This is the type of game where Cards fans everywhere take a deep breath and realize how awesome it is to be a part of the Big East Conference. UofL, with help from Earl Clark’s 22 points, took care of a desperate Georgetown team 76-58 on Monday night at the Verizon Center.
The Cardinals hit their first nine shots of the contest, and connected on all six three-point attempts in a first half where they led by as many as 16 points, demoralizing the Hoya homers. With the loss, Georgetown fell to 14-12, and more importantly, a dismal 5-10 in the Big East.
Terrence Williams collected yet another double-double, with 10 points, 10 boards, and seven assists. He also completed the play of the season early in the second half when Samardo Samuels blocked a Georgetown shot on one end, leading to a Clark cross court bounce pass from the right key with Williams throwing a one-hand dunk down as his momentum flew him past the backboard.
Chris Wright led the Hoyas with 12 points off 3-12 shooting in 36 minutes of game action. Freshman phenom Greg Monroe finished with 10 points and only five boards. As a team, Georgetown shot 20-51 (39%) from the field, including 3-16 (19%) from behind the arc.
Louisville was tougher in every aspect of the game, evidenced by the 32-23 rebounding advantage on the night. Everybody from Edgar Sosa to Terrence Jennings fought on every possession, and the swagger this group of players have is something that can lead to special things in the magical month of March.
Earlier in the day, the Cards moved up to #6 in the Associated Press Top 25, joined in the Top 10 by fellow conference members Pittsburgh (#1), Connecticut (#2), Marquette (#8), and Villanova (#10). Wow is probably the only word that can describe that situation on February 23.
The Cards return home on Sunday for a matchup with Marquette. Louisville will be wearing throwback uniforms from the 1960′s at that game, and Coach Pitino predicted during his postgame radio interview that this game will be the highest attended game in Freedom Hall history. We will see. CBS is broadcasting the game, so cross your fingers for a Gus Johnson sighting!
On to the honors…
The Good: Preston Knowles has quickly become a legitimate three-point threat for this Cardinal team. He has connected on 37 of 80 shots from downtown this season for a 46.3 percentage. That, my friends, leads the Big East Conference. Knowles was 2-3 tonight, and I sense a Larry O’Bannon-type roar from him for the remainder of the season.
The Bad: Not much to complain about other than the 15 Cardinal turnovers, so I’ll focus on the broadcast. Where in the hell was the Big Monday A-Team tonight? I tune in on Monday evening to watch a Big East game, and I expect Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, and Jay Bilas. But no, not tonight. ESPN should be better than that. Do you think they’d take Tirico, Kornheiser, and Jaws off Monday Night Football on Week 14 for no particular reason? I don’t think so!
The Ari Wolfe: So you might be wondering, “Tomarken, what is your deal? I’m sure they gave you a quality announcing crew for such a big game.” WRONG!!!!!! Who does the so-called Worldwide Leader in Sports send out to handle this clash? None other than Mike Freaking Patrick! I was thisclose to throwing up at the Chili’s restaurant I watched the second half at after I saw this atrocity committed by ESPN. Now, I have no problem with Len Elmore. When you put him and Gus Johnson together, they’re a top three college basketball crew. I demand a formal apology by ESPN saying they will NOT let this happen again. Mike Freaking Patrick! Are you freaking kidding me? What a joke!