The Louisville football team has a bye this week. It’s about that time of year to indulge in all the basketball excitement. But where’s the hype? With all of Louisville’s success in football this season, the hype for Cardinal Basketball has been silent.
We have witnessed a strange turn of events. The state of Kentucky has historically been known as a basketball hotspot. However, Louisville’s rise to the national spotlight has put us in the mix with the elite schools in college football.
U of L’s first basketball game is less than a month away. The Cards host Kentucky Wesleyan University, on November 3, to tip off the season. Their first real challenge may come at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the middle of November.
ESPN.com has placed U of L at No. 14 in the preseason basketball rankings. Coach Rick Pitino and his Cards are starting the season positioned inside the top 15. Yet, the basketball buzz on campus remains a faint whisper.
Students all over campus are talking football, Heisman trophy, and playoffs. Alex Borcher, a student at U of L, was sporting his Cardinal gear in the quad. Everything he hears is about football. Borcher said, “Most everybody has been talking about Lamar Jackson and football. I haven’t really heard anything about basketball in Unitas [Hall].”
Louisville football is making so much noise nationwide that we can’t hear the annual preseason hype that we usually expect this time of year.
Lamar Jackson and company, have provided a much-needed distraction from the woes of the ongoing investigation of rule violations by the basketball program. If Bobby Petrino finds a way for his team to win the rest of their games—and with a little luck—the football team could demand the majority of our attention throughout the first half of the basketball season.
Cardinal fans usually start talking about basketball months before the first game. We have a rich tradition on the hardwood and that’s usually where U of L athletics showcase their dominance. Not any more.
Our rivals to the east, U of K, have been talking about this basketball season since the spring. They’re so desperate for basketball that fans actually camped out for two days to buy tickets to a scrimmage game, which sold out in 28 minutes.
U of L fans are fortunate to have multiple sports that gain national attention. Luckily, we don’t have to wait eight months between basketball seasons like they do in Lexington.
The Louisville football team will finish the regular season on November 27 when they put the Wildcats out of their gridiron misery and end the suffering for BBN. Cardinal fans could be cheering for football well into January if they make it to the College Football Playoffs. The University of Louisville is proving to the nation that we will be recognized as the absolute powerhouse in the NCAA.