The Dagger

Losing to Memphis at home will get Louisville fans’ attention back from changes in football

The Dagger

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Memphis forward Shaq Goodwin shoots against Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell during the first half Jan. 9 at …

Louisville won a national title nine months ago on the hardwood and coach Rick Pitino's program is almost always at the forefront of the minds of Cardinals fans. But this week it took a backseat to the football program losing coach Charlie Strong to Texas and re-hiring Bobby Petrino.

But there is nothing like losing to a rival at home to get fans talking about you again, which is just what the 12th-ranked Cardinals did with No. 24 Memphis in town.

Five days after committing 23 turnovers in a loss to Cincinnati, Memphis handled Louisville's pressure defense and won 73-67 in their first meeting as members of the new American Conference. The Tigers limited their turnovers to 15 and all five starters scored in double figures, with Shaq Goodwin and Joe Jackson each registering 15.

It's a win Memphis coach Josh Pastner has to be thrilled with because he said ahead of the game that he believes Louisville still has the talent to repeat as national champions, despite losing forward Chane Behanan. It was Pastner's second win over a ranked opponent in his five years coaching the Tigers. Both have come this season.

Luke Hancock led Louisville with 20 points off the bench and Russ Smith added 19, but the Cardinals gave up a six-point lead down the stretch and were out-rebounded.

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Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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