No. 5 Louisville vs. Villanova final: Cardinals fall again

USA TODAY Sports

That's two straight losses for Louisville since reaching No. 1, after being upset by the Wildcats in a 73-64 shocker Tuesday.

In a college basketball season where no team has pulled away from the pack, being No. 1 has been more of a curse than a blessing, as Louisville has found out this week.

The Cardinals have now lost two consecutive Big East games since reaching that top spot. After falling to Syracuse on Saturday, an unranked Villanova team shocked them in Philadelphia on Tuesday, winning 73-64.

Follow Card Chronicle and VU Hoops for more.

Jay Wright's team won with a balanced scoring attack, with five different players in double digits.

However, the real story of the game was Villanova's defense on the Cardinals' stars, particularly All-American candidate Russ Smith, who was held to only eight points on a miserable 2-13 shooting from the field.

Wayne Blackshear and Peyton Siva, who combined for 32 points, tried to pick up the slack, but Rick Pitino's team wasn't able to overcome such a poor performance from its best player.

For 12-7 Villanova, it could be a season-defining win that could help with the push to make it back to the NCAA Tournament after missing it last season. For Louisville, still 4-2 in conference play, it isn't time to panic yet, but the team will need to right their ship heading into the meat of the Big East schedule.

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