Can you Louisville Cardinal fans help clear up the crazy-quilt college basketball scene?
I know a little whatâ€™s wrong with your favorite team going to South Bend to play Notre Dame. And I learned that long ago from a master coach,Â Adolph Rupp of Kentucky.
During the mid-to-late 1930s he said, â€œWhen I take my team to Notre Dame we are in our layup lines and the first thing I know my boys are humming that damn Notre Dame fight song.â€
We all know that Rick Pitino isnâ€™t about to let his University of Louisville Cardinals sing the Irishâ€™s song â€“ no matter how many Leprechauns are in the gym. Heck, he even takes his own priest, Father Ed Bradley, on the road with the Cardinals.
Father Bradley isnâ€™t all UofL; he preached at Cawood Ledfordâ€™s funeral in Harlan. Cawood, of course, was the voice of the Wildcats in both basketball and football.
Through the years, Notre Dame and Kentucky played off and on in Louisvilleâ€™s Armory and Freedom Hall and in Indianapolis.
One time Joe â€œRedâ€ Hagan, a Wildcat star from St. Xavier in Louisville, got on the outs with Rupp and he suspended his hot-tempered player. But Hagan just happened to be with some other players when they went to Alumni Gym to depart for Notre Dame.
Rupp spied him and said, well, â€œSince you are here, you might as well get your equipment and go with us â€“ but you wonâ€™tÂ play because you are suspended.â€
Late in the game, when the Wildcats were having trouble with the Irish, Rupp said, â€œHagan, I just got a telegram from the dean and you have been restored to the team. Now get in there!â€
UK still lost to the Irish.
Mr. Sivaâ€™s case
The biggest mystery of these Cardinals is Peyton Siva. If he had been his usual self just a little bit, there would not have been any overtimes at all. At times he can play like an All-American, but he scored just two points (two!) and just two assists.
He and center Gorgui Dieng have combined for so many baskets this season, but this time when it could have won the game in regulation. But Dieng, who has had tight hands, couldnâ€™t hang onto the ball.
IUâ€™s Oladipo No. 1
One thing we can be sure of is that Indianaâ€™s Hoosiers have the finest and toughest guard in the nation, Victor Oladipo. In an 81-68 victory at Ohio State, he was unstoppable when he scored 26 points to go withÂ eight rebounds and nine of 10 free throws. He is a tough defender. He had plenty of help from Cody Zeller (24 points) and Christian Watford (20 points).