It’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.
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.
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Tagged Angel Mccoughtry, Basketball, Candyce Bingham, Cardinals, Cards, Connecticut, Final Four, game, Geno Auriemma, Huskies, Jeff Walz, Lady Cards, Louisville, maya moore, national championship, NCAA, renee montgomery, title game, UConn, UofL, Women's
The 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.
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Tagged 2009, Agent, Basketball, Cardinals, Cards, Draft, eligibility, Hire, Jodie, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville, Meeks, NBA, NCAA, Professional, UofL
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.
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.
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Tagged All America, All American, Cardinals, Cards, Commit, Commitment, DeMarcus Cousins, Jeremy Tyler, Kentucky, Louisville, Parade, Peyton Siva, Recruiting, UK, UofL, Wildcats
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.
Louisville Senior Angel McCoughtry has been named first team All-American by both the Associated Press and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. McCoughtry is a now a three time All-American after making the AP second team in both 2007 and 2008. She has had an absolutely outstanding season averageing 23.2 points-per-game along with 9.3 rebounds-per-game and 4.2 steals per game as she has led the University of Louisville Women’s basketball team to their first ever Final Four appearance.
Earlier, as an April Fools joke I posted an article about Pitino going to Arizona. Well earlier today on PTI, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon opened their show with news that Rick Pitino had reportedly talked to Kentucky and told them that they wanted to come back. Hilarious. Not jut because of the joke but all of the underlying humor. The fact that so many Kentucky fans think that UK could just get Rick Pitino at their own will. Not True. Enjoy everyone.
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Tagged April Fools, Arizona, Basketball, Cardinals, ESPN, John Calipari, Kentucky, Louisville, Michael Wilbon, NCAA, Pardon The Interruption, PTI, Rick Pitino, Tony Kornheiser, UofL, Wildcats