502 Crew dials up a needed win for Louisville basketball

The 502 Crew of Dwayne Sutton, Quentin Snider, and Ray Spalding delivered big time, including 51 points (Kenny Klein photo).

There is life, indeed a beating heart, within this University of Louisville basketball team. Players not throwing in the towel just yet, deciding that they still have much to play for with two games remaining in the regular season. 

Despite all of the recent challenges, the UofL program represents one of the best in the nation. The Virginia Tech fan base, which hasn’t seen their team win against Louisville since 1991, was hungry for a win, salivating when the Hokies raced to a 28-18 lead over the Cardinals. 

The Hokies were looking formidable at the time, ready to assert dominance, ready to bury the Cardinals. Students in a fever, jumping, laughing, pumping their fists, knowing their time was now. Time for Louisville to throw in the towel, and roll over. Or so they thought.

Fortunately for UofL there are players with roots in the community, have grown up watching Louisville basketball, wanting to play at UofL. They would be  Ray Spalding, Quentin Snider and Dwayne Sutton — the best from the 502 area code — not ready to give up on the season.

Snider and Sutton would serve notice that UofL wasn’t going anywhere, scoring eight of their team’s next eight points. The home crowd was stunned, and could only watch as Sutton sank two free throws to give the Cardinals a 32-31 lead.

Spalding, Snider and Sutton would collectively contribute 51 of Louisville’s points, 24 rebounds and eight assists in 75-68 win at Virginia Tech. Sutton, a sophomore thrust into a starting role, would have a career high of 17 points. Snider would wind up with 22 points, including seven 3-pointers.

Spalding, who would score eight straight points at one point in the second half, would have 12 points and seven rebounds.

Deng Adel complementing the 502 crew with one of the best all-around games of his career. Buying into the team game mojo, generously providing an incredible eight assists to his teammates while pulling down nine rebounds and making 10 points.

An impressive win against a good opponent in a hostile environment during an otherwise discouraging week for Louisville basketball. The 502 crew providing some reason for hope when it was sorely needed.

UofL fans are NASCAR fans this weekend

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Round and round they go.

All University of Louisville fans were NASCAR enthusiasts Sunday, closely following Brian Vickers who started in the nine position in the Quaker State 400.

And they will probably adopt Vickers as their favorite NASCAR driver from here on out, collecting all his stuff for their man caves. An integral part of the collection of mementos from the 2013 NCAA basketball championship season.

Brian Vickers
Brian Vickers

“I’m a big fan of sports in general so to have the national champions on board is a huge honor,” said Vickers. “They are winners and it’s always cool to surround yourself with success. Our goal is to make them proud.”

Even Rick Pitino wants a piece of the action.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the car on the track. I think one of those die cast cars might eventually make it to my office,” said Pitino. “I’ve seen the paint scheme and it’s really sharp.”

Anyone doubt he will be granted that wish? Watch for yours soon at a NASCAR web site.