Cards disappointed to be sunk by same ills

| March 20, 2017
CLOSE Skip in Skip x Embed x Share U OF L FALLS TO MICHIGAN IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT | VIDEOSCJ’s Steve Jones and Jeff Greer break down U of L’s season ending loss | 6:32The CJ’s Steve Jones and Jeff Greer break down U of L’s sending ending loss to Michigan in the NCAA tourney and take a look at next year’s team. Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J 1 of 6 CLOSE Skip in Skip x Embed x Share U OF L FALLS TO MICHIGAN IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT | VIDEOSPitino reviews loss to Michigan | 5:53Pitino reviews loss to Michigan Matt Stone, the CJ 2 of 6 CLOSE Skip in Skip x Embed x Share U OF L FALLS TO MICHIGAN IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT | VIDEOSDonovan Mitchell on loss, draft decision | 2:55Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell on Michigan loss, NBA draft decision Steve Jones, The C-J 3 of 6 CLOSE Skip in Skip x Embed x Share U OF L FALLS TO MICHIGAN IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT | VIDEOSQuentin Snider on Michigan loss, shooting struggles | 1:43Quentin Snider on Michigan loss, shooting struggles Steve Jones, The C-J 4 of 6 CLOSE Skip in Skip x Embed x Share U OF L FALLS TO MICHIGAN IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT | VIDEOSMangok Mathiang reflects on Michigan loss, UofL career | 2:32Mangok Mathiang reflects on Michigan loss, UofL career Steve Jones, The C-J 5 of 6 CLOSE Skip in Skip x Embed x Share U OF L FALLS TO MICHIGAN IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT | VIDEOSMike Balado on becoming Ark. State coach | 2:23Mike Balado on becoming Arkansas State coach and working under Rick Pitino Steve Jones, The C-J 6 of 6 Last Video Next Video CJ’s Steve Jones and Jeff Greer break down U of L’s season ending loss Pitino reviews loss to Michigan Donovan Mitchell on loss, draft decision Quentin Snider on Michigan loss, shooting struggles Mangok Mathiang reflects on Michigan loss, UofL career Mike Balado on becoming Ark. State coach Buy Photo U of L’s Deng Adel (22) and Donovan Mitchell (45) embraced after their 73-69 loss to Michigan during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017 (Photo: Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J)Buy Photo 104 CONNECTTWEET LINKEDIN 4 COMMENTEMAILMORE INDIANAPOLIS – Moments after Louisville’s 78-63 win over Jacksonville State on Friday, Mangok Mathiang detailed what it feels like to play in the NCAA Tournament. He spoke with fondness about the rush a player gets when he steps on the floor for the Big Dance for the first time. That feeling, Mathiang said, never goes away. And that, he added, is why seniors are overcome with emotion when their teams lose in March. Mathiang’s tone indicated he expected to experience that gut-punch and that pain at some point this month. He is a reasonable guy, a redshirt senior who has seen a lot in his five years at U of L. He just didn’t expect to experience it so soon. Not this weekend. Not before Louisville had reached its goal, the Final Four in Phoenix. But a Michigan team that has been blazing hot since early February stormed back from a nine-point deficit and stunned U of L 73-69 on Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, abruptly ending what the Cards had hoped would be a long stay in the NCAA Tournament. “I mean, there are no other words,” Mathiang said. “You just know your college career is over. I always knew it was going to end someday. Obviously, I’m highly upset with how it ended and how we fell short, but at the same time, I’ve had a great time and a great career here.” READ MORE ► Adel, Mahmoud, Mithell quiet on NBA decision ► Quentin Snider fails to score for first time this season ► Michigan edges Louisville in second round ► Deng Adel dunks over Michigan player ► Source: Jordan Fair to replace Balado on Louisville staff ► Balado on Pitino: ‘I love him like a father’ ► Instant Analysis: Michigan 73, Louisville 69 That was the overarching sentiment in the entire Louisville locker room: The Cards felt like they had a great season, all things considered, though they were frustrated it ended the way it did. They won 25 games, earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and finished tied for second in the ACC. They navigated what was ultimately the second-toughest schedule in NCAA Division I basketball, one of the most difficult slates in Rick Pitino’s time at U of L. And they did it with two sophomore stars who were reserves last season, plus a rotating frontcourt quartet and one true point guard on the roster. If there were tears, they were out of sight from the reporters gathered in the locker room. But there was disappointment – deep disappointment. Louisville (25-9) lost the way it had so many other times this season, building a lead and then blowing it. “I’ve never felt this hurt over a game before,” sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell said. “It’s hitting me, but it hasn’t hit-hit. It’s tough losing a game where you had all the keys to win and you just didn’t lock in and focus.” On offense, the Cards stopped passing the ball into the post, where they dominated during the first half, and instead took 10 3-pointers and seven jump shots. They were 5 of 20 from 3-point range for the game and missed 11 layups and two dunks, including one when Anas Mahmoud was all alone under the basket and rimmed out his slam. On defense, Louisville ran Michigan’s sharpshooters off the 3-point line and forced the Wolverines’ right-handed dribblers left. The Cards took away what the Wolverines do best and held them to 28 first-half points. But John Beilein’s team adjusted in the second half, hammering the post when Louisville defenders switched off screens, leaving smaller perimeter players guarding Michigan’s 6-foot-11 center Moe Wagner. Wagner spearheaded Michigan’s second-half surge, scoring 17 of his 26 points after the break. Michigan shot 16 of 26 from the field in the final 20 minutes, scoring 22 times in 33 possessions. “It’s just tough when you lose the same way in big games many times,” said Mitchell, referencing a Nov. 25 loss to Baylor in which U of L led by 22 points and the ACC Tournament loss to Duke in which U of L led by 12. “We had the effort that was there. We just had to focus in when they focused in. … We prepared for those crunch-time moments all the time in practice. Now that we’ve been through them on the biggest stage, it’ll definitely be something we look back on and say, ‘This is what we have to do.’” U of L assistant Mike Balado, who accepted the Arkansas State head coaching job and will be introduced there on Monday, went around the locker room saying his goodbyes as the media members filtered out. Managers, support staffers, coaches and teammates stopped by David Levitch’s locker to give him a hug or a pat on the back. Same with fifth-year senior Tony Hicks. Quentin Snider stared straight ahead, as did Matz Stockman and several other players. As disappointed as Mathiang was, he was the same energetic leader in Louisville’s locker room he always has been. He just spoke in a hurried whisper. He spoke like someone who anticipated this day would come. Just not this quickly. “I have no regrets,” Mathiang said. FacebookTwitter Google+ LinkedIn March Madness l Louisville suffers season ender to Michigan in NCAA  Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Buy Photo U of L’s Donovan Mitchell (45) and Deng Adel (22) were dejected after their 73-69 loss to Michigan during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Michigan’s Moe Wagner celebrates along with his team after coming back to beat Louisville 73-69 Sunday in the NCAA round of 32 in Indianapolis.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo U of L’s Deng Adel (22) was upset with a ref’s call during their game against Michigan in the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Michigan’s D.J. Wilson, left, has a hand around teammate Moe Wagner as the two celebrate along late in the second half as the Wolversines beat Louisville 73-69 Sunday in the NCAA round of 32 in Indianapolis.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo U of L’s Quentin Snider (4) tried to score against Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr. (10) during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Louisville’s Deng Adel with the slam against Michigan’s DJ Wilson in the Round of 32 Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Louisville’s Deng Adel with the slam against Michigan’s DJ Wilson in the Round of 32 Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Michigan’s Moritz Wagner (13) celebrates a score against U of L during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell shoots against Michigan in the NCAA Tournament second-round game on Sunday, March 19, 2017.  Matt Stone, The C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Louisville’s Deng Adel guards the inbound pass against Michigan March 19 in the second round of the NCAA tourney.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Michigan’s D.J. Wilson, left, has a hand around teammate Moe Wagner as the two celebrate along late in the second half as the Wolversines beat Louisville 73-69 Sunday in the NCAA round of 32 in Indianapolis.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo U of L’s Donovan Mitchell (45) made a late game basket to bring the score within two points against Michigan during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo U of L’s Deng Adel (22) and Donovan Mitchell (45) embraced after their 73-69 loss to Michigan during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell walks up court in the waning moments of the Cardinals’ loss to Michigan Sunday.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Michigan’s Muhammad-Alli Abdur Rahkman (12) was guarded by U of L’s Ray Spalding (13) during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Michigan’s Zak Irvin (21) and Moritz Wagner (13) celebrate a score against U of L during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Michigan’s D.J. Wilson (5) and Muhammad-Alli Abdur Rahkman (12) celebrated their 73-69 victory over U of L during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo U of L’s Anas Mahmoud (14) blocked a shot by Michigan’s Zak Irvin (21) during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo U of L’s Deng Adel (22) dunked against Michigan’s D.J. Wilson (5) during the NCAA tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mar. 19, 2017  Sam Upshaw Jr./C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Louisville’s Mangok Mathiang reacts after getting the foul in the first half.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Louisville’s Mangok Mathiang reacts after getting the foul in the first half.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Buy Photo Louisville’s Deng Adel with the slam against Michigan’s DJ Wilson in the Round of 32 Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  Matt Stone/C-J Fullscreen Like this topic? You may also like these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 22 2 of 22 3 of 22 4 of 22 5 of 22 6 of 22 7 of 22 8 of 22 9 of 22 10 of 22 11 of 22 12 of 22 13 of 22 14 of 22 15 of 22 16 of 22 17 of 22 18 of 22 19 of 22 20 of 22 21 of 22 22 of 22 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide   104 CONNECTTWEET LINKEDIN 4 COMMENTEMAILMORE

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