Louisville vs. Connecticut: Twitter Reaction, Postgame Recap and Analysis

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Louisville vs. Connecticut: Twitter Reaction, Postgame Recap and Analysis
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Louisville took their fresh No. 1 ranking into Connecticut and took down a game Huskies team, 73-58, Monday night in Hartford. 

Russ Smith led the way for the Cardinals with 23 points, but it was their defense that really keyed this easy victory. 

Early on, it looked like the Cardinals were going to fall prey to the kind of upset that that led Louisville to the No. 1 ranking in the first place. They were behind almost the entire first half and trailed, 34-28, at the break.

The Cardinals looked out of sorts. Nowhere was this more apparent than at the end of the half. The Huskies missed a shot as the shot clock expired with roughly six seconds left in the half. However, the Cardinals apparently thought the buzzer was for intermission and they quit playing. The Huskies' Omar Calhoun made them pay with a bucket. 

It is a safe bet that Rick Pitino brought up this fresh gaffe in the locker room, and whatever he said, it was effective. This game was all Cardinals in the second. Louisville's pressure defense completely overwhelmed the Huskies, and the visitors had this game tied around the 16-minute mark in the second half at 39.  

Things did not get much easier for the Huskies from there. Buckets were few and far between and the squad was outscored 45-24 in the second.

Shabazz Napier torched Louisville in the first half, but the Cards wore the guard down and he lost his scoring touch and his confidence. Napier finished with 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting and Omar Calhoun ended up leading the Huskies with 20 points. 

As the second half wore on, this once-competitive game turned into little more than a No. 1 celebration party for the Cardinals. 

 

Twitter Reaction

The stats folks at ESPN provided us with this pregame nugget: 

Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis tweeted about the inexcusable gaffe by the Cardinals at the end of the half. 

This game kept the stats department at ESPN busy. They pointed out that the first half of this game was more of a one-on-one battle than a team contest:

The Hartford Courant's Peter Marteka noticed the peculiar situation as the second half was getting ready to start:

I'm thinking the only fear the Cardinals players had at halftime was of Coach Pitino in the locker room. And judging by their delayed return to the court, he had a lot to say. 

While the Louisville defense was amazing in the second, their offense left something to be desired, as they missed some easy buckets. This fan tweeted his frustration:

The Connecticut Post's Kevin Duffy shed some light on some of UConn's struggles in the second half: 

Napier wasn't the only Husky chucking bricks. He just stuck out because he was drilling so many in the first half. 

This was a strong showing for the victorious Cardinals, and that defense could lead to them having a lengthy stay atop the rankings. 

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