Wednesday, March 1, 2023


University of Louisville News & Perspectives

Who Needs Offense? Louisville 69, Pittsburgh 63

Flashbacks from a win over a No. 1-ranked Pittsburgh by the University of Louisville — sweet, sweet payback against a team that has made the Cards look silly four or five times too often over the last three seasons:

Edgar Sosa making a picture-perfect pass to Samardo Samuels, Samuels attempting to break the glass full force, not this time but some day soon, pulling the Cards even at 58-58.

Is the door open? Is that opportunity knocking?

Pitt’s Levance Fields missing his 11th field goal attempt. Terrence Williams responding with a layup, putting UofL on top 60-58 with three minutes to go.

Can one even think about the possiblity? Dare to hope?

Earl Clark hitting two of two free throws, Louisville up 62-58 at 2:17.

Hold on, man. We may just do it again. No promises. Just maybe.

Terrence Williams pleading with the crowd for noise while Pitt’s Jermaine Dixon is at the free throw line, the Cards clinging to a two-point lead with 1:25 to go. The crowd responding on cue, Dixon missing the free throw, no chance for a bonus.

Everybody standing up, and I mean everybody, except the woman in the next seat, her eyes closed, head in her lap.

Samuels, Sosa, and McGee hitting five of six free throws in the final 17 seconds.

Edgar Sosa hurling the basketball into the 23rd row, at least. Game over.

Happy 21st Birthday, Earl Clark, Louisville 69-63.

*   *   *

This is what Rick Pitino is talking about when he stresses defense. Don’t recall any offense except for T-will’s three three-pointers and Samuels’ dunk. Just the swarming around a Pittsburgh guard the media describes as the best college point guard in the nation. Just another great guard getting shut down by Jerry Smith, Preston Knowles and Andre McGee.

Still, Pittsburgh gets 30 points hitting three pointers, only 18 for the Cards. How were the Cards still in this game?

Never mind the anomaly.

Defense, of course.

This is what it means to have fun playing defense. Making the opponent play so hard their passes are being thrown to ghosts, shots falling short or bounding into the erector set.

ESPN commentators Jay Bilas, Sean McDonough and Digger Phelps afterward trying to outdo each other describing just how effective the Louisville defense was in shutting down the powerful and pugnacious Pitt Panthers.

*   *   *

Happy Birthday, Earl, don’t stay out too late.

Share this

Charlie Springer

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

8 thoughts on “Who Needs Offense? Louisville 69, Pittsburgh 63

  • January 17, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    # 1 is Done !

    What a ride!

    We just took down the #1 team in the country,and did it with a full house of fevered Card fans standing and screaming and urging their team on in the Hall.

    And then…. after the game, we sang Happy Birthday to Earl Clark as he celebrated his 21st , with the Cards perched alone atop the strongest conference in the land at 4-0…


  • January 17, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    This was a great write-up, Charlie. It was a sweet victory, indeed.

  • January 18, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Lady Cards are rolling! U of L men take out every ranked team in front of them! After a pretty dismal football season,this is what EVERY U of L fan deserves! Nobody pinch me! No one disturb me! Because if I’m just dreaming all this right now, I don’t want to wake up! GO CARDS!!

  • January 18, 2009 at 5:22 am

    3 great wins over Top 25 opponents.

    At least we have great coaches in Men’s and Women’s basketball, along with baseball.

    I figure that giving Jurich a “mulligan” in football until he comes to his senses, is the least we can do for Tom, for all he has done for us.

    It has just been really hard to know cumulatively in our hearts, that we may not have a winning football season for many years to come.

    But if Tom wants to give several million of the University $$$ to his longtime friend from Northern Arizona Krag before he gets run out of D-I football, so be it.

  • January 18, 2009 at 9:01 am

    An awesome game! You gotta love the teamwork that was shown…strong D…great passes…big rebounds. When was the last time U of L knocked off a #1 team? Go Cards!

  • January 18, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I think since Rick is so driven and such a hard worker he should double as defensive coordinator for the football team. Maybe even head coach!

  • January 18, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I haven’t seen such excitement about our BB team since the Denny Crum days. The Hall is rockin’ like she used to…..what a fantastic win for our Cardinals and fans. Now if we can keep our kids from reading too many of their press clippings……Go CARDS !!!

  • January 18, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    One field goal in the last eight minutes plus. Defense was the key, no doubt. Freedom Hall yesterday was a awesome, charged place to be. The days of aisle streaming when UofL is down by 10 with eight to go is hgopefully over. Yesterday, the Cards and the crowd combined together to take down #1. And, in the nation’s capitol…Angel and the Lady Cards go to 18-1, 5-0 in the Big East by blitzing Georgetown in the first half. Just another day in the office for the best player in women’s college basketball this year. Angel 24, Georgetown 21 after twenty minutes. We are in the midst of the best college basketball in the country right now, and…by the way…Happy Birthday Earl and Edgar!

Comments are closed.