"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why we love to hate Louisville

Marquette v. Louisville.

This is arguably the Big East's best rivalry, and one of the very best in the nation. If you've followed this series for the past dozen or so years, these names and scenarios will raise your blood pressure:
  • Steve Novak

  • ....and Jerry @!#% Smith
As Tom Heiser points out in his blog, this series has risen to great heights. Tom notes this fact from columnist Rick Bozich

After 12 years apart, the schools resumed playing in Conference USA on Feb. 28, 1996. Marquette won. In double overtime. The score was 80-79. The winning basket came on a three-pointer by Aaron Hutchins with three seconds left. Starting with that game, the teams have played 12 games decided by five points or less, and five that have stretched into overtime.

So, here's the deal. These programs have a healthy respect for one another, and I'd posit that the respective fan bases do as well. But -- sometimes there are teams that you just love to hate.

I love to hate Louisville. Tom Heiser loves to hate Marquette. The folks at the Card Chronicle are having a blast here with a Tom Crean caption contest......and the game is still days away.

So, in keeping with the links above...

Here are the top 5 things I love to hate about the UL rivalry:

#5) The last second no-call on Wardle during the Senior Night Triple OT loss at the Bradley Center. A killer loss. Wardle played a remarkable 52 minutes that night for nought.

#4) "I'll take Niv Berkowitz and the 47 points" The overhyped and overmatched PG led Marquette to the worst loss in team history, a 99-52 thrashing at the hands of the Cardinals at Freedom Hall back in 2005. Oh, the game was on national television. Buzzkill. Thank goodness the Three Amigos arrived soon after.

#3) Reese Gaines. After hitting his game winner at MU - a clutch shot just moment after Diener's apparent dagger - the Madison native pranced around the court in defiant celebration. At least this story had a happy ending. Gaines' reward was the right to work for a Marquette graduate the following fall (he was drafted by Doc Rivers' Orlando Magic). Heheh.

#2) The insipid 'C-A-R-D-S' chant heard at the Bradley Center every year by the pockets of UL fans in the crowd.

#1). Slick Rick Pitino. I know he's an easy target, but I'm a simple man. Pitino rode back to the Bluegrass State and many expected him to replicate the nearly unparalleled success he had over in Lexington. It has largely not worked out that way for Rick where recruiting gaffes, a rash of injuries, and a few underachieving squads have managed to temper progress....just a bit. Not that I am complaining, because if I were a complainer Slick Rick would point out that whining is not one of the 10 Traits of Great Leadership in Business and Life, nor will it help me understand the Ten Steps to Overachieving in Business and Life. Tony Robbins has nothing on this man!

All of this and we have two more days to talk about this game. Enjoy a mini 'rivalry week' :-)


Anonymous said...

yes, the 2005 debacle at Freedomn Hall was ugly and something I'd very much like to forget.

Yeah, Niv was overmatched and overhyped, but it's unfair to say Niv "led" them to the loss. He didn't start, played only a few minutes, and was inconsequential to the outcome.

If you want to blame an individual (which I do not), there were better candidates in that game for such honors.

TB said...

Led......poor choice of words on my part.

But Niv's performance that day was (sadly) MU's most memorable.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else think that the picture in at Cards should have a caption like - "Kiss me like you mean it, damn it!!!"


Anonymous said...

That is a pretty funny caption for a pic that Card fans firmly believe a UK editor snuck in the paper after we
nailed them at Rupp.

Let the pussy CATS have their fun...

Now, next up, a favorite little brother--Marquette.

I don't think you cheese heads have a clue how wild it will be in the Hall...

Anonymous said...

Oh, let's just say also that Card fans are generally well behaved--except when great A-Holes from the north like Deane blow in and want to do a fancy dance.

He enjoyed his one dance--and got my Coke in his kisser too.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen an invasion on our blogs and boards from opposing fans as I have seen recently from Louisville fans. I think it just goes to show how deep this rivalry is especially in the Louisville fans eyes. We look forward to the game.

Anonymous said...

They appear to follow their basketball since, like Marquette, they no longer have football.

Also -this site was called out on their blog for good content, which it has.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we're only popping on here, because Mike pointed you out.

We're not like UK fans...

We like to have a little fun with you guys, but this isn't like us playing our traditional "hate" rivals--UK, Memphis, Cincy (and WVU coming on fast)

It is a strange "rivalry" --based really just on the closeness of the games.

And the fact that we take our BBall in KY very, verrrryy seriously.

Oh, I'd respond to the stupid football remark, but I'm busy polishing our Orange Bowl trophy

(When you all get the guts to field a team--then speak up boys)

Anonymous said...

OK boys, lets break it up and stick to basketball.

I think MU showed that we can play in the wild locations such as the Hall, the Zoo (Pitt) and whatever they call their place at UConn last year all in period of about 10 days. Every critical player is back this year plus some.

I don't worry about the nerves, but again, like ND, my worry is about the bigs (Charactar and Padget). I'm hoping to see some Blackledge swats, double downs on the bigs (similar to the gody game plan) and likely a lot of fouls on MU centers (hopefully not too many).

From there, high pressure from the guards and continued decent shooting will win the game for us. We have guards comming out of our ears.

Incidentally, I think Petino should grow a mustache and open a pizza joint.

Anonymous said...

Cards fan here... I've got to say I've always had a tremendous amount of respect of your program (except for Mike Dean) going back to the Al McGuire days. My experience with your fans has always been great, and I cheer for you guys when not playing us.

While its certainly a growing rivalry, here's to more more buzzer beating shots and the passion of players celebrating on the court. After all, I'm for whatever make this a better rivalry.

PS: you're seeing so many Cards fans on the site because the local newpaper linked to this article.