This is an upset in ranking only… The 18th-ranked Louisville held off the 17th-ranked Irish of Notre Dame by the score of 90-85. Led by David Padgett’s 26 point outing, Rick Pitino’s Cardinals reconfirmed to the world that the are indeed a Final Four threat in March.
An interesting note: on UofL’s site, they have the Cards listed at 13th, while ESPN has them at 18th. I guess you take the highest ranking when you are promoting your team, in this case, the AP ranking.
The win moved Louisville into a tie with Georgetown for the overall lead in the Big East conference. Both teams stand at 13-3 in Big East play. Currently, Pitino’s team holds the tie-breaker, thanks to their win over the Hoyas in Freedom Hall earlier this month. The two teams meet again, at Georgetown’s house, on March 8th.
While a road loss to a strong conference foe isn’t necessarily an “upset,” the rankings of the two teams help justify this description. With that, ESPN kicked off Big Monday in style with the Georgetown/Pittsburgh match-up which was a road-trip for the Hoyas, something that’s never an easy task in the Big East.
By the time the clock clicked down to zeros, the 15th-ranked Panthers of Pitt handed 6th-ranked Georgetown their first loss in Big East play by the score of 69-60.
In order to beat the Hoyas, Pitt had to do so shorthanded because of injuries to starters Levance Fields and Mike Cook. Led by Ronald Ramon and Keith Benjamin–both with 18 points–the Panthers used a strong, 42-point second half to overcome Roy Hibbert and the rest of the Georgetown Hoyas.
The most telling statistic from the game was Pitt outrebounding the Hoyas 37-33, even though they faced a significant height disadvantage. Following the tenacity of freshman DeJuan Blair, who outplayed the taller Hibbert in the paint and posted 15 points and 9 rebounds. Hibbert, who stands at 7-2, had a seven-inch height advantage over Blair, but it was Blair who got the upper hand.
The Hoyas didn’t help themselves from the perimeter either by going 3-20. As it stands, the win pushes Pitt’s record to 15-2 overall and a 3-1 start to their Big East campaign. The Hoyas finished the day 13-2 and also stands at 3-1 in the Big East. Video for the ESPN wrap-up appears below: