Once in awhile, as a "mid-major" fan, you get those moments of pure joy that feel like God's justice. Some Big State U. that normally avoids playing your school waits until your school's ranks are ravaged by graduation and the entire coaching staff jumps ship after a successful run to coach at a BCS school, and THEN Big State U. wants to schedule a four-game series with your guys that includes one "neutral" game, two road games, and one game at your gym (that will likely be put off, wrangled over, and eventually bought out and serving only to seriously cheese off the entire fanbase). Sorry for the length of he previous sentence, but you have to read it while imagining me ranting, red-faced, and refusing to take a breath.
Sunday's game between Louisville and WKU was such a case. The Louisville Cardinals, they of Big East title and Final Four Contendership, squared off with WKU, who lost 75% of it's scoring and all of its coaches from its magical Sweet 16 team in 2008, for the first of four meetings as laid out above. But, the Toppers worked over the bigger Cards with stifling defense and relentless pursuit on the glass (WKU +14!). What was left in the Topper wake of activity was 26% shooting for UL and a bumfuzzled Rick Pitino mumbling about a bad week of practice. Of course, if you watched the game, it was not hard to understand why UL lost: they let their poor jumpshooters jack up scud missiles instead of pounding the ball into either of their TWO future NBA power forwards. What resulted was a 14-point beatdown of justice of UL by the Tops.
Even more staggering is that eight days ago, this Topper team was doing some grave soul-searching after being annihilated by 28 points at Murray State. Since then, the Tops have dispatched SIU (on Wed) and now Louisville in the early buds of this "rebuilding year." They are also crafting a serious defense/rebounding identity. Well, at least I should give UL a little credit for scheduling the series in the first place, even if they waited until we were "down."
WKU next hosts Georgia on Tuesday.
Tomorrow, we will take a look at which teams have laid solid foundations for their March resumes.
--Wisconsin at Virginia Tech. ACC/Big Televen challenge gets cranked up with a couple of teams who could use a solid "w."