The 2010 Big East Tournament kicks off Friday in Hartford, Connecticut. Seeded teams #9 thru #16 play in the first round. Let's review the games and try to predict the winners.
Louisville #13 vs. Pittsburgh #12 (Noon)
Although Pitt beat Louisville during the regular season in the Peterson Event Center, the Cards have been playing better basketball since the Valentine's Day meeting...going 2-2 and narrowly losing to USF. I like Louisville's chances on a neutral court and if Monique Reid is on her game, the Lady Cards advance.
Syracuse #9 vs. Seton Hall #16 (2 PM)
Seton Hall basketball has been a train wreck this year in the Big East, winning only one game in conference play. It doesn't get any easier for the Pirates against a Syracuse team that handled them easily earlier in the year. Nicole Michael and crew sink the Pirates and Quentin Hillsman's team advances to the second round.
Marquette #10 vs. Villanova #15 (4 PM)
Villanova has had a disappointing season and injuries have played a major role in their lack of Big East success. They may hang around with the Golden Eagles early on in this one but simply don't have the horses to hang around with the scoring punch of Jessica Pachko inside and Angel Robinson and Tatiyiana McMorris out front. Marquette lives to play another day.
USF #11 vs. Cincinnati #14 (6 PM)
The Bearcats have been a tough out at times this year and will slow the pace down against USF. For Jose Fernandez's Bulls, outside efficency is the key and they must use the quickness of their guards to create a transition game. This one should be the closest of the first round matches. I'll go with USF, especially if outside bomber Allyson Speed can find the shooting touch she showed against Louisville.
Although no local television coverage is planned for the Cards first round game, you can follow the action on 790 WKRD Cards Radio in the Louisville area or go to www.bigeast.org and watch the action on Big East TV. I watched last year's early rounds from the computer on Big East TV and found it a good feed and better than average commentary and play by play.
Catching up on Cards Softball, the Cards swept all four games in the Cardinal Classic over the weekend. #15 Louisville topped Northern Illinois 5-3 in the final game and also plated two wins against St. Louis as well as beating Purdue in the 3 day tournament. Louisville (13-2) travels to Stillwater, OK for another weekend tournament and opens Friday against Oklahoma State.
All-American catcher Melissa Roth is batting .581 thru fifteen games and leads the Cards in hits, RBI's, runs scored and has slugged 2 home runs as well. She'll also probably drive the team bus and hand out meal money this weekend. Sandy Pearsall's team holds a 92-43 runs scored advantage over opponents this year and likes to jump on them early...plating 78 of those runs in the first four innings of games while holding opponents to just 18 in the same time frame. In other words, better get there early if you plan to watch the Lady Cards softball games. Late arrivals will miss all the action. (And will be required to buy me popcorn and a beverage.
Written by Sonja