The Kenny Payne era has not gotten off to a great start in Louisville. Under its new head coach, the program has begun the 2022 season 0-3 with a trio of embarrassing losses to mid-majors at home.
Payne was hired after the school parted ways with Chris Mack, who was let go in the midst of last year’s 13-19 campaign. Mack failed to reach the NCAA Tournament in each of his final three seasons, which falls below the standard for a prestigious basketball program like Louisville.
Unfortunately, things have seemingly gotten worse following the coaching change.
The Cards have now dropped consecutive matchups to Bellarmine, Wright State, and Appalachian State. All have come on their home floor, and all have come by just a single point. That’s something that hasn’t happened to any college basketball program in more than 40 seasons.
Via @ESPNStatsInfo: Louisville is the only D-I team since at least 1980-81 to lose each of its first three games of a season by a single point.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) November 16, 2022
The Louisville basketball team has been creative in achieving that feat. In the loss to Bellarmine, the Cardinals missed a game-winning layup to fall 67-66. Against Wright State, the saw their opponent hit a buzzer-beater to lose 73-72. And then last night, Louisville appeared to convert on a game-winning shot before a review found that the attempt came after the final whistle.
It’s been a forgettable run for the Cardinals, who are staring at their first 0-3 start since 1986. And things don’t get any easier in the coming days. UL’s next matchup comes against top 10 foe Arkansas in the Maui Invitational. They’ll follow that up with a meeting against Maryland.
For fans hoping that Kenny Payne would provide a boost to the program in Year 1, it’s been deflating. Many of those Louisville supporters vented their frustrations on social media following the loss to App State.
One fan wrote, “Just depressed,” while another commented, “I’m dead inside.”
Others took pleasure in seeing the Cardinals’ struggles, with many mocking the team for somehow losing every single game by just one point thus far.
One person joked, “Is this one of those fake Twitter Blue Louisville accounts? Oh… oh this is real… again??” Another said, “Nah, this has to be a troll. THREE one-point losses for the Cardinals to start the Kenny Payne era.”
It is indeed real, and those Louisville basketball fans are living in misery.