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Monday, January 30, 2012

Swimming narrowly loses at IU...Watson comments on Villanova game

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MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Women's swim team close against #12.

-Good read on Big Shot Becky...

-Watson reviews the UofL vs. Villanova WBB game

-A look at the BIG EAST.

The #24 ranked University of Louisville's women's swimming team narrowly lost in a dual meet against IU Saturday. Congratulations to the men's team...who knocked off the #11 ranked Hoosiers! Here's the honor roll...

-Raine Thompson...winner in the 100-fly and 200-free relay

Gadd took second in
the 3 meter board.
-200 medely relay had Krissie Brandenburg, Lindsay Rodgers, Raine Thompson and Aileen Cole finish second.

-1000 free placed Victoria Mitchell second.

-100 back with Eszter Povazsay second and Mary Mittel third.

-100 breast got Fanny Lillestrom second and Gisselle Kohoyda third.

-Aileen Cole won the 50 free and Lacey Bobo followed in second.

-Lillestrom finished second in the 200 breast.

-Dani Barbiea, Bobo, Grite Apanaviciute and Cole won the 200 free relay.

The Cardinal swim teams return to the water Friday.

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Thanks to columnist Jenny O'Bryan for sharing this excellent read she found on senior Becky Burke. Great article by Scott Walsh. Click the link and enjoy! Why not send him an e-mail, too to show your appreciation for his Lady Cards and Becky Burke props?

http://m.thetimes-tribune.com/sports/becky-burke-trying-to-make-most-of-remaining-time-at-louisville-1.1264626

E-mail Scott at swalsh@timesshamrock.com


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(David Watson chimes in on the 62-58 UofL win over Villanova)

The announcers Sunday were raving about 2200 attending the Georgetown vs. Rutgers game in D.C. They'd probably go into a coma if they saw almost 11,000 fans...as was the case when the Lady Cards downed 'SweeneyNova' by four Saturday.

What dastardly deeds did David
do in the high seats?
And it was the Sweeney show for the Wildcats. Schooling the Cards on the baseline, in the paint, on the boards and over the skies of Louisville. Sara Hammond watched her go by her several times Saturday but I hope she was watching even closer than that. This is the type of player Hammond could become if she picks up the foot speed a little bit, learns to drive and use the backboard and drops a few pounds. No one stopping her. Reach out and do the work, Sara. You have seen what the future could be. Go get it.

Games at the KFC YUM Center are always entertaining. We chose to traverse to the upper seats for this one...hadn't seen one from there ever. Loved the kids around us making a ton of noise and flashing their signs...despite the fact that no one on the lower deck knew we were up here. 

Sitting up high does have a few advantages. I could see the Cards spacing very clear offensively and it needs some work. If Asia Taylor is going to lead the "charge of the light brigade" through the paint and to the hoop for this Louisville team...clear out and give her some room, Lady Cards. 

I also watched the way Villanova works on offense sets to free up Sweeney. Very effective, organized and exacting. With a little practice and experience, the Lady Cards could do the same. Louisville had an almost certain "two" or trip to the line when Monique Reid would get the orange thing inside. Same with 'Nova. Say, could someone ask Mo to share that ability with Asia the rest of the year? She can have it back for the 2012-13 season.

Finally, make no mistake about it. This is Shoni Schimmel's team. Even though the Wildcats did a very passable job in trying to contain her, "Sho-time" came through. I don't quite understand why Coach Walz's didn't play her sister Jude a bit more with "Show". They seem to work well together in the offense. Maybe it's because they'd played together since they crawled out of the cradle. I on't know, but it makes sense to me.  

Who knows? Walz doesn't need advice from a guy who sits in the 300 level. I, though, need advice on how to get an escalator like the one in the YUM Center to put adjacent to my Uncle Scott's grain silo. 

Those who worried about Cierra Warren's scant minutes shouldn't. She'll get the full workout against DePaul (as long as she can keep the whistles quiet). Katherine Harry and Anna Martin are unleashed pit-bulls in the paint. Big players in the BIG EAST. The battle will be a good one. Maybe Sara will get a chance to mix it up with them.

(Then again, it's Walz. The "big guy" has a plan. It'll work. We wait excitedly.)

( David..good luck with the escalator hunt. I suffer from slight vertigo and can't ride on the thing or sit in 300 level seats with my eyes open. Thank goodness for elevators and press passes. I miss my buddies in Sec.115...but they understand).  

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Now that all of the teams in the BIG EAST have played at least eight conference games...it's time to look at some standings and make some wild and unfounded guesses about the second half of the season. 

Harry Perretta, the affable Villanova head coach, nailed it down the fairway when he said after the game that the 3-12 positions were still wide open for the second half of the season. Especially since Rutgers got unceremoniously thumped by Georgetown yesterday. 

Let's face it. Either Notre Dame finishes with no conference losses or one...because no one will beat them unless UConn can in the XL Center at the end of the year. UConn will finish second, with one or two losses...depending on the outcome of that Feb. 28th. game. It's a two horse match race for the regular season title. 

After that, it gets interesting. With the Rutgers loss, five teams have either 2 or 3 losses. Rutgers still has UConn and Notre Dame to face. So do Louisville and St. John. Georgetown and West Virginia just have one of the top two left to play. Those are eight automatic losses. 

Just behind these are USF, DePaul and Providence with four losses each. Out of the four, one would think DePaul might have a slight advantage to climb. The Louisville games won't be easy for them, they have to go to South Bend and play the Irish...but five out of the eight final game for them are at home and include rollovers like Cincy, Villanova, Marquette, and Syracuse. USF has a tougher road. They travel to St. John and Notre Dame and still have West Virginia and Providence to deal with. 

Paul would like to see "those
dad-gum Blue Demons" lose
Tuesday.
The 12-16 spots will belong to Marquette, Syracuse, Cincy, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall...probably in that exact order. Louisville catches a break...they have three of these (SU, Pitt and SH) left to play and should be OK in these. Add in DePaul twice, at West Virginia and hosting UConn and Notre Dame...and it's not hard seeing the Lady Cards go 5-3 or better the rest of the way. 

Is 11-5 good enough for 3rd. place in the BIG EAST regular season standings? Can Rutgers, St. John's, Georgetown or West Virginia duplicate or top that?

Rutgers (6-2) still has Notre Dame, UConn, St. John's, West Virginia and Villanova left to tangle with. We're thinking they'll handle Seton Hall, Providence and Marquette without too much trouble. If the Scarlet Knights can win three out of the five against the Irish, Huskies, Red Storm, Mountaineers and Wildcats...they could finish 12-4. Gonna depend on how quickly Khadija Rushdan can return after the nasty head bump she received yesterday at Georgetown. They carted her off on wheels. She did return to watch...but concussions take time. And, Rutgers has Notre Dame, Connecticut, St. John and West Virginia as their next four. It's possible that could equal four straight losses.

St. John's has a tough road remaining. Breathers at Pitt and Seton Hall before taking on USF, Rutgers, Connecticut West Virginia, Villanova and Georgetown to finish the season. Only three of these at home. It's not hard to see them finishing 4-4 in their final eight...which would put them at 9-7.

As for Georgetown...gotta like the Hoyas chances to grab third place. Currently at 6-3, they host Seton Hall, Providence and St. John's...and go to Cincy, Connecticut, Villanova and Syracuse. We can see five wins here pretty easily, maybe six if they can defeat the Red Storm to end the season. 12-4 is within their reach. 11-5 very possible.

West Virginia has their work cut out for them. Despite four in a row at home and five of the remaining eight in the Coliseum...they aren't easy ones. A trip to USF could be rough for them. Louisville, Notre Dame, Rutgers and DePaul visit after that and we can't see them doing any better than 2-2 in the home stand. Then, they go to St. John's before finishing at Cincy and hosting Pitt. 4-4 in the final eight is the guess here and would put them at 9-7.

OF course, this is the BIG EAST. Upsets are common. Who would have figured the beat down Georgetown put on Rutgers yesterday?

Some great conference games early this week:


Tuesday
Louisville at DePaul
Notre Dame at Rutgers

Wednesday
West Virginia at USF.

Stay tuned, the second half of the BIG EAST schedule is going to be a brawl and a ball. We'll preview DePaul against Louisville tomorrow. Have a great Monday!
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