Terrence Williams got into the lane, put the ball on the rim, watched it fall through and gave the Louisville Cardinals a huge road win, you know, the kind that are hard to come by in the Big East. So then Rick Pitino held a press conference and talked about it all, and my favorite quote was the following quote:
"I've looked forward to this year more than any other," Pitino told reporters after the 61-60 victory at Villanova. "You'll never see 12, 13 teams as tough as this. It's special, I'll tell you that. I'm getting the hell out of here after this year, I'm telling you that."
I'm sure Conference USA would welcome him back.
(Start the Pitino-to-Houston rumors now!)
But in all seriousness, what we learned Saturday -- in addition to that the Cards might be getting on track after a dismal start to the season -- is that the Big East is going to continue to be just as tough as everybody has long believed, if not tougher, and can you imagine how Villanova's Jay Wright must feel? He was that close to moving to 2-1 in the league; all he needed was a couple of free throws or a tip-in at the buzzer. But he got neither. So now he's 1-2 in the league with two of his next four against Connecticut and Pittsburgh, which is why you can't give away home victories in this conference, because before you blink you'll be chasing .500 with no good places to catch-up.
As proof, consider: Villanova (13-3 overall, 1-2 in the Big East) must beat either No. 5 Connecticut on Jan. 21 or No. 1 Pitt on Jan. 28, or else it is guaranteed to be below .500 in the league heading into February. There's no away around that fact. The Wildcats can't get back to .500 in the Big East before February without beating a top five team. So you can understand why Wright said "this game kills you" when he was asked to reflect on the defeat, because now he's chasing .500, and it's going to be hard as hell to get there.