A cumbersome, plodding Notre Dame team running its playbook to perfection, picking the University of Louisville basketball team apart with its maddening methodical approach.

Leading actor Ben Hansbrough and his supporting cast taking their time, refusing to be hurried, slowly squeezing the life out of Rick Pitino’s troops. Hansbrough, the one with the perpetual glare, the player Pitino fears the most, all but smirking as he twists the knife in the gut.

Situation teetering on the edge of despair, with fouls taking their toll on U of L with an eternity to go in regulation.

But Pitino still had that look in his eyes, the unflinching look, refusing to concede. He also had Preston Knowles, who had gone to the bench with four fouls with Peyton Siva with more than 10 minutes to go in regulation.

Knowles, probably more than any player Pitino has coached at UofL, shares his coach’s absolute disgust for losing. Their will to win, however, is even more of a force, their driving force, motivating them and everybody around them. If the game’s not over, anything is within reach.

Knowles, with his own expression, we’re not going to lose no matter how bad it gets, would score 10 of 20 points after he had collected his fourth foul. There was no way he was not going to make any of those six straight free throws when U of L absolutely had to have them.

Preston Knowles was already a special player in the minds of University of Louisville fans, delivering time after time for a team that has to fight for everything it earns. His performance against Notre Dame added still another chapter in a book that just keeps getting better.

Preston would never even be considered for Player of the Year or All-America honors, but that’s not among his aspirations. There have been many great players at UofL over the decades, but few with more heart. Don’t be surprised to see his name in the rafters at the KFC Yum! Center in the near future.

Charlie Springer

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

7 thoughts on “Preston provides punch as Louisville decks Notre Dame

  • March 12, 2011 at 10:59 am
    Permalink

    This win was the best thus far. How we won I will never know. Good story, man. Knowles is already a legend and deserves lasting recognition.

  • March 12, 2011 at 11:01 am
    Permalink

    Unbelievable win. Pitino has that fire back, but he has some guys named Preston Knowles, Kyle Kuric, Peyton Siva and Harry who refuse to lose.

  • March 12, 2011 at 11:49 am
    Permalink

    What a game! What a win! And out of all the memorable moments, one which I recall is the camera catching a shot of golfer Nick Faldo in the stands, announcers pointing out that he had switched shirt colors from first game, this time supporting the Irish. I believe he wore orange for the first game. Hey, Nick: please wear UConn’s color tonight. Seems to work – not! Go Cards!!!

  • March 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm
    Permalink

    PK needs only 4 more points for 1,000!

  • March 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm
    Permalink

    Hey Charlie, give Steve a call and tell him I want to see a huge -I just won a car- grin on his face in the next picture he posts from the big apple! Keep on trucking cards, 4 more points PK! GO CARDS.

  • March 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm
    Permalink

    Will do, Dave. The family is sightseeing today.

Comments are closed.