U of L barges past DePaul

Some games, even winning ones, leave a sour taste. Not fun to watch, just have to get through them.

A typical basketball game against DePaul for the University of Louisville, the 79-58 decision coming after another sluggish affair against a team that often turns in one of its better performances of the season against the Cardinals.

UofL’s flight arriving in Chicago in mid-afternoon because of Tuesday’s weather conditions, playing a late night game, the day’s routine altering their pre-game routine, and a mediocre opponent challenging their intensity levels. DePaul racing out to an 8-0 lead, jarring the  team out of its lethargy.

Hello, this is DePaul folks and it’s never easy.

  • Peyton Siva just happened to still be available as DePaul was reducing a 17-point deficit to a single digit in the closing minutes. Playing with four fouls, this time providing a calming presence, as well as some points. His 16 points and six assists notwithstanding.
  • Russ Smith, with five assists, is still coming to grips with Rick Pitino’s insistance that he is an excellent passer, often passing up shots to find teammates, at other times running into obstacles beneath the basket. A landmark game for him, his 16 points putting him at the 1,0002-point level.
  • Gorgui Dieng, his ears maybe still ringing from the flight, would manage only four rebounds.
  • Chane Behanan would turn in the dunk of the year, his knee leveling the defender’s face, prompting one official to call a foul that would be overturned by his co-workers.
  • Wayne Blackshear just hasn’t done well in his hometown Chicago, managing only one field goal.
  • Montrezl Harrell probably had more fun than anyone with those dunks, each better than the last. Now back to working on those free throws.

Syracuse up next. Noon game Saturday. Get up early.

Big East Catholic schools rush to exit

Moving at record speed for a group of academic institutions, seven Catholic basketball schools have agreed to leave the Big East, according to a report from ESPN. They first discussed the possibility with Commissioner Mike Aresco on Sunday.

DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova have finally seen the folly of mixing football and basketball-focused schools and may form still another conference. Pundits are already describing the new creation as the Big Priest Conference.

They may have to wait a while, however, because the Big East may have a case for requiring them to pay exit fees and requiring them to wait 27 months under league by-laws. Apparently the announced departure of the University of Louisville to the ACC and Rutgers University to the Big Ten was the final straw for the schools.

Don’t expect their plans to ease the way for an early departure of UofL to the ACC. An Coxey’s Army of lawyers is already involved, and the football schools in the Big East have the Catholic schools outnumbered 12 to 7.

Conference realignment continues to take some unpredictable turns.



Burke for 20 in final home game

Becky Burke bids farewell to University of Louisville women’s basketball fans after lighting up the KFC Yum! Center scoreboard with 20 points in her last home game, a 75-62 win over DePaul. Burke connected on four of six three-point attempts, winding up with 20 points as the Lady Cards achieved a measure of revenge for a recent 25-point loss to the Blue Demons in Chicago. Attendance was 10,454. Burke, a member of the 1,000-point club, has 71 three-pointers this season. The Lady Cards close out Monday at Seton Hall. (Click on photo to enlarge, worth it.)

Not pretty Lady Cards

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Ugly Tuesday night for University of Louisville basketball in Chicago.

Every time one thinks the women’s basketball team is about to achieve its potential, with two consecutive top 10 recruiting classes, this U of L team gets steamrolled. The 17-5 won-lost record, the No. 14 rating quite deceptive.

U of L was slapped around by DePaul, 86-61, trailing at times by 30 points. A nice group of young ladies from Louisville, out for a friendly game of basketball, instead having the ball shoved down their collective throat.

Such bad hosts those DePaul women.

Forgettable season on the way unless things change yesterday.

Report: Central Florida, Memphis To Big East

Let it be true.

WKMG, an Orlando television station, is reporting that Big East Conference expansion could occur as early as next week, with invitations being extended to the universities of Central Florida and Memphis.

The addition of Central Florida would deliver Orlando, with the 19th ranked television market in the country. The Memphis market is 50th largest, right behind Louisville at 49th. Their inclusion would also give the Big East 10 football schools and a total of 18 members.

UCF, which was founded in 1963, is one the nation’s largest public universities with more than 53,000 students. The team plays its football games in Bright House Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 45,000. The majority of the student population is located on the university’s 1,415-acre main campus, about  13 miles northeast of downtown Orlando and 55 miles southwest of Daytona Beach.   The university offers over 225 separate degree options through 12 colleges and 11 satellite campuses throughout Florida.

Memphis, a long-time Louisville rival, has an enrollment of 21,000-plus students and plays football at the 62,000-seat-plus Liberty Bowl Stadium, which, of course, is the site of the annual Liberty Bowl. The university also receives strong support from the Federal Express Company, which maintains its corporate headquarters in Memphis. Will the Big East receive $10 million from Fed Ex for including Memphis?

Meanwhile, a West Virginia blogger speculates that “a couple of non-football members will be seeing the axe soon (read: DePaul, Marquette, St. John’s).”  That seems unlikely.

a couple of non-football members will be seeing the axe soon (read: DePaul, Marquette, St. John’s).