Cards Want Morehead; Cats To Tampa

Knowles carried the Cards against Notre Dame. PHOTO: Louisville Athletics

OK, sports fans. Gabe, our regular sports dude, has more important things to do than follow the Cards to Denver. He went to the Lady Gaga show Saturday, then it was off to spring break in sunny Florida.  Yes, I’m jealous. But I did watch the Big East Championship while he was busy Gaga-ing.

What Gabe missed Saturday was another amazing performance by this Rick Pitino team, which fell in overtime 69-66 only after Mike Marra missed a crucial free throw. He’d gotten fouled on a three-point attempt with seconds remaining, with the Cards down 3. He calmly canned the first, but bricked the second. Then, trying to miss the third, he made it. Game over.

But don’t blame Marra, or any of the Cards, who fought hard and just barely lost. Peyton Siva played the guttiest, and Preston Knowles single-handedly took care of Notre Dame. That they dropped to a #4 seed is an undeserved slight, one that puts them in line for Kansas in the Sweet 16. First they get Morehead State, which features the nation’s top rebounder in Kenneth Faried.

I watched the TV broadcast, and thought the cameras focused way too much on Connecticut’s Kemba Walker, the same way they did on Ben Hansbrough of Notre Dame the night before. It was amazing, really, how similar the Notre Dame and Connecticut games were. The Cards were clearly outplayed in both first halves, then spent the second halves of both games coming back, stifling the other team’s star (Hansbrough/Walker) throughout. In both games, the Cards finally caught up. But couldn’t quite pull off the win against Connecticut.

Meanwhile, the Cats just waltzed through the marginal SEC teams in Atlanta. And got a #4 seed, too.  UK played well enough to win in the SEC, and the prize was a trip to Tampa for Cat fans and a waltz with Princeton. But UK won’t get by West Virginia, again, in the next round.

If you want to go to Denver for the Morehead and potential Vandy games, U of L has a few tickets. Call the ticket office at 852-5151. But don’t get your hopes up.

And don’t expect any work to go on around here Thursday afternoon. The Cards tip off in Denver at about 1:45 p.m., and UK’s game with Princeton in Tampa starts about an hour later.