Louisville suffered its third loss of the season and second in a row at Villanova Tuesday night. The Cardinals led by six with over seven minutes left, but lost 73-64. CardinalSports.com offers his quick thoughts on the loss.
TOUGH TO STOMACH
For the second straight game Louisville lost a lead in the final eight minutes. Louisville lost a five point lead at home to No. 3 Syracuse and lost a six point lead against unranked Villanova.
The Wildcats, who rushed the court after the game, went on a 13-1 run late in the game to regain the lead and push ahead. It was Villanova's first win over a ranked team in 13 tries. It was Louisville's first loss to an unranked team in 19 games.
Villanova's RPI isn't bad. The Wildcats were ranked No. 79 prior to the game and now will likely move into the top 70. But still, this loss stings for the Cardinals.
After losing to fellow league leader Syracuse Saturday, the Cardinals needed the Orange to slip up on the road for a chance at the Big East regular-season title. Now, they'll need the Orange to lose twice, which is much less likely.
Chane Behanan missed 6 of 9 free throws. Gorgui Dieng went 0 for 2 from the line. Montrezl Harrell did, too. Louisville finished the game 12 of 24.
RUSS NOT RUSSDICULOUS
Louisville's National Player of the Year candidate hurt his candidacy Tuesday night with an ugly 2 of 12 shooting performance with 8 points.
"We didn't see the good Russ tonight," Pitino said.
Smith was 0 for 3 from three-point range and looked out of sorts for much of the game. Potential voters took note.
Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde tweeted: "Russ Smith might as well be asking POY voters to leave him off straw-poll ballots tonight. Begging them, in fact."
Pitino said he was just as frustrated with Smith's defense.
"Well, we really haven't played good defense," Pitino said. "We didn't play good defense in the first half of Seton Hall and we didn't play good defense tonight. Guys are letting their offense dictate their defense. Russ Smith tonight did nothing at the defensive end because he was too worried about his offense. That is a very immature way of looking at the game."
SIVA SHAKES OFF SYRACUSE
From an offensive standpoint, senior guard Peyton Siva had one of his worst games as a college player against Syracuse Saturday. He shook off that performance against Villanova.
Siva has 15 points and 11 assists against the Wildcats. He also had four rebounds and four fouls. Siva had a couple of crucial baskets down the stretch and was perfect from the foul line.