Louisville season was in need of a marquee win to stay in the hunt for a NCAA tournament berth.
Coming in (15-9) overall and (6-5) in the Big East, none of those wins came against quality opponents. At the time you could have made a case for UConn but their season was just as lumpy as Louisville’s.
The Cardinals Rick Pitino has had the success against Syracuse over the years. Coming in beating them four straight times.
Syracuse was a totally different team and looked to end the streak and win their first game against Louisville since February of 2006.
The game was highly contested throughout, and despite the No. 3 ranking, Syracuse’s rock hard zone was folding to the pass-happy Cardinals which resulted in just an one-point lead at half.
Doing it with a team effort, the Cardinals continued to move the ball around the arc and get the open looks.
Louisville continued to work its defense on standout Wesley Johnson, and the game was decided in the last 60 seconds. Many suspected Louisville to have trouble with Syracuse’s zone but it was the complete opposite.
In the last seconds of the game, Johnson made an attempt at the basket that went under the rim and hit nothing, Louisville obtained the rebound and Sosa sent it off to Rakeem Buckles for the exclamation point.
The Cardinals grasped that marquee win they needed and was ready for college basketball to accept them as contenders.