Discouraging, demoralizing, terrible start. Proof of life needed.
Florida State jumping out to a 9-0 lead, widening the margin to 17 points, near the end of the first half. Visions of the University of Louisville basketball program spiraling into oblivion.
But wait. Five minutes into the second half. Some vital signs emerging, the patient stirring, still breathing, coming out of the coma. Deng Adel scoring six straight points to cut the deficit to eight points. Does one dare imagine a comeback with this team?
A layup by Ray Spalding, down to six. Then back up to eight. Ryan McMahon with a 3-pointer, down to five. Did the switch turn on? Are we seeing things? Are these guys serious? Are they teasing us? Too good to be true, surely an aberration. Are these our guys making a comeback?
Florida State will extend the lead to eight again but the Cardinals are not done. A 3-pointer by Quinten Snider, two free throws by Spalding, and a three by Adel will tie the game up at 55-55. This is really happening.
UofL will finally get its first lead (64-62) on a 3-pointer by Ryan McMahon at the 4:55 mark. He will strike again, with another 3-pointer with 55 second to put UofL up by five. And he will nail the door shut with two free throws at the 1.5 mark to seal a 73-69 win for Louisville.
Never has a University of Louisville needed a win at this point in the season more badly than this one, facing an outlook with which few UofL could come to grips.
Showing some signs of life, emerging from the shadows, clawing their way out of the depths of despair. Never was there a win so unexpected or so welcome for a team needing something good to happen.
No one coming to their rescue, they have to make it happen. And they will. Proof of life, indeed.