Hell in the Hall – Louisville Sports Blog

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Iona, Ruland and 1980. Deja vu?

Posted by frankpos on March 9, 2008

Cardinal history and lore provides an example of what could happen now.

The 1980 championship team had raced to 18 straight wins and a #2 ranking, when they strutted in to Madison Square Garden on February 21, 1980 to play Iona–and Jeff Ruland– to end their regular season.

Images of the 6′ 10″ bull-like Ruland still haunt Card memories. NBA bound, Ruland went off for 21 rebounds and 30 pts.

And the Cards were man-handled 77-60.

But…. see what Griff and the guys took from that game, and transformed it into?

Will this team?


Let’s look closely at the box score tea leaves:

We beat them by 2 pts in the second half. We beat the spread.

We barely lost to a pumped G-Town team on their home floor, even when they out-shot and out-rebounded us badly . The only way we stayed in that game was turning them over–and we did.

IF we hit just 33% from 3 land, we have had 6 more pts. IF we hit just 67% of free throws–that’s two more pts. And, we win by 5.

Tough game, great learning experience. As the BET will be, too.

IF no one gets injured, after all that, then I truly believe this team will be poised for a deep, deep run.

Pitino has been brilliant this season in how he scheduled to progressively test and bring this team along. Rigorous schedule, several tournaments, all leading to the big stage .


Looking ahead, gocardsgo32 on ITV crunched some numbers into some very interesting points on how important NCAA tourney seeding has proven to be for # 1 thru 4 seeds:

“So overall this is how you beak down the teams by seed the past four years that made the Sweet 16:

1 seed: 14 of 16 teams 87.5%

2 seed: 9 of 16 teams 56%

3 seed: 9 of 16 teams 56%

4 seed: 6 of 16 teams 37.5%

As you can see – huge difference between the 1 and 2 seeds, and between the 3 and 4 seeds.”

Mike at Card Chronicle points out that if you go back to1986 though, then there is a big difference between a #2 and #3 seed:

Sweet 16: 43-15 vs. 21-23.

I am hoping for at least a strong run to the title game. If we grab the title, a #2 is possible. The only thing I fear is that a bad first or second game flame-out in the BET could lead to a 4 seed–and that is indisputably tough sledding.

On to the Garden…


6 Responses to “Iona, Ruland and 1980. Deja vu?”

  1. Hi there to every one, since I am genuinely eager of reading
    this website’s post to be updated on a regular basis.
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  2. neptunetownship said

    the way to improve the “psyche” behind FT shooting is PRACTICE. The key is confidence, and that is obtained by practicing to the point you KNOW you will make them.

  3. frankpos said

    I remember Stan — a bit of hypnotism and positive imaging if I remember.

    But…you’re right. Didn’t help our free throw shooting.

    In fact, the Cards have never had many great FT shooting teams…

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