Louisville Drops 5th Straight Loss as the Kenny Payne Era Nears an End

3 more games
Mar 2, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne reacts to a call
Mar 2, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne reacts to a call / Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The Louisville Cardinals dropped their 5th straight game to Syracuse on Saturday night, and it was possibly the definition of the Kenny Payne era in most ways.

The Cardinals hung around for the first 4-6 minutes of the game, but after that it seemed to be all Syarcuse, and that continued into the first half as well. Even when Louisville pulled it to 5 in the 2nd half, Syrcause then went on a 18-5 run that put the Cardinals down 18. Louisville eventually pulled it back to 4 with under a minute left, but it proved to be too little too late for Payne's squad.

The Payne era has been full of unforced errors, misread assignments, and lackluster coaching. That was in full effect against Syracuse last night, and the only time they played good basketball was when the Cardinals were making tough shots or the talent on the court just started to shine through a little bit. It wasn't because of Payne's ability to coach them better as the game went on.

In a way it was a true definition of the Payne era, as the Cardinals looked lost most of game but there a few sparks throughout the game that provided some "light at the end of tunnel". However, the tunnel that Payne and Louisville basketball are in never seems to end and the negatives outweigh the postives in nearly every aspect.

Syracuse dominated the Cardinals, but the talent on the court shined through it parts of the game to make it seem much less worse than it actually was. Payne has 2 regular season games left to coach and likely just 1 ACC tourney game, and it can't come soon enough for Cardinal fans.

Louisville fans want to see quality basketball being played, and it has been a long time since we have seen that. We don't know if it will be Scott Drew, Mick Cronin, Nate Oats, or anyone else, but we do know that it will hopefully not be Kenny Payne come next November.