A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Now back on campus, Louisville’s Williamson understands importance of following virus protocols

By Kenny Klein University of Louisville University of Louisville forward Samuell Williamson is glad to be back on campus with his teammates, but he understands that everyone needs to continue to follow proper protocols and be cautious in this pandemic environment. “It’s (the virus) definitely something that’s always in the back of our heads,” said Williamson. “When we’re...

Looking Ahead: Mitchell’s return could be a key for Cards as plenty of veterans, top recruits raise hopes

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Donovan Mitchell sat in front of his locker in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis Sunday afternoon patiently answering questions while trying to process the fact that Louisville’s college basketball season had ended three games short of its NCAA Final Four goal. “This hurts. This sucks,” Mitchell said. “We...

‘Career day’ by Michigan’s Wagner leaves Louisville on the outside looking in at NCAA Tournament

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent INDIANAPOLIS — Here is Louisville forward Jaylen Johnson’s evaluation of Michigan center Moritz “Moe” Wagner: “He’s going to have a great career.” Uh, Jaylen, he already did. “Wagner had a career day,” said UofL’s Deng Adel. “He was a nightmare matchup for us.” And those nightmares are liable...

Cards will try to cool off hot-shooting Michigan with a trip to the Sweet Sixteen on the line

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent The last time Louisville and Michigan met, it was for the national championship. This time the stakes aren’t quite as high, but they’re high enough, with each team needing a victory to keep this year’s title hopes alive. UofL (25-8), the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Regional, dispatched No. 15 Jacksonville State (20-15) 78-63 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse...

Despite lack of tournament experience, Pitino thinks tough schedule has Cards ready to go

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Sitting out last year’s Big Dance as wallflowers under the school’s self-imposed postseason ban means that very few players on Louisville’s current roster have NCAA Tournament experience. In fact, only two — junior guard Quentin Snider and senior center Mangok Mathiang — have logged significant minutes in an NCAA...

Old problems crop up again for Cards as Duke rallies for 81-77 win in ACC tourney

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent Sure, Louisville had a difficult time trying to contain Luke Kennard, Jason Tatum and Grayson Allen. But that trio’s substantial damage aside, the No.4-seeded Cardinals were there own worst enemy in Thursday’s 81-77 loss to No. 5 Duke in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Chalk up UofL’s...

Pitino wants rematches in ACC tourney, but Cards facing a rough road in return to postseason action

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Revenge of sorts was on coach Rick Pitino’s mind when his thoughts turned to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament following Louisville’s 71-64 victory over Notre Dame Saturday afternoon. “We’d like to play some of the teams that beat us,” Pitino said before the seeds were finalized. But he will have to wait awhile...

Mathiang has a senior moment, leads Cards to victory and a double bye in upcoming ACC tourney

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE–At 24 years of age, Mangok Mathiang is the senior citizen of the Louisville basketball team, which is a constant source of amusement for his teammates, who call him the “old guy.” Saturday they should have called him their savior because without a watershed performance from the good-natured, 6-foot-10 Australian they almost certainly...

Mitchell, Spalding combine for 43 points, No. 7 Cards rebound to spank Syracuse, 88-68

Donovan Mitchell made six 3-pointers for 25 points, Ray Spalding added 18 points with 11 rebounds and No. 7 Louisville shot 57 percent to pull away for an 88-68 victory over Syracuse on Sunday. Seeking a second-place tie with Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Cardinals rode a 14-4 run entering the break for a 15-point lead that grew to 23 early in the second half. That provided a...

Atmosphere different this year as Cards begin potential drive toward high seed in NCAA tournament

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE–Heading into the final week of the regular season, the atmosphere couldn’t be more different than at this time last year for the University of Louisville basketball team. So much more is at stake. So much more fun to experience. As the 2016 season was winding down, the Cardinals may as well have been planning where they were going to spend...

Tar Heels tighten grip on ACC race, pull away in second half for 74-63 win over No. 7 Louisville

Justin Jackson scored 21 points and No. 8 North Carolina pulled away after halftime to beat No. 7 Louisville 74-63 on Wednesday night in a matchup of Atlantic Coast Conference leaders. Kennedy Meeks added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Tar Heels (24-5, 12-3), who strengthened their hold on first place in the league. UNC entered the night leading both Louisville and No. 10 Duke by a game, but stretched...

ACC lead, possible No. 1 seed for NCAA tournament on the line as Cards meet hot Tar Heels

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — When Louisville’s basketball team was preparing to meet Virginia two weeks ago, coach Rick Pitino told the Cardinals they were playing for a possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Cards, minus suspended Deng Adel and Mangok Mathiang, lost decisively, 71-55, but now they get another shot at that goal when they face No. 8 North Carolina...

Louisville holds off Virginia Tech in wild one to post 1,800th victory in program’s 103 seasons

Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points to lead No. 8 Louisville to a wild 94-90 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday, marking the 1,800th all-time victory for the Cardinals’ men’s basketball program. Louisville is 10th in the nation in all-time victories with a 1,800-897 record in 103 seasons. Louisville has produced winning seasons in 69 of the last 72 years, including winning 20 or more...

Snider’s return a success as No. 8 Cards pull away from Syracuse with late run in overtime

Louisville scored 10 consecutive points in overtime, including five straight by Anas Mahmoud, to outlast Syracuse 76-72 on Monday night. John Gillon sent the game to overtime for Syracuse on a 3-pointer with 40 seconds to go in regulation that tied the score at 58. The Orange took a 63-61 lead on two free throws by Andrew White, but Louisville scored the next 10 points to take control and hold on. Tyler...

Reinforcements arrive: Cards use late rally to defeat Miami, but Pitino still concerned about defense

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Louisville’s basketball team welcomed back Quentin Snider, Mangok Mathian and Deng Adel with a gritty 71-66 come-from-behind victory over Miami Saturday afternoon in the KFC Yum! Center, but it came attached with both a warning and a pledge from their coach. With an eye on the rapidly-approaching NCAA Tournament, Rick Pitino cautioned that...

Despite short-handed loss to Cavaliers, Cards still in good shape in conference championship race

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — With a Big Monday victory at Virginia, Louisville’s basketball team could have remained hot on the Heels, staying within one game of North Carolina (9-2), the leaders in the Atlantic Coast Conference race. Didn’t happen, due at least in part to a couple of late suspensions that left the already-shorthanded Cardinals even more depleted...

Pitino comes close to dismissing Boston College as Cards eye Monday ACC showdown with Virginia

By Russ Brown KyForward columnist LOUISVILLE — In a way, during his press conference Friday afternoon, Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino violated one of his profession’s most sacred commandments: Thou shalt take one game at a time. Louisville’s next opponent is lowly Boston College (9-14, 2-8 ACC) Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock in the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.,...

Mitchell’s outburst fuels Cardinals’ offensive resurgence as N.C. State falls in rout

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — When starting point guard Quentin Snider went to the sidelines with a hip injury, followed by his backup, Tony Hicks, with a broken hand, there were concerns that an already-struggling Louisville offense might encounter even more problems. After all, the Cardinals were already near the bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference in nearly all of...

Despite Snider’s injury, things are looking up for Cards — thanks to Hicks, Mango, Johnson

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE–We are two games into Quentin Snider’s unscheduled absence from the University of Louisville basketball team and there is plenty of reason for optimism in the Cardinal camp, both in the short term and long range. UofL (16-4, 4-3) has more than held its own without Snider, its junior point guard who is sidelined for perhaps another two weeks...

Cards overcome loss of Snider behind Adel, Mitchell to throttle Clemson for fourth straight victory

Deng Adel scored 18 points to match a career-high, Donovan Mitchell scored 18 in the first half and No. 12 Louisville closed on a 10-0 run to pull away from Clemson 92-60 on Thursday night. Playing their first game without injured point guard Quentin Snider (strained hip), the Cardinals (16-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) initially struggled to find a rhythm with numerous combinations. Mitchell scored...