Too much Duke for Brandon Hundley-Hatifield but one his best games at UofL (Mike DeZarn photo).
Good look for Nolan Smith, wearing a suit against against Duke, his alma mater, keeping the score close for a while (Mike DeZarn photo).

So close and yet so far.

Some old feelings almost emerge when this University of Louisville basketball team keeps it close against some better programs. But they are contained, the Observer knowing this team doesn’t have what it takes to pull off a win over Duke and any of the elite these days.

UofL better on offense, but doesn’t seem to have a clue on defense. Another team making it look easy against the Cardinals. Duke winning 83-69 in front of 12,620 at the KFC Yum! Center. Another three-point circus with the visitors from Durhm, NC, connecting on nine of 25 attempts  So easy for the opposition, so difficult for the homies, five of 17 behind the arc.

Another blown opportunity for Coach Kenny Payne who says all the right things off the court but is unable to make anything happen on the court. The UofL fan base is watching with its collective hands over its eyes, hoping the former Cardinal can right the ship, but knowing only limited success is possible.

Promising performances for some Cardinals, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield with one better over games at UofL with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Mike James and Skyy Clark with 13 points each. Ty-Laur Johnson adding 10 points.

The Cardinals trailing by 65-60 with 7:37 to go in the game. Not supposed to be that close, could it happen? Whoops, another 3-pointer for Duke, followed by another UofL brick, and an open layup for Duke. The window has closed again, the outcome is inevitable. Louisville will lose again, falling to 6-13 for the season. Duke up to 14-4.

Not one of Duke’s better games, either, can’t blame them for not having serious respect for UofL, putting forth only enough effort to finish off the Cardinals.

The fans are waiting, waiting patiently for someone to do what is necessary, to make the right decisions to get the program back on track.

This young UofL fan was excited about the possibility of a signature win for UofL over Duke (Mike DeZarn photo).
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By Charlie Springer

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

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