Saturday, March 6, 2010
Postgame thoughts: Louisville-Syracuse
By Brian Bennett
LOUISVILLE -- More to come soon, but here are some quick postgame thoughts on Louisville's 78-68 win over No. 1 Syracuse:
The Cardinals closed out Freedom Hall in style, but most importantly, secured their place in the NCAA Tournament. They did it by beating Syracuse for the second time this year behind an unlikely hero, Kyle Kuric. The reserve sophomore had a career-high 22 points, all in the second half, as Louisville rallied from a five-point halftime deficit. No way could Jim Boeheim have seen that coming; in the Cardinals' win Valentine's Day win at the Carrier Dome, Kuric played only three minutes and scored no points.
Louisville won for the sixth straight time and seems to have Boeheim's 2-3 zone figured out. This time, Rick Pitino's team jacked up 40 three-pointers, and though they hit only 12 of them, they crashed the glass and outrebounded the Orange 42-36.
Syracuse senior Andy Rautins suffered through a miserable game, shooting just 1-for-9 and committing five turnovers.
One point of concern for Louisville: senior starting guard Jerry Smith injured his thumb on a first-half dunk and did not play the second half. His status for the Big East tournament is unclear at this point.