I think we can all agree that last night’s game was flat-out ugly. It took overtime to beat an over-matched Old Dominion team 68-62. But what it also was, was a win. And a win where the Cards faced adversity. Louisville could have cruised to an easy victory and clicked on all cylinders and moved on to today with no problems. Instead, they had to find a way to win when shots just were not falling. They may have found a go-to guy. They had to make clutch free throws. Sometimes, a win like this one pays off much more than a blowout.
I don’t make excuses. If Louisville would have lost, it would have been on them and not for these reasons. But let’s not forget that these college kids just spent a couple days in the Bahamas on the beach, and then had to flip the switch to play a basketball game in a ballroom. Why is that a big deal? You always hear about how difficult it is to shoot in domes because of the backdrop and depth perception. A ballroom is definitely different than shooting at the KFC Yum! Center. It looks like they just rolled in some basketball goals from Dick’s Sporting Goods for the event. Shooting is a challenge. Hopefully it improves today.
When the Cards needed someone to get them out of the funk, Donovan Mitchell showed up like he was wearing a cape and was ready to save the day, which he did. He nailed a three pointer and followed that up with a jumper in transition and then a great pass to Ray Spalding for the finish. He made countless defensive plays down the stretch as well. All of this after he just missed a couple of days because of surgery for an abscess, according to Rick Pitino in the pregame show with Paul Rogers. Not bad, kid.
Louisville must quickly turn the page to Thanksgiving basketball. Last night’s game ended after midnight. Now they play at 2:30 today (on ESPN) against a Wichita State team that has been able to rest for about 24 hours. Solid scheduling there. It’s time to put the Old Dominion mess behind us and move on to our Final Four opponent from 2013. Should be a good one.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And Go Cards…Beat Wichita State!