Nothing Is Certain on the Big East Road

A Rick Pitino coached team has never suffered a loss to Seton Hall. Wherever he was coaching, if his team played Seton Hall it would be a win. The Cardinals looked like they were rounding into form on both ends of the court. They had won 4 straight and in their last 3 games, they held opponents to just over 51 points per game.

Seton Hall hardly looked good. They had finally gotten their first conference win against woeful USF, but outside of a November win over Virginia they had 0 wins over quality opponents. The Pirates lack of size inside has killed them against teams like Pitt and UConn. Now they had to face Louisville with Palacios, Padgett and Caracter.

Several times it looked like Louisville was going to blow the game wide open. They had 12 point leads twice in the first half, and a 14 point lead with a little more than 12 minutes left in the game. Each time, the Pirates made big charges to get close. At halftime, the Cardinals only had a two point lead.
Louisville showed remarkable inconsistency on the defense, when they built a lead. Louisville inexplicably get lazy on defense. Leaving the lanes open for penetration and inexplicably sagging off the perimeter to let Seton Hall get good looks on 3s. This, despite little inside presence by Seton Hall -- the Cardinals completely controlled the boards.

Wing forward Brian Laing brought Seton Hall back he would go inside and attack mostly, but also sank a couple threes to keep the defense from crowding him. The Pirates closed to within 5 and then Freshman guard Jeremy Hazell couldn't miss. He took and made four straight 3s from all around the arc. By the time Louisville was able to defend him, they were down 4 with 3 minutes remaining.

Louisville absolutely collapsed offensively. They looked panicked and rushed. They turned the ball over a few times, missed all of their shots and suddenly couldn't get an offensive rebound. Despite that, the Pirates gave the Cardinals a chance by making only 4-12 free throws in the final minutes. Seton Hall still got the big win over Louisville, 92-82.

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