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ACC Roundup - Is Louisville Collapsing?

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Maui Invitational - Texas Tech v Louisville
LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 22: JaeLyn Withers #24 of the Louisville Cardinals looks to pass as he is double teamed by Jaylon Tyson #20 and Kevin Obanor #0 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the second half of the game during the Maui Invitational at Lahaina Civic Center on November 22, 2022 in Lahaina, Hawaii. | Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

So far, this season is a disaster for the Cardinals

You can say it. It’s okay because it’s sincere. And you’ll feel better for it too.

Poor Nolan.

Louisville has gone from struggling to crisis in a very short time. We’re just five games in!

But consider this:

In the first three games, Louisville lost by an average of one point.

After game four, that ballooned to 7.25. And after the loss to Texas Tech Tuesday, it shot up again and is now at 12.2.

The loss to Arkansas was bad, but the loss to Texas Tech was far, far worse.

The score was 20-13 with 4:22 gone in the first half, and, well, that was about it for Louisville: the Cards didn't get to 15 until 14:10 in the second half.

It’s almost impossible to believe.

Before we go on, we should all remember that Texas Tech is a terrific defensive team. Duke got a good taste last spring.

But that’s...well, that’s not all because of Texas Tech. You can get a rebound or a steal and make something happen. We’re not saying it’s easy, but you can defend as hard as they can, you know?

We’re not here to rip Louisville. It’s just a bit shocking. This is a proud program; the city has always adored it. The Denny Crum era was brilliant, with two titles, but this school also produced Butch Beard and Wes Unseld and, later, Donovan Mitchell.

We’d feel awful for Louisville if only for that. Nolan Smith complicates it because he’s such a beloved figure and this can’t be easy.

Unfortunately, the schedule remains difficult. Louisville plays Cincinnati on Wednesday, and that’s a regional neighbor who would love to smack the Cardinals around. Then it’s Maryland and Miami before seeing Florida State.

They have to improve. They cannot possibly be this bad.

Can they?

In the day’s other games, Notre Dame met Bowling Green and left them blue 82-66, Pitt got back to .500 with an 83-61 win over Fairleigh Dickinson and Syracuse and St. John’s woke up some ghosts with an overtimer in the Empty Vivid Seats Empire Classic.

This was a decent game although neither team was exactly perfect. For one, Joe Girard shot just 1-10. Syracuse had a late shot-clock violation, which obviously didn’t help, and couldn’t win it in at the end of regulation.

On the bright side, freshman Judah Mintz is looking pretty good: he got 20 points in this game and he’s averaging 17.5 ppg.

No surprise that Notre Dame beat Bowling Green but they had a hard time shaking them. The Irish didn't get meaningful separation until the last 8:27 on the back of a 23-4 run. JJ Starling had a career high with 22 points.

Pitt beat Farleigh Dickinson without too much trouble, which must have been a nice change. Jon Hugley played 19 minutes and had 17 points on 7-10 shooting. If he plays consistently, he’ll be a huge asset for Pitt. Jamarius Burton had 18.

So Wednesday night is intriguing: NC State takes on Kansas in the Battle 4 Atlantis, Georgia Tech gets Marquette, Miami welcomes in St. Francis of Brooklyn, Louisville gets Cincinnati and Wake Forest hosts South Carolina State.

Wednesday’s ACC Action

  • NC State vs. Kansas || 12:00 || ESPN
  • Georgia Tech vs. Marquette || 6:00 || FS1
  • St. Francis Brooklyn vs. Miami || 6:30 || ACCN
  • Louisville vs. Cincinnati || 7:30 || ESPNU
  • SC State vs. Wake Forest || 8:30 || ACCN

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