Tonight's big winner …

When Connecticut fell to Providence tonight, the big winner wasn’t the University of Louisville, which locked up no worse than the No. 2 seed in the tourney.

No, the big winners were the local sports writers — well, mainly Brian Bennett and me. It means we won’t have to write by the seat of our pants on a bang-bang deadline from a 9:30 p.m. start. Instead, we’ll write by the seat of our pants on a tight deadline from a 7 p.m. start. (As of tonight, the Cards would play the winner of Pitt-Cincinnati if they were the No. 2 seed, or the winner of Villanova-Syracuse if they were No. 1).

Of course, a Cardinal win at Georgetown means they’d play at noon. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Other thoughts …

— I can’t watch Stanford without thinking of the sidewalk mugging U of L put on the Cardinal in last year’s first-round NCAA Tournament rout at Rupp Arena.

— UConn’s loss ought to also wrap up Big East Coach of the year honors for Rick Pitino, particularly if the Cardinals win on Saturday.

Sleep tight, folks . . .

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