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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cards to face Notre Dame Saturday at noon




Taylor Swift performs in Louisville and appears to be "flipping off" a few Notre Dame fans in the audience. Just kidding. She's actually longing to be a Lady Cards basketball player and wanted Coach Walz to see how she looks in a Louisville jersey. Most of you guys out there probably approve.

Louisville goes into the second round of the Big East tournament with the Irish next on the slate. Louisville actually played the Irish close for most of their earlier match this year...tied at halftime and only 8 points down with 5 minutes left in the game. Although the Irish went on to win by 18, knowing that this wasn't one of those mega blowouts Louisville experienced from UT, UK and UConn has to help the Cards in the preparation for this one.

Skylar Diggins is a talented point guard for the Irish and it will be interesting to see how 'born again' Rachel Story does in defending her. The Irish are not a tall or overpowering team. They beat you with disciplined and accurate ball movement, lockdown defense and all the Irish have the ability to take you off the dribble, stop and pop from 10-12 feet and make you pay. Muffet McGraw may dress like a bargain basement fashion queen but she is one of the best coaches in the business.

Tough road for the Cards today against the #5 seed and #6 team in the nation. Game time is noon, which means I'll hear about half of it before it is time to enter the Hall for the Syracuse game. We'll recap it tonight.

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Other first round action in the tournament featured #14 seed Cincy upsetting the #11 USF Bulls. #10 seed Marquette advanced with a easy win over #15 Villanova. #9 Syracuse actually trailed #16 Seton Hall at halftime but rallied back to get the win.

I was 3 for 4 in my predictions for the first day...missing on the USF/Cincy contest. Second year in a row that the Bearcats have defeated a higher seed in first round of the Big East Tournament.

Saturday's action and prognostications below:

LOUISVILLE #13 vs. NOTRE DAME #5

The Cards will battle the Irish on the boards but probably won't be able to match yesterday's 59% shooting in the first half or 51% for the game. Notre Dame plays good team basketball and swarms their opponents on defense. Reid goes off for another 20 or so but the Irish prevail, probably by double digits and advance. I hope I'm wrong on this one. I hope Muffet leaves the leopard skin scarf in the hotel room. If she wears that gawdy neck wrap and it raises up and growls at Walz during the pregame handshake I'm calling Animal Control Services in Hartford. .

SYRACUSE #9 vs. PROVIDENCE #8

This will most likely be the closest game in the second round. Syracuse overcame a sluggish first half to win yesterday but they can't make the same mistakes today and expect to beat a very methodical and paitent Friars team. The Orange stays around and wins this one late to move on. The Friars did win the regular season match up by two in Rhode Island..but Louisville handed a 19 point thumping to the overrated Providence squad in Freedom Hall and lost to Syracuse on Denny Crum Court. Careful onthe sidelines, Quentin Hillsman. Don't want you blacking out and hitting the deck like you did in the 'Ville.

MARQUETTE #10 vs. DE PAUL #7

I'll pick the Blue Demons in this one because of their aggressive guard play and coaching experience. Doug Bruno is one of the best in the Big East and he can set up a wicked full court press that can fatigue an opponent and create turnovers. Could be another close one but remember that DePaul has defeated Marquette twice this year already..by 10 at home and by 9 in Milwaukee. Sam Quigley and Keisha Hampton, both second team All Big East picks, git 'er done for the Chicagoians.


CINCY #14 vs, RUTGERS #6

Cincy upset USF to get to the second round but the surprises stop today as the Bearcats face a powerful and physical Rutgers squad. The Scarlet Knights bruised and thumped their way to a season ending win over Louiville and Brittany Ray can score in bunches when needed to do so. The C.Vivian Stringer maulers rolled the Bearcats 44-33 earlier in the year. I expect the Scarlet Knights to shoot a little better in this one and double digit the Bearcats again. Beware...C.Viv likes to send them to the hoop with doubt digit leads at the end of the contest and the game clock running out.

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Louisville softball took a beating Friday against Oklahoma State...losing 7-2 to the Cowgirls. Melissa Roth was the offense for the Cards..slamming two solo shot home runs in the game, but Louisville could only manage four hits for the contest and a 5 run bottom of the second salted this one away for OSU. Kristen Wadwell took the loss for the Cards, who return to the diamond for two games today...Nevada at 11 a.m. and Oklahoma in the nightcap.

Written by Sonja
3/6/10

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