Louisville Basketball shows toughness, but can’t get it done vs UNC

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In the rubber match for Louisville basketball against the Tar Heels – on what was essentially home court for Carolina – the Cards fought but couldn’t keep up with the pace. The Heels (and the refs) ran away with it in the end.

The opening minutes of this one were a little messy, with neither team really able to find their rhythm. Soon though, things settled down and shots started falling, mostly for Carolina. Louisville basketball’s first 12 minutes defensively were some of the most disappointing of the season.

Even off of made baskets, Carolina was running. U of L’s defense had no chance to get set and that ended in a make or committing silly fouls. We were trading 2’s for 3’s quite a bit as well, which had us looking like we were going to get run out of the gym tonight.

Coby White seemed to get to the rim at will before the Cards picked it up defensively with about 6 minutes to go in the first half. But the Heels still held a 10 point advantage at the end of the period. Coach Mack surely harped on those miscues in the locker room, because the Cards came out with much better defensive energy at the start of the second half.

The Cards had success getting the ball down low to Enoch, and he looked dominant in spurts. This is a game we needed him to be dominant for the entire night, and to be fair he was hampered by foul trouble. But when you have chances at the rim against UNC (and it wasn’t just Enoch) you gotta convert them.

Carolina left the door open for what seemed like forever, but Louisville never pulled closer than 6. To be fair yet again, it seemed every time UNC’s lead was cut under 10, the ref’s got whistle happy against Louisville. If you’re reading this recap, you most likely watched the game, and if you watched the game… you know I’m right.

But I digress. Carolina seized momentum for the final time with about 5 minutes left to go in the game, and the Cards looked out of sync and rattled. Bottom line is, North Carolina is probably going to be a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. And while a win would certainly have boosted our resume, a loss doesn’t really hurt us.

MVP: VJ King. I was not gonna miss this opportunity to give VJ his due. He played great defense, battled on the glass, and looked unafraid out there. He only had 9 points (would have been more if he could have got to the line *eye roll*) but his aggressiveness influenced the whole team. He didn’t turn the ball over and didn’t foul. I’m loving his confidence and hope it continues.

LVP: Khwan Fore. Once again, Khwan provided next to nothing offensively. Even he had a hard time running with UNC’s guards. He’s in a funk right now and in all honesty I think Perry should be starting over him from now on.

X-Factor: Malik Williams. Malik once again was a fighter on the boards and played solid defense down low. He finished with a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

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