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Author Archives: Mitch Motley

Louisville vs Mississippi State: Pregame Breakdown

After thoroughly dismantling Middle Tennessee in the 2nd round, the Louisville Cardinals had to quickly shift their focus to tonight’s game against Mississippi State. The game is set to tip-off at 9pm in the Yum! Center and will be televised on ESPN.

Mississippi State defeated Nebraska in the 1st round and Baylor in the second round to get to this point. They’re led by brothers Quinndary and Nick Weatherspoon. Quinndary leads the team in scoring with 14.4 points per game and Nick is the second leading scorer at 10.9 points per game. Quinndary hit a three-pointer at the buzzer against Baylor to send the Bears home.

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Louisville vs Middle Tennessee: Cards Roll Over Blue Raiders

It started with smothering defense, followed by a massive 3-point barrage that helped Louisville gain an early big lead and the Cards never looked back. Louisville dominated Middle Tennessee and went on to win by a final score of 84-68.

Ray Spalding led the Cards in scoring with 18 points on 8-11 shooting. VJ King also had a good game with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Although the starters played well, the real story was the bench. Jordan Nwora had his best performance as a Cardinal. The true freshman finished the game with 17 points and went 4-8 from the 3-point line. Ryan McMahon had himself a night as well. McMahon was on fire from deep in the 1st half and was a big reason why the Cards jumped out to their early lead. He finished with 15 points and went 4-7 from the 3-point line.

Louisville dominated a solid opponent tonight and the craziest thing about it was Deng Adel didn’t score a single point. Deng only shot the ball once all game, but he did the things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. It was a great team win and this team looks poised to make a run to win this whole thing.

Up next: Louisville will take on Mississippi State on Tuesday at the Yum! Center at 9pm.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Middle Tennessee: Pregame Breakdown

After their gritty hard-fought win over NKU, the Louisville Cardinals take on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders today in the 2nd round of the NIT at 6:30pm in the Yum! Center. The game can be watched on ESPN2.

Middle Tennessee was one of the teams that felt slighted by the selection committee for being a mid-major program. As inconsistent as the committee has proven to be, Middle Tennessee, like Louisville, had no one to blame but themselves for missing out on the Big Dance. The Blue Raiders entered March ranked 24th in the nation and were the heavy favorite to win their conference tournament. They suffered a home loss to Marshall and were bounced in the first round of their conference tournament by Southern Mississippi. They controlled their own destiny and didn’t take advantage of their opportunities, sound familiar?

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Louisville vs Northern Kentucky: Cards Kick Off NIT Play Against In-State Foe

By now it’s no secret, Louisville will not be playing in this year’s NCAA tournament. Instead, Louisville accepted a bid to the NIT and received a 2-seed. Louisville will play 7-seed Northern Kentucky tonight at 7pm in the Yum! Center on ESPN.

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Louisville Basketball: Where Do We Go From Here?

Louisville took one on the chin yesterday. The Cards suffered their 3rd loss of the season to Virginia (this one by 17 points) and left their NCAA tournament hopes in the hands of a group of people who probably don’t want to see them in it. We haven’t been in this position in a long time and quite honestly it’s not a good one to be in, but who cares?

Before the season, the Louisville basketball program was turned upside down. Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich were both fired, leaving the entire Athletic department (more specifically in this case, basketball) in disbelief and heartbreak. That feeling was worse than when our beloved team led by Damion Lee and Trey Lewis had an unfair self-imposed NCAA tournament ban by ex-president of UofL, James Ramsey.

With Pitino and Jurich gone 3 days before practice starts, where do we turn? Who wants that job right now anyway? No one did. No one wanted a job that was still in the middle of 2 scandals and hadn’t been punished for either at the time. No one wanted a job that had the word “TEMPORARY” painted throughout the contract, athletic department, even the school. Interim president, acting athletic director, interim head coach, and quite honestly for a lot of what I saw, interim fans.

David Padgett stepped up, took the job, coached practice for a month with no assistant coaches, took unfair and unnecessary criticism from his own “fans” and yet he never wavered. Padgett accomplished 3 things Pitino couldn’t in his time in the ACC (and the Big East). Padgett won a road game against a ranked opponent, Pitino never won an ACC ranked road game. Padgett beat Notre Dame on the road, Pitino didn’t. Most recently, Padgett won a game at the ACC tournament.

Coach Padgett has done an incredible job with this team. Sure, he’s made some mistakes, but this is his first head coaching job! Could you imagine anything more stressful than to have the NCAA/FBI on your newly inherited program’s case and have some nasty fans degrade the job your doing when no one else wanted to do it? I feel terribly sorry for DP. Whether it was a game we won or not, all I’d see/hear was how much better we’d be with someone else, critiques of the job he was doing, fans leaving every game way too early or simply not showing up at all. This man just won 20 games in his first year as a head coach with everything surrounding this program and some of you have chosen to make that a failure. That is not okay.

Where do we go from here? Well, for the fans that have been miserable all year for the wrong reasons, please don’t come back next year. Switch your colors out, buy a new bumper sticker and switch your allegiances because we, the true fans, don’t want anymore negative energy around our beloved program. For the team, you practice the next few days, prepare yourselves for wherever you get sent to and you continue to make us proud.

I believe Louisville will have their name called on Sunday by the NCAA committee. And if not, I’ll go to every NIT game the Yum! Center hosts. 2 years ago, James Ramsey took away the opportunity to play postseason basketball from our team. Fans gave him hell for it and still do. But, I’ve seen countless “fans” saying this team should neglect an NIT bid if the NCAA doesn’t give them one. Keep in mind, Ramsey implemented an entire postseason ban, and the very same thing we torched him for 2 years ago is the same thing some of you have been endorsing all season.

I don’t know who takes over after this year. Quite frankly, I don’t care. I’ve loved this year’s team since the first ball was tipped and nothing will change that. Thank you, Coach Padgett. You’ve done a tremendous job all season long and nothing can take away what you’ve given the guys on the team in their darkest hour. Wherever your future takes you, I know you’ll be successful.

So, where do we go from here? Up, nothing but up.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Virginia: ACC Quarterfinals Breakdown

After defeating 8-seed FSU yesterday, Louisville will lace em up at 12 again today against the 1-seed Virginia Cavaliers. The game can be watched on ESPN and Virginia currently sits as 6-point favorites.

The last time these two teams met, the story blew up. Louisville outplayed and led Virginia by 10 points for 38 minutes of the game, then everything changed and Virginia snuck out with Louisville’s marquee victory it has been searching for. Louisville proved that they could play with anyone that night. They should’ve beaten them then, but I do believe they’ll beat them now.

Virginia is led by Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, and Devon Hall. The guard trio provides the majority of their offensive production and shoots the ball well from everywhere on the floor, especially from 3. Last game I had 3 goals that Louisville needed to achieve in order to win. Allow 5 threes or fewer (failed: buzzer beater was three No. 6). Crash the offensive boards (failed: Louisville was killed on the boards). Determine the tempo of the game (succeeded: most of the game was played faster than what Virginia would have wanted, but it was controlled speed for the Cards because it was their tempo). I do believe that those 3 keys will lead to a victory.What more can you ask for? Another shot at Virginia, a chance to prove that you can beat anyone, and a huge message to the committee. It’s time for this team to play it’s best 40 minutes we’ve seen. Louisville 65 – Virginia 60

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Florida State: Cards Earn First ACC Tournament Win

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Despite blowing a 26-point lead, the Louisville Cardinals were able to secure their first win in the ACC tournament against FSU by a final score of 82-74.

Louisville led by 19 at halftime and held a 26-point lead with just over 11 minutes in the game. But, a ferocious comeback by FSU brought the score too close for comfort. Louisville was able to hit shots (some lucky) down the stretch and held on to win the game that 100% put them in the NCAA tournament (1% if the Cards lost).

Quentin Snider led the way with 19 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Ray Spalding scored 18 points. Deng Adel had 15 points and 8 rebounds. Dwayne Sutton and Darius Perry gave the Cards the bench energy they needed with 10 and 8 points, respectively.

Up next: Louisville plays Virginia tomorrow at Noon in the ACC Quarterfinals.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Florida State: ACC Tourney 2nd Round Breakdown

After losing 4 of their last 5 games, Louisville will have one last chance to impress the committee in the ACC tournament and the Cardinals must seize it. Louisville limped to the regular season finish line and earned themselves a 9 seed in the ACC tournament facing 8 seed FSU at Noon on ESPN.

The Cardinals and Seminoles are not strangers by any means. They met twice in the regular season and split the 2 games with each team winning on the other’s homecourt.

FSU is led by Terance Mann, Braian Angola and Phil Cofer. All three players can knock down the three ball, especially Angola. Mann does a good job attacking the rim and getting to the foul line. Cofer excels at being quick at his position and being a scrapper whenever he’s on the floor. The Cards have to shut down one of those three to have a chance.

No matter what happens, I’m very proud of this team and want to thank David Padgett for everything he’s done. The odds have been stacked against this team since before the first practice and there’s no time like the present to flip those odds. Louisville can control its own destiny, starting tomorrow. And I fully expect the Cards to do so.

Louisville 77 – Florida State 70

Go Cards!

Louisville at NC State: Pregame Breakdown

Louisville travels to NC State to take on the Kevin Keatts led Wolfpack today at 6pm on ESPN. NC State is currently favored by 1.5 points.

Since Keatts has taken over the job after leaving UNC Wilmington, the Wolfpack have shown a lot of improvement and especially lately. NC State suffered a setback in their last game by losing at Georgia Tech by 3, but the game before that the Wolfpack demolished FSU 92-72.

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Louisville vs Virginia: Pregame Breakdown

Coming off a solid road win at Virginia Tech, Louisville returns home with a chance to lock their NCAA bid tonight against No. 1 Virginia at 8pm on the ACC Network.

Louisville’s struggles against Virginia are well-documented. Louisville’s last contest against the Cavaliers was actually the Cards first time scoring 60 points against UVA since joining the ACC. The Cards played very well in that game, and it still wasn’t close to enough that night. Virginia’s defense is intimidating, their offense is methodical and patient, and their ability to find the good shot and knock it down despite successful closeouts make them nearly impossible to beat in the regular season. For Louisville, at least.

Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy torched the Cards in the first matchup of these two teams. As I mentioned, their shooters are not typically bothered by a late hand in their face. If Louisville is to win tonight, they’ll have to run these guys off the three-point line.

This game is winnable. Louisville doesn’t have to play a near perfect game, but I do have 3 keys that they must excel at in order to win tonight.

  1. Defend the three-point line at all times. Make them beat you inside, the Cards need to limit Virginia to 6 threes or fewer.
  2. Crash the offensive glass. Virginia is not the best rebounding team. Louisville has an advantage on the glass if they can crash without fouling. 2nd chance points are frustrating to opponents and extra possessions are important in order to beat Virginia.
  3. Dictate the tempo. I understand being patient in the half-court, but the Cards need to push the ball up the floor every chance they get. Attack the middle under control and look to make the extra pass. Don’t let Virginia’s style of play dictate the game.

If Louisville can accomplish those three things, the Cards will win tonight. It’s Senior Night so everyone with tickets better be at the game and loud. Quentin Snider and Anas Mahmoud have given more to this program in their time here than we could possibly thank them for. Make sure they feel loved and appreciated. Thank you to both of them for sticking around through the mess they didn’t cause and always making me proud to be a Louisville fan.

Louisville 62 – Virginia 58.

Go Cards!

Louisville at Virginia Tech: Cards Outlast Hokies

Down 28-18, it felt as though the Cards had dug themselves another hole too deep to climb out of. Thanks to the efforts of Snider, Spalding, Sutton, Adel and Perry, the Cards fought back and earned a huge road victory by a final score of 75-68 over Virginia Tech.

This win served many purposes. The Cards climbed the ACC standings with the win, earned a much needed victory on the road, persevered through a tumultuous situation in a hostile environment and threw their names back into the NCAA tournament (for now).

Louisville was led by Quentin Snider’s 22 points (7 threes), 6 assists and 6 rebounds. Dwayne Sutton earned his first start and made the most of it with 17 points and 11 rebounds to go along with stellar hustle and defense. Sutton was the X-factor today. Ray Spalding had some monstrous dunks within his 12 point and 7 rebound performance. Deng Adel didn’t shoot the ball well today..at all. However, Deng had a huge impact on the game with a near triple-double of 10 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Darius Perry also played some great defense with a lot of his usual intensity and hit a huge 3 late in the game. He finished with 8 points.

This win couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s been a long week, the Cards desperately needed a win, and this placed the Cards back in the talk for the 4-seed in the ACC tournament. Great win, brag about it all day.

Up next: the Cards host Virginia on March 1st at 8pm.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Virginia Tech: Pregame Breakdown

Looking to solidify their tournament bid, Louisville travels to Virginia Tech to take on the Hokies at 1pm on CBS.

The last time these two teams met, Louisville won in the Yum! Center by a score of 94-86. As far as tomorrow goes, if Louisville gives up 86 points the outcome will not favor the Cards. Louisville’s offense has looked stagnant and forced, while their defense has been shotty (no, not a typo) at best.

Louisville desperately needs to win this game, for many reasons. The Cardinals are searching for answers, while most teams are hitting their stride – time is running out. With 3 games left, Louisville finds itself at 18-10 searching to get to the 20-win mark for bid assurance.

I appreciate this team very much. They’ve paid for many mistakes they didn’t commit and are still fighting despite the odds being stacked against them. After this game, Louisville will be back on track with a solid road win.

Louisville 85 – Virginia Tech 79

Go Cards!

Louisville at Duke: Pregame Breakdown

The 2nd leg of Louisville’s pivotal 5-game stretch starts at 9pm tonight at Duke and can be seen on ESPN. Duke currently sits as an 11.5-point favorite.

For the last 3 games, Duke has been without star freshman, Marvin Bagley III. As of now, there is no official word on whether he will play or not, but either way this Duke team is one of, if not the most talented team in the country. Everyone knows who Grayson Allen is, shutting him down is obviously priority number 1. Coach K has also perfected Calipari’s one-and-done and replenished his freshman class with studs. Bagley headlines this year’s class, but Trevon Duval and Wendell Carter Jr. have been great this year as well.

Louisville missed a good opportunity to get a win at home against UNC. Entering this stretch, 3-2 was my goal for this team. That goal became a lot harder with the UNC loss and now Louisville will have to win either at Duke tonight or at home against Virginia to get the big win they need before the ACC tournament starts.

I have a good feeling about tonight’s game. I think we’ll see a sense of urgency from the guys and they’ll give Duke all they can handle. The game will come down to the last few minutes and Louisville could win, but Duke will close the game with free throws. I’ve been wrong before, and I hope I am again tonight.

Louisville 76 – Duke 81

Go Cards!

Louisville vs North Carolina: Pregame Breakdown

Louisville kicks off their crucial 5-game stretch tonight against visiting No. 14 North Carolina at 8:15pm on ESPN. The Cardinals currently sit as 1-point favorites.

North Carolina is led by Joel Berry, Theo Pinson, and Luke Maye. All three players had major roles in last year’s title run for UNC so experience definitely favors the Tar Heels. UNC also rebounds and passes the ball well. Louisville will have to crash the boards and disrupt some passing lanes in order to knock off the Tar Heels.

Louisville enters the last 5 games of their schedule needing to go 3-2. Three of the next 5 games come against highly ranked opponents in UNC, at Duke, and Virginia. Louisville needs to win one of those three and tonight’s game seems to be the most winnable. If the Cards win tonight, 4-1 is possible if they can knock off Duke or Virginia. If the Cards lose, they’ll have two more chances to grab a marquee victory, but they’ll likely be more difficult than tonight. The Cards get it done tonight and take a big step forward.

Louisville 80 – North Carolina 75

Go Cards!

Louisville at Pittsburgh: Cards Roll Over Panthers

The Louisville Cardinals thoroughly dispatched the Pittsburgh Panthers today by a final score of 94-60.

Louisville had no trouble with Pittsburgh today. The Cardinals led by 20-30 points for the majority of the game and never had any issues as far as allowing a comeback.

Louisville was led by a swarm of Cardinals in double digits today. VJ King, Anas Mahmoud, and Malik Williams each had 14 points to lead the team today. Jordan Nwora had 13 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. Quentin Snider snapped his cold streak with 11 points and 5 assists. Darius Perry also added some good minutes with 7 points and 7 assists.

Up next: Louisville hosts UNC on Saturday at 8:15 on ESPN.

Go Cards!

Louisville at Pittsburgh: Pregame Breakdown

After their streak snapping victory over Georgia Tech, Louisville looks to continue the winning ways today at Pittsburgh at 1pm on the ACC Network.

Long story short, Pitt is bad, very bad. The Panthers enter this game with an 8-17 record and riding an impressively bad 12-game losing streak. Pitt is coached by Kevin Stallings who slang some unnecessary comments at some UofL fans during the first meeting of these two teams. That game (like many others for Pitt) ended in a blowout and Stallings made a comment to a fan about the payment of players. Needless to say, Louisville is the better team and they’ve got some added motivation to shut Stallings up.

Louisville 83 – Pittsburgh 60

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Georgia Tech: Cards End Losing Streak

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were no match for the hosting Louisville Cardinals tonight. At the first media timeout, Louisville led 8-7 and that was as close as it would get the rest of the way. Louisville cruised to a 77-54 victory despite Deng Adel’s absence to injury.

Louisville was led by Jordan Nwora’s 16 points. Anas Mahmoud chipped in 12 points and 7 rebounds. Ray Spalding had a normal night by his standards this season with 11 points and Malik Williams scored 11 points and showcased his range.

Louisville desperately needed this victory. To win any ACC game (except Pittsburgh) by 23 points is solid, but to do so without a player like Deng Adel is even more impressive. The Cards looks motivated defensively and that set the tone the whole way.

Up next: Louisville travels to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Georgia Tech: Pregame Breakdown

Tonight, the Louisville Cardinals look to get back on track against the visiting Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at 7pm on ESPN2.

Georgia Tech comes into this game at 11-12, but has shown the ability to compete in some games. The Yellow Jackets are led by Center Ben Lammers and Guard Josh Okogie. Josh Pastner coaches Georgia Tech and he has had some success against good teams in his time there.

Not to sound dramatic, but Louisville can not afford to lose this game tonight. Padgett needs to have his guys fully understand the necessity of getting the win tonight and if the guys play with that sense of urgency they’ll be just fine.

Louisville 76 – Georgia Tech 61

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Syracuse: Pregame Breakdown

Looking to end a 2-game skid, Louisville will host former Big East foe, Syracuse tonight at 7pm on ESPN.

Both teams enter this game on 2-game losing streaks. Syracuse is searching for a statement win and they have the opportunity for that tonight with a road ACC game. The Orange are led by Tyus Battle at guard. The sophomore averages 19.5 points per game, so shutting him down will be crucial in securing a victory for the Cards tonight. As a team, Syracuse only averages 68.1 points per game and Louisville only allows 69.6. Syracuse won’t score enough points to keep up with the Cards tonight.

Louisville 73 – Syracuse 64

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Florida State: Pregame Breakdown

After losing to Virginia earlier this week, the Louisville Cardinals look to bounce back today with their second win of the season over Florida State. The game tips off in the Yum! at 4pm and can be seen on the ACC Network.

The last time these two teams met, FSU opened up a 17 point lead in the first half and took a 13 point lead into halftime. Louisville fought back in that game to earn its first ranked road victory since 2014. FSU is coming off a loss to Wake Forest, so the Noles will certainly be looking to get revenge from the lead they blew last time and earn a much needed road win.

Terance Mann is the go-to guy for FSU. Last time these teams met, he scored 25 points on an efficient 9-14 shooting. Braian Angola also had his way the first time these teams played, finishing with 18 points. But the Cards were able to shut down 1 part of the FSU three-headed monster by holding Phil Cofer to only 3 points on 1-10 shooting. In order for the Cards to win today, they have to shut down one of these three guys again and preferably not allow the other two to go off again.

Despite losing to Virginia, Louisville played its best game against the Cavs since joining the ACC. Louisville is playing good basketball right now and that will continue today.

Louisville 82 – Florida State 75

Go Cards!