Hell in the Hall – Louisville Sports Blog

Dedicated to the joyful noise of the Card faithful

U of L 87 – #12 Notre Dame 73 OT ! BRING ON PITT !

Posted by frankpos on January 13, 2009

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Eight days.  Three last minute thrillers, against your arch rival and two top 20 teams.  Three wild wins, and a four game winning streak.

And now, this Saturday:  #1 Pitt in the Hall.

I can assure you I have never  known any better two week stretch of Card basketball in the regular season in my 40 years of watching U of L…

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An hour after the game I was home, my shirt still hot and damp and my pulse still racing from the heat and fury in the Hall.

Tonight  was one of the finest defensive efforts I have ever seen for an 11 minute span by a U of L basketball team to close out a game.  EVER.

And I can verify  that it was against a tremendously talented offensive team, Notre Dame, with a true player of the year candidate.  (Somebody like a Hansborough…)

Louisville’s 87-73 victory over Notre Dame  was the largest overtime victory margin in school history (14 points.) .  It just eclipsed the previous record– the 1983 Original Dream Game massacre of Kentucky (12 pts) !
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It was defense that won this game.  When Notre Dame edged ahead by four midway through the second half, the team clamped down. The Cards  (12-3, 3-0 Big East) smothered the Fighting Irish (12-4, 3-2) over the final 6 minutes of regulation and all of the overtime.

Notre Dame junior Luke Harangody is a legit POY candidate.  He fought hard for 28 points and 13 rebounds–but got zero pts over the last 11 minutes, as Terrence Jennings shot-swatted  him into cursing frustration.

ND’s three point maestro, Kyle McAlarney also proved his mettle, firing in 5 3-balls  and had 19 points–before Preston Knowles face-fronted him and  jumped in his jock for the last 14 minutes.  Then it was nada — zip.

And Andre McGee….McGee was a windmill of motion,  harassing   Tory Jackson into a game leading 7 turnovers.

Pitino: “Andre McGee and Preston Knowles provided so much pressure on defense that they couldn’t run their offense.”

“I think you have to give their defense the credit,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “They kept really contesting and getting after us.  It was hard to get anything in transition.”

“You could tell (their guards) didn’t want the ball,” added  Earl Clark.

In a  brilliant move midway through the second half, Pitino stuck Jennings on Harangody on defensive possessions down the stretch.  He must have noted what I did–that TJ caused Haragody fits in the first half with his blocking ability and athleticism–which has become increasingly on display over the last 3 games.

Jennings swatted away three of Harangody’s shots, and had him talking to himself at the end.

Jennings:  “I watched tape of him, so I just tried not to leave my feet (too early) and use my jumping ability to my advantage.”

Indeed.

Jennings also gave much needed foul protection for Samardo Samuels , who had also put some solid D on Harangody, blocking four shots himself. But Samardo picked up his 4th foul at about the midway point of the second half.

However, by that time, Samardo had also exhausted Harangody with power moves on the low block,  getting the ND center in foul trouble too.

Showing increasing smarts and court awareness, Samardo  posted 18 pts, six rebounds and four blocks–and scored the first Card pts of the game with a power move right into Harangody’s gut.

Samardo  seemed inspired playing against the reigning Big East player of the year: “I came to Louisville to play in games like this.”

He and TJ just wore Harangody out.   Again , the POY candidate did not score over the last 11 minutes — during which time  Samuels scored at will on him  and TJ ate his lunch with blocks. 

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Earl Clark added a double-double–15 points and 10 rebounds– but drove out of control at times.  However, Earl did do this:

But T Will….

Showing his full potential as an POY himself, T Will nearly recorded another triple double:  24 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists.

“The game that T-Will had was a Superman-type game,” Uof L coach Rick Pitino said.

He was magnificent…and his “game winning dunk” at the end of regulation blew the roof off the Hall.  Until it was called back…

But that just paved the way for the glory that was this overtime…just as the Original Dream Game had.


Notre Dame, which came in leading the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.99) and second in fewest turnovers per game (9.4), had 15 errors and 15 assists–which would win a lot of games.  But…Louisville had 21 A’s to just nine TO’s — a 2.3/1 ratio!!


Pitino was thoroughly pleased.  “That was as good a college basketball game as you’ll see, there was tremendous play by so many people on both sides. They’ve got a great team and we’re evolving into a really terrific basketball team. I am really excited about the way our guys played.”
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With only 5 seconds left in OT, the crowd in delirium, and us just running off the clock without trying to score,  Harangody for some ungodly reason decided he wanted a last pound of flesh and nailed a Card for his 5th foul.

He walked off the floor to thunderous boos from the Card crowd–and then   was  serenaded with the “Hit the Road Jack” song.  As he plopped onto the bench,  the TV camera flashed on Mr. Harangody, and he was caught vividly on the overhead scoreboard uttering a very naughty word in frustration.

The Cards are on run…. and the Card faithful can feel it and taste it.

Bring on #1!

Bring on Pitt!

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For some other takes on the game:

Charlie at Card Game: http://uoflcardgame.com/

Mike at Card Chronicle: http://www.cardchronicle.com/

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5 Responses to “U of L 87 – #12 Notre Dame 73 OT ! BRING ON PITT !”

  1. frankpos said

    Indeed that was the word. Right as Hit the Road Jack is being played/sung for his 5th foul.The camera suddenly flashed on him as he plopped on the bench, and then quickly went off him, when he quite strongly aid that word.

    Harangody did not realize he was being filmed, and the crowd roared.

  2. Sonja said

    Well, it’s a shorter version of:
    FiretrUCK…and there are already a lot of youtube clips of Earl’s dunk, T-Will’s dunk and other key plays of the game.

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