Tagged with college basketball

Selection Sunday live chat on 3/17 at 6:00 p.m.

As you’re most likely aware, tomorrow evening’s Selection Sunday festivities set the stage for the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Dedicated fans, casual bandwagoners, and the repressed gambler who manages your office bracket pool all get their first glimpse of the official field.

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I’ll be participating in the Selection Sunday live chat with ConnecTV.com tomorrow, talking about the Louisville Cardinals’ tournament outlook. Knowledgeable folks who follow Duke, Syracuse, Kansas, Arizona and Gonzaga will be weighing in as well.

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If you’ve got a free tablet/phone/computer screen and the inclination, stop in to check it out and join the discussion. ConnecTV is a “second screen” app designed to complement television programming with relevant tweets, viewer live chats and supplemental information, and you can download the app for iOS and Android or simply use the browser interface. Continue reading

The debut of Dark Slime

I should preface this post by apologizing for this blog’s descent into neglect. The world of part-time retail beckoned, and I abandoned unemployment to answer the call. Having just experienced my first (and last) Maine winter, I sense a return to productivity as the glaciers enshrouding my apartment recede and the roving mammoths’ blood lust subsides. Look forward to more unsubstantiated gossip and juvenile photoshops pertaining to your Louisville Cardinals as my metabolism returns to normal.

What better way to dust off birdswag than with a blog update from Rick Pitino––the Narcan of Louisville sports writing:

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Cards hang tight, fall short, bring home a Final Four

This Louisville team could have played in a national title game tonight, had they not drawn Anthony Davis in the Final Four.

I’ve been hesitant to read much coverage of this game, because I already know what some will say. “The outcome was never much in doubt.” “The game was never as close as the final score indicates.” Many writers explored the rivalry exhaustively during the proceeding week, aware of the millions of clicks any bullshit headline containing “Louisville” and “Kentucky” would effortlessly generate. But I question how many of those media commentators––especially the younger ones––perceive any measure of parity in the rivalry; and whether these clichéd refrains were scripted well in advance of Saturday’s tip-off.

To dismiss Louisville’s effort yesterday is a disservice to a team that acquitted itself well with a scrappy, defiant performance, which fell short in the face of missed dunks and overwhelming talent. The Cards were irreverent underdogs, bent on postponing UK’s media coronation and never losing sight of the pugnacious style that had gotten them to an unlikely Final Four. Continue reading

Louisville caps resurgence with 2012 Big East championship

I apologize for the delay in getting this post up. I spent my four-hour drive back to Maine processing my experience on Saturday night and trying to wrap my head around this team’s accomplishment.

Four wins in four days. Three avenged losses. Two wins over ranked teams. One dominant leader emerging from a team that lacked identity all season.

On Saturday night, the Louisville Cardinals defeated Cincinnati, 50-44, to claim the title of Big East Tournament champions.

(observations from MSG after the jump) Continue reading

Swop steps up, Louisville gets its signature win over Marquette, 84-71

My typical anxiety that precedes a Louisville game was tinged with uncharacteristic dread last night. It was potentially their last opportunity to notch a win against a current top-25 team before Selection Sunday, and the stage was set for a letdown: Marquette’s best team in years was fully rested and looking to avenge last year’s blowout loss to the Cardinals in the Big East quarterfinals. Louisville’s historic offensive struggles were on full display in an ugly win against Seton Hall on Wednesday night, and it had been almost a month since the team had last secured a win in a highly emotional environment, against West Virginia. Defense notwithstanding, it was hard for me to imagine U of L scoring enough points to beat such a skilled, explosive Marquette team.

Then the whistle blew, and Louisville scored 50 points in one half for the first time this season.


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David Roth on the lesser conference tournaments

In the most important and inescapable ways, the gentlemen gunning three-pointers and doing their utmost not to fuck up are obviously and inescapably kids. This is most glaringly true during the pre-tournament week given over to conference championships, when the future maybe-professionals of the big conferences cede the airwaves to the future super-competitive-rec-league-guys of Every Other Conference, with even commuter-school conferences like the NEC and sprawling shitshows like the Sun Belt Conference (which includes both the University of Denver and Florida International) getting prime-time television turns. This can and does, as you might expect, lead to some bad basketball—missed jumpers and assignments both, and unwise, too-determined, terrified-cum-optimistic teenage decision-making. But because every game means so much—and because even a crappy game between two balling-out-of-control teams can still be a blast to watch in the final five minutes—every game, even and maybe especially the very bad, has a ragged grace and urgent emotion to it.

As easy as it is to become immersed in the Big East Tournament this week, it’s clearly not the only game in town. In Vice, David Roth revisits the endearing earnestness of the less glamorous conference tournaments, and explores their power to inspire reverent wonderment in the face of ostensibly shitty basketball.

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