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50 Photos From the Win
All Photos by Brandon Pry
2017-02-18T18:48:08-05:00Hokies’ many 3s not enough, Cardinals prevail 94-90 After a quick five zero Cardinal run to push U of L's advantage to a unusually precarious 77-70, college hoops shivztingest coach Buzz Williams called timeout with 7:41 of destined to be harrowing time left. During the stoppage, local weathercaster Kevin Harned came on the video board to announce tomorrow's Fahrenheit. On the the 19th day of what is traditionally Mother Nature's coldest, nastiest time of the year -- February, the cruelest month -- it's forecasted to be 70 degrees in Derby City. Which, since there's no such thing as global warming, is plenty damn dumbfounding. But not as wacky as this berserk reality. At that juncture of the who wants it more battle, the visitors were exceeding that 70 standard with their shooting behind the arc. They had hit 15/21 long balls. 71%. Gimme a break. The Hokies ended up 17/26 from beyond the arc. Still an absurd 65%. Of those, 11 were wide open, uncontested attempts. But only two of those came after intermission, meaning the Cards started sticking closer. VT still made 8/12 while being mostly closely guarded in the second. This marksmanship was produced against the homestanding University of Louisville Cardinals, which coming into the game were 3d in the land in Three Point FG % D. No more. (U of L also was #1 before the game in D efficiency, according to hoops guru Ken Pomeroy. By sundown, after giving up all those long balls, 59% shooting overall and 90 points, Louisville's rank fell to #5.) Yet, the Cards prevailed, posting 94, their third largest output of the campaign. * * * * * And how did that victory happen, you might ask? Well, start at the start. During the Cardinals first five possessions, Donovan Mitchell netted a jumper, drained a trey, canned another J, then another threeball. But, as was to prove to be the story all afternoon, in front of the most raucous Yum! crowd of the year save that big rivalry game, VT hit an open 3 on all but two of its first five possessions. Which interlude ended with this score: Mitchell 10, Va Tech 9. The Cards rising guard -- Remember a month ago when we were all asking, what's wrong with Mitchell? -- scored 13 of the Cardinals' first 16. He finished the half with 16 points on 6/6 shooting, including four threes. For the game, he had 26, with 5 boards, a couple of assists and a steal. Wherever he might have been awhile ago, he's back. Nobody's asking any questions. Then there's the contribution from the 4 spot. Sure, we're all talking about Jaylen Johnson, who was a literal beast on the boards. And who scored on a Euro step drive. And then on an old fashioned freight train to the hoop advance. But we must also recognize that Ray Spalding played with more tenacity than he has in a long while. In but nine minutes of action, he had five points and grabbed five rebounds. Four of those were off the offensive glass. JJ ended up with 16, all scored after the break, with 8 retrievals, 5 offensive. So, that power forward position had 21 points and 13 rebounds. JJ and RS were a veritable two-headed monster. Along with four assists, Quentin Snider contributed 19, including a key energizing deuce just before the half. * * * * * Another reason U of L prevailed: With a lineup that included Ryan McMahon, David Levitch and Afro-coiffed Jay Henderson, the advantage was pushed to ten at 30-20, after Spalding converted a +1. (Of course, after several more open treys by the oddly pink and gray uniformed Hokies, the Cardinal advantage in a blink had been cut to single digit. Tech went up by as much as 4 before halftime, and were up 1 when folks headed out for a midgame cocktail.) Yet, U of L had stolen some clock with the end of the bench. Then there was the second stanza interlude which really got the crowd fired up, no DJ antics necessary. With 14:50 to play, the Cards retook the lead on a 2d chance Ryan McMahon trey after a Deng Adel offensive board. 54-53, a lead U of L[...]
Between the hashtags on Virginia Tech game day
That’s pretty cool.
—Louisville is one win away from 1,800 victories over its 103 seasons of collegiate basketball. UofL is 10th in the nation in all-time victories (1,799-897 record in 103rd year).
—Louisville is 11th in the nation in field goal defense (.387), 11th in blocked shots (5.7 bpg), third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.283), 14th in scoring margin (+14.0) and 17th in offensive rebounds per game (13.5).
—Louisville has won 11 straight games against Virginia Tech. The only longer active win streak the Cardinals have over a program is 14 against Eastern Kentucky.
—Louisville has won at least 21 of its first 26 games for the third time in the last five seasons.
—In his last 13 games, Donovan Mitchell has averaged 18.8 points 4.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.2 steals and has made 37-of-90 threepointers (.411). Mitchell leads the ACC and is 16th in the nation in steals (2.2 per game). He is among the top 30 candidates for the Naismith Trophy for national player of the year.
—Louisville has a 55-17 record (.764) in February over the last nine years (since 2007- 08), winning 21 of its last 28 in the month.
—Louisville is one of just four schools which have won 20 or more games in each of the last 15 seasons (also Kansas, Duke and Gonzaga).
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 79, Virginia Tech 65
All your television questions for Saturday afternoon answered.
In Louisville, you can watch the Cards take on Virginia Tech on WAVE-3. If you live elsewhere, check for one of these affiliates.
|Alabama||Birmingham (Anniston & Tuscaloosa)||WTTO||CW|
|California||Fresno||KAIL||My Network TV|
|District Of Columbia||Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD)||WDCA||My Network TV|
|Florida||Miami-Fort Lauderdale||WBFS||My Network TV|
|Florida||Panama City||WMBB-D2||This TV|
|Florida||Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota)||WTOG||CW|
|Florida||West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce||WTVX||CW|
|Indiana||Indianapolis||WNDY||My Network TV|
|Iowa||Davenport-R. Island-Moline||WQAD-D3||My Network TV|
|Kentucky||Bowling Green||WCZU||My Network TV|
|Kentucky||Paducah - Cape Girard||WQWQ||CW|
|Missouri||Columbia||KMIZ-D3||My Network TV|
|Pennsylvania||Wilkes Barre-Scanton||WQMY||My Network TV|
|Rhode Island||Providence-New Bedford||WLWC||CW|
|South Carolina||Myrtle Beach-Florence||WPDE-D2||Weather|
|Texas||Lubbock||KMYL||My Network TV|
|Utah||Salt Lake City||KJZZ||IND|
|West Virginia||Wheeling - Steubenville||WTRF-D2||My Network TV|
An X-ray done on Friday for Louisville’s back-up point guard reveals that Tony’s hand isn’t quite healing as fast as hoped.
Louisville will be without its back-up point guard for what will likely be another two more weeks.
An X-ray on Friday revealed that while Tony’s hand is healing (suffered a broken bone in his hand during Louisville’s glorified exhibition victory over Pitt), it isn’t healing as fast as the team was hoping.
"We thought he'd be back Monday," Pitino said. "We're a little disappointed in that news."
This is some pretty disappointing news, especially since there was some hope from Pitino that the Penn grad transfer would be able to make his return in tomorrow’s game against the Hokies.
As mentioned a few days ago from Pitino, the Cards would like to put Tony through three practices before entering him in a game (similar to what they did with Quentin when bringing him back). If Tony does come back in two weeks (let’s just say that’ll be March 3rd), it’ll be the Friday before Louisville’s regular season finale at home against Notre Dame. I would assume he’d be put through practice that following week, so there is a chance he could come back and get the Cards back to full strength entering post-season play.
It’s never fun to have any guy on the team hurt, but I’m completely ok with watching Ryan McMahon fearlessly shoot NBA-caliber three-point shots.
Did you know that McMahon was guided to the Cards by Dick Vitale, and that Vitale views McMahon as family?