As 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.