UNLV players and fans more than a little excited about the opportunity to play the University of Louisville basketball team. My, what a home court advantage, an obscure national TV network, painted faces, wild hair, and super adrenaline can do for a team.

Congratulations on escaping by the skin of your teeth over an early December Rick Pitino-coached team, leaning heavily on a freshman and sophomore-laden youth group and a couple of seniors. Still, the visitors manage to put together a 30-11 run in the second half to overcome an 18-point deficit.

And how about students rushing the court after the game? Been a while since you’ve been there, hasn’t it? Hey, it’s the early season.

  • Edgar Sosa is making the move into the paint much more quickly these days, creating more opportunities for himself and his teammates. His three-point shooting looking good again.
  • Samado Samuels still getting bounced around, unable to finish.
  • Jared Swopshire among the missing, not playing with any visible sense of urgency. Shades of Earl Clark. Forget it.
  • The sooner Mike Mara finds the basket, the better.
  • Rakeem Buckles, a nice surprise, with his 10 points and 11 rebounds, is going to be a force.
  • Jerry Smith, a senior captain, still making a combination of freshman and bonehead moves. Mr. Wisconsin Basketball 2005, you know better.

Charlie Springer

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

22 thoughts on “UNLV Adrenaline Rushes Past Louisville, 76-71

  • November 29, 2009 at 2:49 am
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    Adrenaline, painted faces, blah blah blah…

    It doesn’t matter how it got done, Louisville got beat fair and square on both courts. The students rushed because Louisville is [supposed to be] a good team.

    • November 30, 2009 at 2:33 am
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      Other unranked teams have beaten Louisville the past few years and none of them chanted overrated seconds before storming the court. LOL. Besides that silliness, it was a great win for UNLV and last year’s win in Freedom Hall even more impressive, sans Wink. Good luck this year in the MWC.

  • November 29, 2009 at 4:21 am
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    “My, what a home court advantage, an obscure national TV network, painted faces, wild hair, and super adrenaline can do for a team.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe UNLV also beat Louisville on their home court last year and the game was aired on ESPN, without our best player, Wink Adams? If you want to talk about leaning heavily on a freshman and sophomore laden youth group, why don’t you look at the starting five of both teams. We had two juniors and three sophomores start, while your team started two seniors, a junior and two sophomores. UNLV’s whole roster has only one senior on scholarship. Can we please stop making excuses and call it what it is? Coach Kruger gets more out of his players than Coach Pitino does. UNLV has had a better game plan versus Louisville the past two seasons, regardless of where the game was played or shown.

  • November 29, 2009 at 4:56 am
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    Who do you think Louisville played…yeah, a bunch of freshman, sophomores and a couple of seniors…Sounds like sour grapes to me…two years in a row UNLV has beaten your Cards…last year your classless douchebag of a coach couldn’t even shake the hand of Coach Kruger after the loss…you act like you win the national championship every year…it’s been since 1986.

  • November 29, 2009 at 5:30 am
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    …well, I think there was a compliment in there, so thanks….I guess.

    However, you fail to realize UNLV is also a team of freshmen and sophomores, with a few upperclassmen, bit we dont have one starter thats a senior…..and play 2 freshmen 3 sophomores over 10 minutes a game a piece.

    Not sure why the chants and rushing the court, but that’s just young people nowadays…and they were just excited, I guess.

    In the end, Unoccupied has beaten Louisville the past two years playing lesser talent, and a large rotation of players. Just watch out….now that Kruger is getting more talent…we’ll be getting the last laugh in March soon enough.

  • November 29, 2009 at 12:51 pm
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    Again, congratulations, UNLV fans. Two in a row, home and away. You were ready to play. We don’t have to like it.

    • November 29, 2009 at 2:11 pm
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      True, you don’t have to like it…but you don’t have to insult us either. Unfortunately, due to your classless coach, Louisville is very easy to dislike.

      • November 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm
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        Not sure where you’re coming from with the classless coach comment. Don’t take these things personally.

        • November 30, 2009 at 9:19 pm
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          Don’t know where the ENTIRE WORLD got that Pitino is classless? Let’s see:

          1.) Encourages, if not pays for, abortion for skank he slept with behind wife’s back.
          2.) Doesn’t shake Kruger’s hand after 2008 loss.
          3.) Wife talks mess about Las Vegas after interview 5 years ago.

          Sorry…it is personal…and Pitino is CLASSLESS d-bag…but then again, you folks in Kentucky will over look anything to win a friggin’ basketball game.

          • November 30, 2009 at 9:40 pm
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            We live in Louisville by the way, and take offense to any other references to our residence. Also, Tark proved that UNLV will do just about anything to win a game. So where’s the superior high ground?

            • December 1, 2009 at 5:06 pm
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              Can’t argue with your Tark assessment right up to the point where they FIRED him due to his improper practices. The program suffered for more than a decade because of that.

              So, there’s your moral high ground. I can’t believe that you actually believe that Pitino is anything more than a POS hired gun. You realize he’ll leave the Cards the minute a more attractive offer comes his way. That’s him. No class. No loyalty. Dirtbag D-bag.

              I don’t hate Louisville…I hate Pitino

          • November 30, 2009 at 11:05 pm
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            Billy,
            UNLV basketball is enjoying success again so why still hold such an emotional grudge against Pitino some 8 years after he flirted with your program?

            Your stereotype of “folks in Kentucky” is laughable considering UNLV celebrates one of the most infamous cheats in college basketball by naming their home court after the Shark. Talk about overlooking…

            • December 1, 2009 at 5:10 pm
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              And UNLV basketball paid the price…and so did Tark…oh, wait a minute the NCAA had to pay him $2.5 million to settle the case. Hmmmm?

              • December 1, 2009 at 7:21 pm
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                OJ Simpson was found not guilty as well.

                Your hate for Pitino isn’t justified anymore, he didn’t hurt your program for anything more than a day or two of bad press some 8 years ago…get over it.

              • December 3, 2009 at 4:00 am
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                Hot Hot,
                Um…they didn’t give OJ $2.5 million after the not guilty verdict did they? I don’t have a problem with Pitino for not coming to UNLV…if you read my posts carefully you backwoods Kentucky troglodyte, I don’t like him because he has NO CLASS! I cited the examples…but like most from your part of the country you only see basketball…and will overlook virtually anything else…Pitino, while a very good basketball coach, is considered by most to be a POS!

              • December 3, 2009 at 5:05 am
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                Ok Billy, I get it…Rick Pitino is not going to win Time’s Person of the Year award and if he wasn’t a good basketball coach for Louisville, I wouldn’t be defending him.

                I’m still trying to connect the dots on why someone like you would hate him that much that you have to come onto a Louisville blog and scream that he “HAS NO CLASS!!” if it has nothing to do with UNLV? Do you go onto Tiger Woods and David Letterman sites and hate on them too?

                UNLV, while finally a good basketball team again, is remembered almost as much for it’s championship as for it’s scandalous fall from the top. We all have our moments.

                And troglodyte…? Really? On a Wednesday? Actually, I live and work in Vegas but it has only been 7 years since I moved out of my family’s cave in Louisville so maybe you’re right.

      • November 29, 2009 at 8:35 pm
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        Throwing stones from a glass house can be dangerous…Billy. Jerry Tarkanian was no saint.

  • November 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm
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    Early season losses to a mid-major are common for Pitino’s team. Give the Runnin’ Rebs credit for not totally falling apart after Louisville closed the gap late in the second half. A win is a win, no matter how you go about getting it and UNLV did enough to earn it.

    As for the Versus network, where the game was televised…sometimes it’s just better to listen to the game on the radio.

  • November 30, 2009 at 2:25 am
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    LOL @ UNLV fans. Your student section starts a sordid chant of “Overrated” and then, seconds later, storms the court as if they’d just toppled Rome. You choose to take Mr. Springer’s words as insulting but your cheers of overrated did the job first. Take pride in your team, they’re young, they go 10 or 11 deep and Kruger is indeed a great coach.

    Charlie, what most Louisville fans don’t realize is that UNLV fans have a UofK-like hatred for Rick Pitino. After his Celtics meltdown, Rick led UNLV folks to believe he would be the next Rebels head coach, saying things like “barring unforeseen circumstances” he was their guy. He then visited Vegas and had the local media telling everyone it was a done deal…only to scorn them in what they feel was a premeditated move on Rick’s part to get more $$ to lure him to the Derby City vice Sin City. So the hot chick flirted with them in the club for several hours only to leave with the taller guy who drives a Lexus and even though they eventually found their soulmate and settled down with Lon Kruger, there will always be sour grapes ‘tween Rick and Rebel fan.

    Alas, I loved the atmosphere at the game, I’ve never seen lines of fans like that at the ticket office and the Thomas & Mack Center was easily twice as loud as I’ve ever heard it the last 3 seasons I’ve attended UNLV games. You beat us last year without Wink and this year you beat us with guys that were playing in high school last year. Congrats on helping your team beat ours and all the credit in the world for not folding after the L’ville comeback in the 2nd half with such a young team…we’ll see you again next year.

  • November 30, 2009 at 3:03 am
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    ….one more thing, “mid major”? UNLV is the 3rd winningest program of all time in D1 college hoops….we’ve got 3 final fours and a national championship. So many claim Gonzaga as a major bball program….what have they really accomplished…they’re a poor man’s UNLV.

    • November 30, 2009 at 5:22 am
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      blarney-
      Since you’re throwing it around, you should’ve clarified that UNLV is the fourth winningest program in D1…in winning percentage. And every other program in the top 15 of the same stat category has more all time wins than UNLV has games played–the Rebs didn’t dribble a ball until 1959. Be proud of the national championship and Final Fours but let’s not get too crazy with the #3 or #4 winningest program in D1 stuff. After all, that was your student section storming the court after beating us…

  • November 30, 2009 at 3:04 am
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    oops…four final fours and a national championship.

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