notre Dame. No miracle comeback required.

Among many reasons to be nervous as No. 1 Pittsburgh comes calling Saturday is whether this particular group of Cards will have a mental letdown after so many close games. One can expect Rick Pitino to dig deep into his repository of motivational kick-starts for a pre-game speech that will rival all others this weekend. How much would you pay to hear that one?

Memories of last season’s game at Pittsburgh are dominated by flashes of burly monsters who constantly dominated the backboards, obscenely stuffed the baskets, and physically abused the Cards while rarely getting called for fouls. Yeah, the Cards lost for the third straight year to Pitt in the Big East Tournament. Memories of those games non-existent. Intentionally or unintentionally, who knows?

Time to create new memories: The Notre Dame game may have been child’s play compared to what’s coming Saturday.

Lady Cards Now 16-1

The Louisville women’s basketball is having a special season, too, off to an incredible 16-1 start. Two wins in a row the last two seasons over perennial power Rutgers. They would be undefeated if they had not played Nevada and some questionable officiating on Nevada’s home court but you won’t get any excuses from Jeff Walz.

If you’re a University of Louisville fanatic, you owe yourself the next home game against Cincinnati next Tuesday, at 8 p.m. at Freedom Hall. Angel McCoughtry is as good as they say she is, an exceptional basketball player.

Before that happens, however, the Lady Cards face South Florida in Tampa tonight (see Sonja’s preview) at 8, and they travel to Washington, D.C. on Saturday to face Georgetown at 4 p.m.  One week later, they will play No. 1 UConn (15-0) on the road.

Catch your breath if you follow both the men’s and women’s teams. Huge times ahead.

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.

4 thoughts on “File The Memories, Pittsburgh Looms”

  1. I’m glad you had the time to take a nap but for those us still leaving the house to get to work, that was not possible. I’m still coming down myself. Great game, I agree, but not much time to enjoy it, not with Pitt bringing its aspirations to town.

  2. Pittsburgh has players who should be playing for the Steelers, using their brute strength to get their way. Hopefully, the game will be tightly officiated.

  3. Not bloody likely…this is the Big East and brawl ball is as accepted as grits in Smyrna, Tennessee. UofL must use their speed to counteract the thuginess. Pitt’s women’s basketball team plays the same way…must be a river confluence thing.

    I will give credit to the officials for one thing this year. They’re showing up. Other than that, three blind chimps with blinkers on could do a better job of monitoring the action. The Lady Cards have been drawing these tall bald headed guys in stripe shirts who have lost the pea in their whistles and this one short, hyper chick who blows that thing like Clarence Clemmons on the saxaphone. It could be worse, but only if the players had to wear swimming flippers and do the hokey pokey after each basket. I’ve made better calls on my cell phone this year.

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