It wasn’t always pretty but #9 Louisville basketball cruised to a 79-58 Big East road victory tonight extending a now 42-game losing streak against ranked opponents for DePaul. So much for the 8-0 start tonight by DePaul and the close, gritty first half that was anyone’s ballgame for awhile. The Blue Demons’ last win over a ranked-team was 84-76 over No. 17 Villanova on Jan. 3, 2008 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont Arena. DePaul’s last win over a top 10 team was a 64-57 decision on Dec. 2, 2006 versus the #5 Kansas Jayhawks.
DePaul fell to 11-17 overall and 2-13 in the Big East while Louisville basketball improved to 23-5 overall and 11-4 in conference. There was a lot of sloppiness in the game in the first half, a bunch of back and forth turnovers. You could almost cue up “Yakety Sax” (the Benny Hill theme song) for the type of college basketball being played during many stretches of the first half. Then in the second half, UL seemed more soothing and symphonic.
However Louisville basketball started to run away with it early in the first half, the Cardinals finding themselves up by 14 with 15:49 left to play. Louisville basketball has now won seven of their last eight with the lone loss being the five overtime instant classic on Feb. 9 at Notre Dame. DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is now 1-8 all-time (0-4 at DePaul) against the Cardinals.
“They need to be willing to move around and stay in attack mode in the second half,” said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. “And we didn’t, and you saw the results.”
Louisville basketball now holds a 38-21 series advantage and ten game winning streak. Interesting college hoops history, DePaul and Louisville have played in the same conference since the start of Conference USA in 1995-96. DePaul’s last win over Louisville basketball was a 60-58 overtime decision at Freedom Hall on Feb. 25, 2004.
“We really haven’t had a bad game all year,” Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said.
“We lost to Syracuse on the flip of a coin, Georgetown on the flip of a coin, Villanova we were up eight twice. Last year we had a lot of bumps in the road, and this year we really haven’t had those bumps.”
There were 7 NBA teams on hand for this one to scout potential NBA prospects; including the hometown Chicago Bulls front office leaders John Paxson and Gar Forman. We currently have UL’s Russ Smith going 39th in our NBA Mock Draft
Smith is a shooting guard in a point guard’s body, but he’s extremely quick and aggressive on both ends of the floor. We have Louisville’s Wayne Blackshear going 17th in our 2014 mock draft and his teammate Gorgui Deng going 33rd. For DePaul, we have Cleveland Melvin going 55th overall.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of visitors. He also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar, author and MBA, Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB)
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