Tag Archives: Cards

Can The Lady Cards Do It?

Louisville Villanova BasketballIt’s really hard to expect the Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team to be able to beat Connecticut.  Connecticut is fielding one of their best teams of all time.  The Huskies are firing on all cylinders and they have been since the first tip-off of the season as they remain undefeated heading into tonight’s championship game.  They’ve beat the Lady Cards twice this year by an average of 33.5 points and one of those blowouts was in the Big East Tournament championship game.  They’ve beaten all of their opponents in the NCAA tournament by double-digits.

Connecticut has the nations best player in Maya Moore.  They have the nations best coach in Geno Auriemma.  They have eight players who were All-Americans in high school.  Louisville has none.  They have a history that contains five national championships and over 30 regular season and conference tournament championships.  They also have Renee Montgomery and Tina Charles.

Regardless of UConn’s long list of accolades, there is one thing that Louisville has more of.

Heart.

Louisville showed they had more heart than anyone in the country  when they erased a first half lead of 14 points and came back to win the game against a stacked Oklahoma team in the national semi-final on Sunday evening.  Angel Mccoughtry played her worst half of the season in the first half against the Sooners and played the most memorable half of her career in the second half as she led Louisville on a charge against Oklahoma.  A charge where the Lady Cards were able to grab the lead by as much as six points and coast to victory, despite a very late push by OU.

Becky Burke, Candyce Bingham and Deseree Byrd all played tenaciously on both sides of the court in the comeback.  Coach Jeff Walz ripped the team at halftime and told his All-American, Mccoughtry that she was an embarassment.  They came out with something to prove and left the Oklahoma Sooners shocked and in tears at the end of the game.

Some say that Oklahoma became too comfortable after their big halftime lead.  Some say that Jeff Walz might be the best motivator in the country.  But no one can deny that Louisville has earned their spot in the NCAA national championship and has catapulted themselves in the national spotlight as this team has become the story of the year in NCAA women’s basketball.

Louisville enters tonight’s game the underdog once again.  Not just expected to lose to the Huskies but many “experts” and fans expect Connecticut to blow them out of the water.  It’s possible.  Connecticut seems to be on an entirely different level from the rest of women’s college basketball this year.  The entire season, they’ve proven that they’ve been the best team in the country.  The program hasn’t won a national championship since the 2003-04 season, and you know they’re hungry for one.

Whatever happens, I will make one guarantee and that is that regardless of whether they’re winning by 20 at halftime or losing by 30, Louisville won’t give up until the final buzzer sounds.  They’re going to give it their all tonight as they have nothing to lose.  The Lady Cards want this as bad as anybody and they’re not going to let anybody crown the Huskies the champions just yet.  Remember, they have heart.

Jodie Meeks To Test NBA Waters…… YAY!

jodie-meeksThe good news is that Jodie Meeks is going to submit his name to the NBA draft and get some predictions on where he will fall, how much he will make, etc.  The bad news is that Jodie Meeks isn’t going to hire an agent, an action which would pretty much cancel his NCAA eligibility.  A lot of players do this, some of them turn pro, some of them return to school.  Regardless, you can bet that every Louisville fan, myself included, is hoping to see this guy’s name somewhere on the television screen on June 25th.

Meeks averaged an SEC-best 23.7 points for the Wildcats this past season and set a school record by scoring 54 points against Tennessee.  If Meeks doesn’t remove his name from the NBA draft by June 15th.  He automatically forgoes his senior season of eligibility and won’t be allowed to return to UK (at least to play basketball).

I say go pro Jodie.  Even if you have a bad outing at the workouts, the Knicks will still take you.

What To Read (or watch)…

Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Lawrence gives us five reasons why he thinks Louisville can, and will, beat Connecticut tonight and win the NCAA tournament.  He pointed out several factors that help Louisville including revenge, undefeated teams falling before in the championship, and the fact that Louisville has nothing to lose.  Let’s hope he’s right.

Charlie at the UofL Card Game blog wants you to write ESPN and complain about how awful Doris Burke is.  He makes a good point.  She practically seemed like she was flat out cheering for Oklahoma in the Final Four game.  She completely lacks professionalism.

Rick Bozich of the Courier Journal and some other guys covering the national championship game last night sat around afterwards and came up with a top 10 for 2010.  Syracuse seems to be the darling pick for next year, after their six-overtime triumph they have become America’s team.  Louisville’s missing but that’s expected.  At least they didn’t already give the title to UK like  half of the amateurs out there.

The Arena Authority also released a tour video of the new Downtown Arena.  While it’s going to be hard to leave Freedom  Hall, this new arena is going to be sweet.  Not only can I get my UofL basketball on, I’ll also be able to get my Arena Football and my Mick Jagger on as well.  I can’t wait.

John Yarmuth is getting the short end of the stick with a wager he placed on tonight’s national championship game with Connecticut representative Joe Courtney.  If Connecticut wins, Courtney gets a Slugger baseball bat, a bottle of Woodford and a bucket of KFC.  If Louisville wins, Yarmuth gets salami, lemonade, wine, cigars some chocolate bars and some syrup.  There are two reasons Yarmuth is getting the short end of the stick.  One, we can get any of this stuff at Kroger.  Two, we can’t riot with this stuff the way you can riot with a baseball bat, a bottle of bourbon and a bucket of fried chicken, if we were to win.

Last but not least, a pretty good article from the Sporting News on the Louisville men’s basketball team’s tremendous season.  We sure had a fun ride, even without meeting our expectations.

Siva, Tyler Make Parade Alll American Team

Two future Cardinals have been named to the Parade All American Team.  2009 commit Peyton Siva was named to the third team as 2010 commit Jeremy Tyler was named to the second team.

Peyton Siva, a 6’1″ guard out of Franklin High School in Seattle is expected to have an instant impact for the Cards next year.  Jeremy Tyler who is 6’11” is one of the best big men in the class of 2010 and should be another “diaper dandy” for the Cardinals in a couple of years.  The only other players of note to make the team was possible Kentucky commit DeMarcus Cousins who is expected to follow coach John Calipari from Memphis to the Wildcats.

I’m excited for Siva.  He’s small but he’s a tremendous athlete and he’s got some hops.  Make sure to check out the video below.

No Kentucky High School players were named to any of the four teams.

Pitino Gives Us Some Closure

Coach Pitino gave us a little insight into what happened in the Michigan State game, and gave us a little bit to look forward to next year.  Pitino said “We’re going to be a very young basketball team next year, but we’ve got a lot of experience in certain areas,” which is my outlook on the team exactly.  We might be deeper and better at guard next year, but we’re going to be young everywhere else, we’ll even have some youngsters getting a lot of playing time at guard.  Pitino also spoke of putting Samardo Samuels seeing more playing time at the power forward position, which is one of the things I thought we might see next year.  Pitino also adressed another prediction I made, that Reggie Delk will play a much bigger role and will see a lot of time at the three position.  He’s a bit taller than the other guards, he’ll make an excellent wing.  All in all, we really should be a pretty good team next year.

As far as any rumors about Pitino leaving.  Pitino said he was just “too damn old” for anybody to care about him anymore.  While this was said in jest (because we know everyone would still love to have Rick Pitino on their sideline), Pitino did follow that up with saying that he’s in a very “unique” situation in Louisville (speaking a lot of his good relationship with the media) and said that he’s very comfortable here.

I couldn’t get the video embedded so you can check out the press conference here.

Track & Field Teams Grab Top 25 Spot In Longest Named Poll Ever

The Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams cracked the top 25 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) pre-season poll by coming in this week ranked 24th in the country.  

“We respect that both our teams are ranked in the top 25 and it’s an honor to be recognized with other high caliber programs,” said U of L head coach Ron Mann. “We realize that our ultimate goal is to be ranked No. 1 in the final poll of the season.”

Louisville’s highest outdoor national ranking came on May 8, 2007, when the Cardinal men earned the No. 4 ranking in the Trackwire Outdoor Top 25. Trackwire no longer puts out a rankings list. Earlier this year the men’s team spent three weeks in the USTFCCCA Indoor Top 25, reaching No. 10 before falling out of the rankings the following week.

Louisville is led by All-Americans Andre Black, Michael Eaton and Tone Belt.

The Cardinals made women’s program history earlier this year as they landed their first-ever national ranking of any kind in the USTFCCCA Indoor Top 25 at No. 21. They spent three weeks there alternating between the No. 21 and No. 22 spots before dropping out of the poll.

The Cards will continue their outdoor track and field season on April 2-4 at the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, and the Mike Poehlein Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind.

Thanks to UofLSports.com for this story.

Louisville Baseball Wins In 12 Innings

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The Louisville Baseball team beat Ball State today in 12 innings, 5-4.

Chris Dominguez was cold at the plate today as he went 0 for 6 with three strikeouts, he did tally one RBI.  It was an entirely different story for Adam Duvall though, as he went 3 for 5 with a run.  Alec Lowrey knocked in Nate Holland for the pinch-hit game-winning RBI in the 12th inning.  Bob Revesz picked up his second win of the season as the Cardinals improved to 18-8.

The Cards start a three game series against Cincinnati in the Queen City, Friday at 6:30 PM.

Louisville Women Advance To First Final Four

NCAA Louisville Maryland BasketballAs Candyce Bingham hoisted the trophy over her head, it became reality that this basketball team really was, well, something special.

In the Raleigh Regional Finals, the Louisville Lady Cardinals routed top-seeded Maryland 77-60 to advance to the Final Four.  The Ladies were all smiles as they held up the Raleigh Regional champion trophy and cut down the nets.  Angel Mccoughtry scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Cardinals ran away from the Terps in the the second half.  Candyce Bingham tallied up 15 points and six rebounds while Deseree Byrd added 17 points and nine assists.  Becky Burke came off of the bench for 10 points as well.

“I’m dreaming right now,” McCoughtry said as she gestured to Byrd and adding, “pinch me, Des.”

It’s the first Final Four in the program’s history and the Cardinals became the fourth team in Big East history to advance to the final four joining Connecticut, Notre Dame and Rutgers.  It didn’t come easy though despite what the final score was.  Louisville was held scoreless for nearly six minutes at the end of the first half, until Angel Mccoughtry hit a buzzer beater to put the Cardinals up 30-25.  Then the Cards ran away with the game in the second half despite a few attempts by Maryland to get back in the game.

“It’s time to go to Disney World,” McCoughtry said, breaking into a laugh as she added, “oh, wait. We’ve got two more games.”

The Lady Cards will take on the winner of tomorrow’s Oklahoma-Purdue contest.  Should they win that game, it looks like they will have to play Connecticut again.  A team which held them to just 36 points when they last met in the Big East Tournament Championship.  

It’s hard to predict anything right now though considering the Cardinals might be playing better than they have all season.  Let’s just hope that a national championship is in the Cards.

Five Reasons Why Louisville Could Win The Tournament.

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As a Louisville fan, it’s been very hard to not expect a lot from the Cardinals this March.  It’s also extremely scary to know that one missed shot, one bad play, or a few bad minutes could cost any team, including Louisville, the national title.  March is not an easy time to play, just take a look at the Sienna game on Sunday.  Every team comes out pumped up and hoping to cut down the nets at the end of the tournament.  The Cardinals have played in the shadows of other teams all year.  Pitt and UConn still seem to garner more attention than the Cardinals even after Louisville took both the Big East regular season and tournament titles.  ESPN will never mention any other program in the same breath as North Carolina or Duke, not even UCLA, UK or Kansas.  Even Kentucky seemed to make more headlines than UofL because of how bad they were playing.  UofL has been playing with something to prove all season, whether they had just beaten Pitt or lost to Western Kentucky, they’ve known that they’ve had something to prove.  While you must play one game at a time, you still have to keep your eye on the prize.  The Cards might not be the overall favorite even with the overall number-one seed, at least according to the national media.  Everyone seems to love the darling North Carolina Tar Heels this time of here, UConn might be the new favorite after blowing out the competition in their first two rounds.  Even Memphis and Oklahoma are turning a lot of heads, but there are a lot of reasons why Louisville has just as good of a shot as anyone else.  Five really, really good ones.  

1.  Fresh Legs

Louisville may have one of the best benches in the entire country.  Between Edgar Sosa, Andre McGee, Jerry Smith and Preston Knowles they can constantly put in rested players to perform that press that they’re known for.  Coach Pitino can even throw in three guards if he needs to to give Terrence Williams a rest.  While the story in the paint isn’t quite the same, Terrence Jennings isn’t a bad guy to have coming off of the bench, even for a freshman.  He can play in the four or the five position and he can maintain quality play while at least one of the big men are taking a breather.  As they showed through the Big East Tournament, they can simply wear teams and run away with the game in the second half.  Sosa, McGee, Smith and Knowles all average over 16 minutes per game.

2.  Defense

Those fresh legs that were just mentioned is the key to the Cardinals’ defensive ability.  The Cards have fresh players to press for the entire game and they can also switch back at half-court and play a pretty good 2-3 zone.  Statistically, they’re one of the top defensive teams in the country allowing just 61.7 points per game.  Back to the bench, they can have five quality defensive players on the floor at any given time and they’re not afraid to dive for balls, intercept passes and block shots.

3.  Location, Location, Location

The Cardinals opened up the tournament playing two games in Dayton, Ohio, a little over two hours from Louisville if you drive like a sane person.  For regional play, the Cardinals have an even better location in Indianapolis.  Just 114 miles from the ‘Ville, Indy is a very short drive, especially for UofL fans who are known to travel in large groups.  Arizona also went 2-9 when not playing at home throughout the regular season.  Provided the Cardinals advance to the Final Four, Detroit is about 6 hours away from Louisville.  Not quite as close as the other two venues but Cardinal fans would be more than willing to make a weekend trip to the Motor City and pack as many fans as they possibly can in Ford Field.

4.  Versatility

Louisville Kentucky Basketball

No other team in the country has a player like Terrence Williams.  He’s the most versatile player in the country, no questions asked.  While his stats aren’t particularly mind blowing in any category, he has high marks in nearly all of those categories.  With 12.7 points per game, 8.7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.4 steals, he can do anything and everything on the hardwood.  If that’s not enough, he’s the team’s emotional leader and steps up when he needs to.  He’s cool, calm and collected but often wears a smile on his face and performs silly antics.  He goes out and enjoys playing the game.  He’s the reason Louisville is won the Big East and the reason they earned the top seed.

5.  Experience is Key

If experience is what it takes to win, the Cardinals definitely have it.  Their past two years in the tournament, they have advanced two games further each time.  They’ve seen every offensive and defensive set they could possibly see.  They’ve played the best competition in the country through their grueling Big East schedule.  Rick Pitino’s been to plenty of final fours and always seems to have his teams playing their best ball come tournament time.  The Juniors and Seniors in this group have now played in a total of eight NCAA tournament games.  They have just as much experience as any other team in this tournament and they’re as prepared as anyone else in this tournament.

There’s what they can do, now they just have to go out and do it.

Lady Cards Knock Off LSU For Sweet 16 Berth

Syracuse Louisville BasketballAngel McCoughtry dropped 28 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for the Louisville Cardinals as they knocked off the 6th-seeded LSU Lady Tigers 62-52 to advance to their second straight sweet 16.  It didn’t look easy as LSU often exchanged leads with the Lady Cards throughout the game but Louisville was able to control the pace of the game, make a few quick runs and ultimately come out on top.

LSU’s Allison Hightower scored 21 points and dished out 5 assists but that just wasn’t enough for LSU who failed to advance to the sweet 16 for the first time in six seasons.  Louisville’s Candyce Bingham played the supporting role as she was able to score 17 points and grab 6 rebounds.  

In the end, Louisville proved to be the tougher team as they were able to hold off the Lady Tigers on their home floor.  The Lady Cardinals continue their quest for their first national championship when they take on 2nd-seeded Baylor on Saturday in Raleigh, NC.

The good news is that Louisville is playing good basketball, Angel McCoughtry is playing like she’s the best in the country, and the Cards look like they may be able to make a good run through the regionals and into the Final Four.  The bad news is that all roads look like they will eventually lead to playing Connecticut who has beaten Louisville twice this year by an average of 33 points.

UConn just seems to be on another level from the rest of women’s college basketball.