What Louisville loss is most comparable to what happened to Kentucky last night?
— Nick Coffey (@TheCardConnect) November 13, 2019
After giving this some thought, it’s pretty clear that Louisville doesn’t have a loss that can be compared to what happened in Lexington on Tuesday night.
Very few programs have been in comparable situations because it’s rarely happened.
This was just the fifth time since 1980 that a true mid/low-major knocked off the No. 1 team in the country in a regular season non-conference game.
2019: Evansville defeats Kentucky
1993: Long Beach State defeats Kansas
1983: CS Fullerton defeats UNLV
1982: Chaminade defeats Virginia
1980: Old Dominion defeats DePaul
With all of that said, let’s take a look at the worst regular season losses in recent memory.
Chaminade – 1983 & 1984
Virginia is the team that most remember for getting upset by Chaminade in the infamous Maui Invitational, but Louisville actually lost to the D2 Silverswords in back to back seasons. Chaminade beat Louisville 83-72 in 1983 and 67-65 in 1984. The Cards were ranked No. 12 in the country when they lost in 1984.
Towson State – 1995
I’m not sure why Denny Crum and the Cardinals played a road game at Towson State in Towson, Maryland in 1995, but it happened and they lost 81-69. This was Denny’s youngest team at Louisville up to that point. Ten of Crum’s 12 scholarship players were freshmen or sophomores. The 1995 Louisville team went 19-14 and lost to Memphis in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Towson State finished the season with a 12-15 record.
Western Carolina – 2009
The 2009-10 season was a bizarre one. The Cards were on the bubble for the majority of the season, but the upset against Syracuse in the Freedom Hall finale was just enough to punch their ticket to the big dance. There were highs and lows during that final season in Freedom Hall and the lowest of the low had to be a home loss to Western Carolina. The Catamounds were actually a really solid mid major team that year, but Louisville doesn’t lose at home to Western Carolina. What in hell is a Catamount?
Drexel – 2010
Rick Pitino pissed off a lot of fans prior to the 2010-11 season by saying it was going to be a “bridge year.” That season is mostly remembered for the upset in the NCAA Tournament against Morehead State, but the Cards were actually pretty good that year. They got off to an 8-0 start with two wins against top twenty teams. But as 16-point favorites on Dec. 14 they lost their first game at the newly opened KFC Yum! Center to the Drexel Dragons by a score of 46-52.
Western Kentucky – 2008
This one isn’t quite as bad as of the other four, but Louisville was ranked No. 3 in the country and a huge favorite when they lost to Western Kentucky in 2008. WKU ended up having a really good season, but at the time they played Louisville they had just lost to Murray State. Louisville had two lottery picks in Earl Clark and Terrence Williams, but it was Kentucky natives A.J. Slaughter and Stephon Pettigrew were the best players on the floor. Again, this one didn’t seem as bad as time passed, but when it happened it was a huge upset.<