Kenny Payne and Louisville Must Build Off Huge Miami Road Win

Kenny Payne needs some momentum in 2024
Jan 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne reacts from
Jan 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne reacts from / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Kenny Payne era at Louisville has not had a great 2024, at least not until last night, where the Cardinals beat the Miami Hurricanes on the road for the first road victory in 2 years for the Cardinals.

Louisville rallied against the Hurricanes and ended up going on a 9-0 run to end the game and win 80-71. This would be an impressive game for any college basketball team, as Miami returned most of their players from last year's final four teams, and had been 26-1 in their last 27 home games. No matter who you are, that is an impressive win.

Louisville has to be able to build off of this right? Kenny Payne has not had a win like this in his career at Louisville, his victories as head coach are marked here:

  • 2022-12-14, Western Kentucky
  • 2022-12-17, FAMU
  • 2023-2-1, Georgia Tech
  • 2023-2-18, Clemson (2013 championship team recognition day)
  • 2023-11-6, UMBC
  • 2023-11-15, Coppin State
  • 2023-11-26, New Mexico State
  • 2023-11-29, Bellarmine
  • 2023-12-17, Pepperdine
  • 2024-1-10, Miami

All of these victories were at home and the only real impressive win he had before last night was against Clemson last season. However, Louisville could have put only walk-ons on the court, Louisville was not going to lose that game in front of the 2013 championship crowd.

Beating Miami could create some serious buzz around the players and this coaching staff, especially if they can string up some wins. Payne's job security is essentially dead in the water right now, and the only way to fix that is to win some basketball games. Louisville will need some serious wins if Payne wants to stay as the head coach for next season and he has just a couple months to do.

If Louisville can somehow pull off a home victory against NC State this Saturday, then we can not truly know what type of win this was. Was it a fluke victory or a sign of what can come in the future? Until we see how the Cardinals fare against the Wolfpack we won't really know.

All of college basketball is essentially rooting for Kenny Payne at Louisville, (even yes, BBN) but it all comes down to if the team can build off success and sustain it. They were able to do it against Miami, but can they do it against the rest of the ACC? If you can do it against Miami you should be able to.

if Payne and the Cardinals can't sustain this success then Payne will likely be as good as gone come March.