The Bearcats fell to Louisville 58-57 when Russ Smith hit a rainbow jumper with 2 seconds remaining. Smith assisted on two baskets then hit the game winner on Louisville’s last 3 possessions. Just a gut punch ending on a very intense, very hardly contested contest.
For most of the year Bearcats have feared what might happen if the Bearcats played terribly and gave the always reliable Sean Kilpatrick nothing in the way of support from anyone else. Not just little support, little support is the norm, I mean nothing. SK would never say it, but he got nothing from the other guys in white.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s shooting woes — with the exception of Kilpatrick — continued. Kilpatrick made 15 straight Cincinnati field goals in the second half, taking more than three times the number of field goal attempts (26) as any of his teammates.
How did the Cardinals manage to win a game despite scoring just 58 points, their lowest output of the season? By playing some of the best half-court defense any team has played in one single game this year. They held Cincinnati to 28.6-percent shooting, including 5-of-20 from long range. Sean Kilpatrick, the conference’s leading scorer and potential player of the year, was 9-of-26 from the floor. In essence, Louisville beat Cincinnati at its own game.
Louisville and Cincinnati have been together playing basketball in other leagues before. In its second matchup in the American Athletic Conference, the top two teams in the league grinded-out an ugly, low-scoring contest as No. 11 Louisville knocked off No. 7 Cincinnati for a huge 58-57 road win.