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
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.
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.
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Tagged and, Andre Black, Cardinals, Cards, Field, Louisville, Men's, NCAA, Rankings, Tone Belt, Top 25, Track, UofL, USTFCCCA, Women's
Angel 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.
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Tagged Angel Mccoughtry, Basketball, Baton Rouge, Baylor, Bears, Cardinals, Cards, Lady, Louisville, LSU, March Madness, NCAA, Tigers, Tournament, Women's