Feb 23, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats fans watch Cincinnati Bearcats guard Cashmere Wright (1) shoot a foul shot in the second half against the Louisville Cardinals at the FifthThird Arena. The Bearcats defeated the Cardinals 60-56. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
All Black Everything
And then there’s Justin Jackson. Oh yes, let’s get to Justin Jackson. In his first shift on the court, JJ picked up two quick fouls. It looked like it would be a short night from him as Mick quickly yanked him to the bench. Jackson went on a tear from that point on gathering 7 rebounds and provided the energy that Cincinnati was looking for from someone not named Yancy Gates.
Cincinnati shot 33%, Louisville 34%. The officials were brutal both ways. They called questionable fouls on plays with no contact, called questionable fouls on plays with plenty of contact, called make up calls, and called a horrible travel on Louisville late in the game as a make up to when Russ Smith fell down and UC was called for a foul. Not the best night for the zebras. They definitely had an impact.
"We had structure," Cronin said, "but I didn’t want them worried about what defense Louisville was in. I told them just make sure you’re ready to shoot when you catch and don’t forget about Yancy in the low post."
Pitino also praised the Cincinnati crowd for creating such a hostile environment (not exactly a pristine blackout execution, though...my words, by the way). He said this team needs its fans to create the same type of environment on Sunday against Pitt, before adding "without some of the classless behavior."
With U of L trailing 58-55 in the final minute, coach Rick Pitino designed a play for leading scorer Kyle Kuric during a timeout. Kuric got the shot off cleanly, but it bounced off the rim. It was that kind of game for Kuric, who missed all 11 shots and finished with four points. As a team the Cards shot a season-worst 1 of 14 from 3-point range.
The Bearcats really won the three point line last night
It wasn’t enough. Now, you can say the Cardinals didn’t run the right offensive sets, or didn’t run their sets well, and there was a stretch — especially in the period between the 15:06 mark of the second half and 5:59 left in the game in which the Cardinals did not make a single basket — when that was may well have been true.