This game had everything Cards fans have come to expect from this team-toughness, heady play, and maximum effort-until the final half-minute. All that went out the window in what was another nail-biter between these two schools. Kyle Kuric’s 21 points led the Cards to regain a second half lead, but his teammates didn’t find him during the stretch run. During that time, Preston Knowles took over hitting two crucial 3s to keep the momentum on the Cards side.
Then came the meltdown. The Cards led by three, 67-64, when Kuric threw a bomb to Chris Smith, who instead of dribbling more time off the clock, decided to take it to the hoop, only wasting 2.8 seconds. He made both free throws pushing the lead to 5, but then the defense allowed WVU’s only three-point threat, Casey Mitchell, to hit a three cutting it to a 2 point margin. On the ensuing in-bounds pass, WVU quickly fouled Peyton Siva who only made of 1 of 2, keeping it a one possession margin. The Cards’ defense let them down again as they allowed Mitchell to catch and shoot and make another three to tie the game. Knowles tried a 25-footer to win the game, but missed. Instead of letting the game go to OT, he fouled. I don’t want to think about how this game ended again….
Now comes the post-season, and since the Cards locked up a 3 seed for the Big East Tournament, they are poised to make some noise. WVU will play the winner of #11 seed Marquette-#14 Providence. Louisville will then take on the winner of WVU-Marq./Prov. on Thursday night around 9:30 pm. I think it goes without saying that most U of L fans would love a chance to play the Mountaineers again, and hopefully put them and their hilljack lunatic fans in their place.