This year, Vox is taking a page from Deadspin and New York’s books and giving you a guide for rooting against each of the Hoyas’ Big East opponents. In preparation for tonight’s game against Providence, here are three reasons to hate the Cardinals:
From this point on, it doesn’t matter who the Hoyas are playing—that team deserves an extra level of hate. After back-to-back losses, the Hoyas sit at just 8-6 in the Big East, good for the 7th seed if the Big East Tournament started today. Only a few weeks ago, Georgetown had the inside track for a top-four finish and a double bye to the quarterfinals. Now, with four games to go, the Hoyas are just a late season slide away from playing with the likes of Rutgers and DePaul on Tuesday. Of course, win out and Georgetown has a good shot at the 4th seed.
Right now Louisville is one game ahead of the Hoyas in the standings, so a win tonight pays immediate dividends. The time for a one-game-at-a-time philosophy has passed; it’s time to build up momentum and sprint into the postseason, and the Cardinals are the first roadblock to be smashed.
I will begrudgingly admit that Louisville has pretty good home arena in Freedom Hall. And I will fearfully admit that Kentuckians are some of the biggest basketball fans in the country, and that Hoyas are walking into a very hostile road environment. The last time Georgetown went to Louisville, in 2008, they lost 59-51. Tonight is the Hoyas’ chance to avenge that loss, but more importantly it is a chance for them to make a historical statement. Namely, the Cardinals are never winning in Freedom Hall again.
Next year Louisville is moving to a new stadium, and there are just two home games left on the Cardinals’ schedule: tonight’s match-up and the regular season finale against Syracuse. A vengeful Syracuse should have no problem taking out Louisville after being stunned at home (and if this jinxes the Orange, all the better). But first, Freedom Hall’s destiny is in Georgetown’s hands.
Pitino is an easy target, and well-tread hating territory, so I don’t want to rehash too much that’s already been said. He’s an aggressive, vocal coach, and a pretty successful one too, so it’s not hard for opposing fans to pick him as a target. And it doesn’t help his cause that with his slicked back hair and white suits he looks a villain from Miami Vice.
But there is one thing that needs to be addressed. One of Pitino’s sons is currently a sophomore at Georgetown. That should settle some arguments between Cardinal and Hoya fans. Surely he could have attended the school that employs his father, so we can point to his decision as the Pitino family’s tacit admission of Georgetown’s superiority. Now the Hoyas just have to make that superiority explicit by taking down Pitino’s squad tonight.