By Beau Kilpatrick–
It’s about the time of year to indulge in all the basketball excitement. Inter-squad scrimmages and exhibition games are right around the corner. With Louisville’s success in football this season, the anticipation for Cardinal basketball has been silent.
The state of Kentucky has historically been known as a basketball hotspot. However, the Cardinals’ rise to the national spotlight has put U of L in the mix with the elite schools in college football this season.
U of L’s first basketball game is less than a month away. The Cards host Kentucky Wesleyan University on Nov. 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. 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, the Heisman trophy and College Football Playoffs. U of L student Alex Borcher admits everything he hears from fellow students is about football.
“Most everybody has been talking about Lamar Jackson and football. I haven’t really heard anything about basketball in Unitas (Hall),” Borcher said.
Louisville football is making so much noise nationwide that fans can’t hear the annual preseason hype that we usually expect this time of year.
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. U of L has a rich tradition on the hardwood and that’s usually where U of L athletics showcase their dominance. Not any more.
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 it will be recognized as an absolute powerhouse in the NCAA.
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal