“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”

First order of business, let us never speak of February 2019 again. Like ever. The feel good vibes of a 7-1 January were completely replaced by the mental anguish of a 2-6 February. The joys of beating down UNC in Chapel Hill were replaced by the gut wrenching screams of losing to a terrible Boston College team in front of 27 fans, most of whom were working the concession stands.

We went from being on the 4 seed line to “will they make the NIT” which was worse. Duke made history against us, we were torched by Ivan Drago’s son in Syracuse, Virginia Virginia’d us in the second half, and UNC got some sweet revenge. Oh yea, we ran the ball against FSU but fumble twice in under a min to lose that one.

But alas, March has arrived and with it a new season on the horizon. I am not a fool to think all of our problems are solved. We beat a terrible Notre Dame team as we were supposed to. I will be interested to see how we do on Saturday in Virginia and next week in Charlotte. The cool thing is that this entire season was a pleasant surprise. I went into it just hoping to see improvement but had you told me we would beat Michigan State, and UNC and have chance to be one of the top 16 seeds in the tournament I would have asked who your drug dealer was.

Not bad for a team picked to finish 11th in the ACC and with no freshman class. Chris Mack should be the runaway choice for coach of the year in the ACC. They will probably give it to Coach K to spite me but you get it.

To the notes!!


Any outbursts and you will be removed by the bailiff MarriedOnlineMan (@madonline247). The bracket whistle blower is true friend to the throne and also has an unnatural hatred for Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology. Upon digging, we recently found the Lunardi was ranked the 68th best bracket in the nation, which means Joey Brackets is the guy in Fantasy Football who takes a kicker in the 4th round. MarriedOnlineMan gets triggered by this as he should. So to make sure he was up and angry for today’s post, I tagged him in Lunardi’s latest bracket late last night just to have him be upset when he woke up. It’s the equivalent of teasing a pit bull with steak. This is March.

  • Before we begin, lets all take a moment and give thanks to our seniors from both teams. Asia Durr, Christen Cunningham, Khwan Fore, Sam Fuehring, Akoy Agau, and Arica Carter. Thanks to each of you for all you did for the program and what you brought to the program. Asia dropping 47 on her Senior night was the icing on the cake for a great season for Jeff Walz’s crew. Good luck to each of you in the future.
  • Big shout out to VJ King for his play in the past two games. That guy deserves any and all praise that comes his way this week. Not only did he break out of his three point shooting slump, but he played with confidence and attacked the basket like we knew was capable of doing. If he can be consistent this month and provide a few buckets and key rebounding in our upcoming games then Louisville will have another weapon off the bench. VJ will not give us 20 points a game but if he can give us 6 points and 5 rebs that will be extremely helpful. With all the hell he has been through this season, he deserves a slice of heaven this month. Hope that he gets it.
  • Shout out to Steve Enoch who followed a horrid game against UVA with a breakout game in Boston. No, it was not enough to translate into a win but it was nice to see him get going and end with a career high in points. His confidence is key as we begin March. If we get nothing from the biggest guy on our team, then we will be home early. After Saturday’s game, we only have two losses remaining before your season is completed. Reality seems to be setting in at the right time.
  • Darius Perry seems to be playing better and making some key decisions down the stretch. He had some key buckets against Notre Dame and then on a fast break with the game all but over, rather than drive to the bucket he circled back out and chose to run some more clock. That drew a round of applause from the crowd. Its no secret that Darius has struggled in this new system and at times made some questionable decisions while on the court. His defense has always been stellar and I hope that his offense comes around this month. Like VJ, he could be a key contributor off the bench.
  • I don’t know what goes in practice but Christen Cunningham’s face this week let me know they are not just playing horse and going home. The caveman drill seems……..fun.
  • Congrats, Louisville finally got a win in a color themed game. That broke a streak of 6 straight losses in both football and basketball. Now if we can just win a blackout game against Clemson in football we will have exercised all demons.
  • I brought it up on Twitter yesterday but I need to reiterate this. At what point do you realize “I am risking my safety and the safety of those around me for a t-shirt that I probably won’t be able to wear”. I sit back and watch people go ape**** for a t-shirts thrown out at games. Those things are not one size fits all folks. You think you are going to look like this guy:

But instead you are going to look like this guy:

You even risk looking like this guy:

Look I am all for fan involvement at sporting events but at some point sit your ass down and stop trying to act like Jerry Rice in the stands. And one more thing, there is no way people enjoy roasted peanuts that much. When you are at Texas Roadhouse that bucket sits on the end of the table until there is no room and then you kindly ask the server to move it so you can make room for your second basket of rolls. Let’s tell the truth and shame the devil today. We all know damn well no one is that excited for a bag of peanuts. You want me to jump and down and wave for something, throw out mini-bottles of Woodford Reserve.

  • Good to see Malik Williams in the paint collecting boards and powering his way to the basket. If he puts on more muscle in the off-season he may be a huge force next season. Malik has a ton of upside.
  • Shout out to the Villens, our student section at Louisville. This was the first season that I could remember where the student section was engaged and active in a ton of games. The props, the themes, it was all great. I hope they continue to grow and become a force at each game going forward.
  • Very cool to see Samuel Williamson getting introduced at the game yesterday. I don’t think I have ever been at a game where a future Card was brought out to be recognized. As long as it wasn’t a NCAA violation I am all for it. I joke, but not by much.
  • Let it be known that each game that I covered for The CrunchZone this season resulted in a Cards win. I covered 8 games as the media, that is 8 wins. That being said, I am launching the campaign #GetLJtoCharlotte this week. I require free travel, free logding, free meals, free transportation and a seat on press row for all Louisville games at the ACC tournament. Does that guarantee a win? No, but what proof do you have that me being there won’t result in a loss?? You don’t……..get me to Charlotte. Retweet that hashtag when you see it. Issa movement.


The courtroom will now be open for questioning:

Eathy Clark (@eathyUofL): Do you think Mack and Bennett are in line to take over the league? Roy, K, and Boeheim only having maybe 5 years left. Or do you think Duke and UNC can still run the show when they retire?

Absolutely I do. I think Mack is the next up and coming coach in the ACC. The good thing is we are in the best basketball conference in the nation so with that there is little turnover. You have coaches beating down the door to get in the ACC. I hope Bennett is next in line to take over the UCLA job. I want him gone. I want his coaching staff gone too. I just don’t want him to hurt us anymore.

Bennett is too clean cut for Virginia, he would do great in Westwood. I think Coach K is a vampire, he has not aged and his hair is still jet black (coloring). Think about this, Coach K coached in the 1986 title game against Louisville. That was 33 years ago. He literally may coach in his 80’s. Judging by Roy Williams vertigo, I don’t see him coaching too much longer. You have three championships at UNC and you have nothing else to prove. I give him two years max. Regardless, both programs will have huge shoes to fill.

Matt Neely (@theville11): As CARDS fans when will our next chance be to just sit back and enjoy a whole game ?

I assume you mean a game without drama. That happened against Notre Dame. Yes there were some moments that made us groan but from start to finish it appeared Louisville was in control.

The Latch-Key Kid (@LatchKeyTony): As I train my 4 yr old daughter to be an assassin, whom should her first target be? Mind you, we’re looking at probably 2 more years before she’s truly ready.

Whoever is responsible for 3rd down music. We need a finger on the trigger at all times for this person. I don’t trust that Van Halen has died a horrible death. We gotta treat that “Right Now” song like herpes, meaning just because it’s not visible doesn’t mean its not there. That is a terrible analogy but you understand. As soon as that piano riff starts I expect to hear a small pop followed by a record skipping. “Right now” is the guy Bruce Willis thought he killed in Die Hard but pops up at the end still trying to start sh*t. In two years I will have another target for her, it involves Dixie Highway construction. Keep training…we’ll talk……..

(@henny1976): What seed do you see UofL getting come tourney time?

Judging by the bracket matrix that I have fell in love with thanks to our bailiff MadOnline247, I think Louisville is looking at a seed no lower than 7, and no higher than 6. Now if the unthinkable happens and Louisville can win in Charlottesville as well as get 2-3 in the ACC tournament, then they may be able to move up to a 5 seed. If they win Saturday and then win the ACC tournament, they should get a 4 seed. There are endless possibilities. Right now, bank on a 7 seed playing in Salt Lake City (West Region). I expect Donovan Mitchell to make an appearance courtside.

Bubba Ray Lindey (jclindeman): Do you think it’s the change of focus from cardio and conditioning to strength that’s causing these breakdowns late into games?

No, I think we are in the best shape we could be in. I think all of this is mental breakdowns and guys not making the right decisions. We did not get tired against Duke or FSU, we just had some brain farts that were costly.

Papa’s Evil Twin (@bradd119): Have any good hangover cures?

Turkey bacon and eggs are a good go-to with a gatorade to wash it down. I have found that Rally’s is also a good way to come back from the dead. Get you a Big Buford and a large fry and boom, resurrection time. Whatever you do, don’t rely on IHOP to sober up. Something about IHOP and alcohol don’t mix. You will feel worse and end up with raging mudbutt. Trust me, you don’t want that………I don’t want that for you. Stick to the plan.

Jimmie T in the HC (@JSimp78CardsFan): With the recent court storming incident this weekend what if anything will result from this? It is also my opinion that as a life long UL fan that we should never storm the court.

Court storming is either going to be banned by the NCAA, or fined so heavily that institutions will make sure no fan runs on the court. I have been a part of a field storming (FSU 2002) and as a college student at that time it was a great feeling. It felt good mainly because Louisville Football had never been a part of a win THAT big . Court storming in basketball is for teams that are not used to success or big wins……..Louisville is not that team. We have history, we have all seen national championships and Final Fours.

You shouldn’t rush the court because you beat Duke…..you’ve done it before. We have beat Duke twice at the YUM! Center since we have joined the ACC. We have also beat UNC at the YUM! That is not court storm worthy, that is something we are used to. Established programs don’t rush the court, you should be used to winning big games as Louisville is. Leave running on the court for mid-majors and has-been schools like IU. We don’t do that here.


Person(s) or things who donuts from Nord’s Bakery

  • CC, Khwan Fore, Akoy Agau, Asia Durr, Arica Carter, and Sam “Fury”
  • VJ King
  • Darius Perry
  • Red Out’s
  • Losing streaks dying
  • 2 Chainz (new album is really good)
  • Thor binge watches
  • CC’s eye band-aid
  • Tennessee blowouts
  • 65 degree days in late February
  • 8-0 records when covering games for TCZ
  • Matt McGavic. James Madison deserved all of what that got fam, good job.

Person(s) or things who earned sketchy gas station donuts:

  • Jamie Luckie
  • T-shirt and peanut tosses
  • Michigan State getting swept by IU
  • Dixie Highway lane closures
  • Utah State fans
  • Snow in March
  • Michael Jackson docs (the dead can’t defend themselves)
  • Notre Dame Women’s team. I don’t want to share with them
  • James Madison bullpen review. (How did that work out for you??)


And in closing, March has arrived. We literally are out of room for era. Louisville could easily play deep into the tournament or be home the first weekend. Totally up to them.

I will say, Mack’s old Xavier teams had a history of ending the regular season on a slide only to make a deep run in the tournament. Hopefully that is the case with Team 105. We are at the end of the regular season road folks. Buckle up.


Be cool in this hot city

Court adjourned (bangs gavel)

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LJ Nesbitt

The BHK. Writer for thecrunchzone.com , 1/2 of the TCZ Podcast. Surviving in the great city of Louisville, in the not so great state of KY. Loui$ville KY thecrunchzone.com

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