Colorado State v Louisville

Louisville looked the part of a title contender in blowout of Colorado State

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The scariest part of No. 1 seed Louisville’s 82-56 win over No. 8 seed Colorado State on Saturday afternoon has nothing to do with the 26 point margin.

It has nothing to do with the fact that Louisville scored 82 points on the Rams. It wasn’t that the Cardinals forced 19 turnovers against a team that ranked 18th in the country in turnover percentage, or that those 19 turnovers just so happened to be the number of field goals that Colorado State hit. It’s not the 24 points that the Cardinals scored off of those turnovers, or the 27 points that Russ Smith scored on 7-15 shooting from the floor, either.

No, the most terrifying part about Louisville on Saturday was that they did all of that on a night where Colorado State didn’t actually play all that poorly.

The Rams shot 46.3% from the floor, a number that was above 50% on the game until the final minutes and would look a lot better without Dorian Green’s 2-12 performance. When they got possession in the half court, they were able to execute and get fairly good looks at the rim. They made a lot of those fairly good looks, too.

The problem was that Colorado State simply could not get the ball into the front court.

They not only turned the ball over against Louisville, they gave-up live-ball turnovers; pick-sixes, if you will. The Cardinals would jump a passing lane or would pick a ball-handler’s pocket and it would be off to the races. It’s tough to mount a comeback against the best team in the country when you’re giving up uncontested layups on every other possession.

And that, at the end of the day, is really all you need to know.

Louisville thoroughly embarrassed a good basketball team on a night where that good basketball team didn’t play all that poorly.

That’s a bad sign for Oregon and St. Louis and Michigan State and everyone else that could end up standing in the way of the Cardinals.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Kennesaw State blows eight-point lead in 16 seconds, loses to Elon

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Kennesaw State entered Monday night at 1-6 on the season, but with 19 seconds left, it looked like the Owls have their second of the season locked up. Kendrick Ray made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to put KSU up 89-81, and all they had to do was avoid a complete meltdown to get out with a win.

They couldn’t.

A Luke Eddy layup with 16 seconds left cut the lead to six, and after KSU’s Nigel Pruitt missed two free throws, Dainan Swoope his a three with seven seconds left to make the score 89-86.

On the ensuing inbounds, Kennesaw State threw the ball away … and then proceeded to foul Eddy when he was shooting a three. This is what that disaster looked like:

Eddy would hit all three threes before, shockingly, KSU turned the ball over again. Elon could not capitalize this time, sending the game to overtime, where the Phoenix outscored the Owls 14-4.

Elon won 104-94.

Here’s what the comeback looked like on the play-by-play:

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Rick Pitino: Louisville ‘just ignored’ in top 25 due of scandal

Rick Pitino
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Louisville beatdown Saint Louis at the Barclays Center on Sunday night, a 77-57 win that was much closer at halftime than the final score might indicate.

The win moved the Cardinals to 5-0 on the season, and that, in turn, got Louisville into the back end of both top 25 polls.

They’re 24th in the AP Poll and 22nd in the Coaches Poll, but that happened on Monday morning. On Sunday night, Pitino made sure to get a rant in about how this team is viewed and why pundits and voters should overlook the scandal currently plaguing his program.

“I think people are looking at that and they’re not really studying the team,” he said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, adding that he thinks the team is “just ignored” because of the accusations leveled by self-described madam Katina Powell in the book she published back in October.

And here’s the thing: he is 100 percent correct. Louisville was overlooked in the preseason because the scandal, when combined with the fact that the Cardinals are integrating so many new pieces into their rotation, made it tough to see how they would be able to compete at a level that we’ve come to expect out of Louisville teams.

I know that because it’s why my colleagues at, against my wishes, refused to allow me to rank Louisville in the preseason top 25. In other words, I’ve had first-hand interactions with the haters. But if we’re going to be honest here, scandal or no scandal, Louisville probably wasn’t going to find their way into the preseason top 25, not when they had to replace Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell.

And scandal or no scandal, no team from outside the top 25 is going to play their way into the top 25 by beating the likes of North Florida and St. Francis (NY) without some shenanigans — like Fred VanVleet getting hurt, like Indiana collapsing, like Arizona and Cal and Notre Dame playing their way out of the top 20 — happening around the country.

So Pitino is right: the scandal probably did have an impact on how his team was viewed in the preseason.

But Pitino the scandal isn’t what kept them out of the top 25 until Monday.

That weak non-conference schedule and roster turnover was why.

And if we’re going to be honest here, it probably should have kept them out for another week.