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Tuesday, March 6, 2012



-BIG EAST Final...the usual suspects. Notre Dame vs. UConn

-Girls about town

-Arion named BIG EAST Softball Player of the Week.

-Russell has Cards in the mix. 

-Pick 'Em down to four contestants


1st half
HOO...wee! We got a barn-burner in the XL Center. 31-30 UConn at the half. Notre Dame up early. UConn goes on a 15-3 run and eventually leads by ten at 27-17. Irish battle back and end the half with a 13-4 run to get within one. Kaila Turner with the clutch three as the clock gets near 00:00. Both Novosel and Peters with two fouls each for N.D. The offense disappeared for Geno's group in the final few minutes. Here we go... 

2nd half
And your 2012 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT championship goes to....the Connecticut Huskies. A 63-54 winner tonight. Strong Husky defense, poor Irish shooting in the final twenty and questions on why Notre Dame got out of the zone that had UConn baffled at the beginning of the half. More on this in the Wednesday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE. Will this knock the Irish out of a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? 


It has come down to this.

Notre Dame and Connecticut will vie for the BIG EAST Tournament crown tonight in Hartford's XL Center. Most of us expected this. The St. John's and WVU insurgents have been driven from the palace gates. Rather rudely, in fact.

Loading up the truck and headed
to play the Okies! 
The combined 59 point margin between the pretenders and the royalty yesterday serves to show us that payback is hell, there is no rainbow at the pot of gold in Hartford and that the early season wins by the Red Storm and Mountaineers were flukes and nothing more.

Kim Barnes Arico will get another chance next year.
All but Da'Shena Stevens return for her.
We do like the fact that St. John's is returning four out of their five starters next year. They'll be poised to make another charge at the palace gates. As for WVU...we give them a superficial "prom wave" as they pack up the wagon and gather the kin to head to the midwest "promised land" to join up with the BIG 12. 

We wonder how Mike Carey feels about all this. Instead of fairly short trips to Pittsburgh, Washington, Louisville and Cincinnati -- the road excursions will now be to Norman, Waco, Lawrence and Stillwater. 

Will Big East Commish John "Marinara"
grace the finals with his largeness?
Of course, it doesn't matter how he, or 14 of the other sports available on the Morgantown campus feel. It's all about the football. Just as Jed Clampett packed up the family and moved to California in The Beverly Hillbillies, the football program is dragging the school to greener pastures in the nation's heartland. 

I guess...

We hope Louisville follows.  

Who will win tonight's game? To get a read on the masses...we went to the 'Pick Em' selections. Paul likes Notre Dame. So does Sandy and Jenny. Sonja and David Watson like UConn. We looked at all 56 entries in the contest. 23 of you had UConn as your winner. 23 of you had Notre Dame. 10 of you had neither. A lot of help that was...

Hasn't played for the BIG EAST
title since 2007. 
Whoever wins tonight gets bragging rights for another year. The Huskies have had those BIG EAST Tournament champs bragging rights since 2008. In the larger scheme of things, it's not that important...both schools will end up #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. 

But for the now...for the's huge. Should be a fun one tonight. It's a ESPN view, straight ESPN game with no numbers or letters. Game at 7 p.m

Leave at the half to watch NCIS or stay with the BIG EAST tonight? Tough decision.


Good stuff from buddies Shirley and Ellis Blanton on a surprising Monday for them. 

Asia was probably there for
the ham and pineapple pizza.
"Just to let you know that Ellis and I, plus our granddaughter Lily (who lives near Knoxville) were out having a bite to eat after a movie yesterday (Monday) and in walked Tia Gibbs, Bria Smith, Asia Taylor, Nita Slaughter and Sara Hammond! They were so sweet to Lily --telling them their names, asking her questions, signing their autographs and then having her repeat their names. Of course, she did, because she is a "die hard Card fan" even though she lives in "Orange" country. 

Will sign autographs
in restaurants. 
Also in the restaurant were softball players Jordan Trimble and Kristin Austin. They also talked to Lily and signed autographs as well. What a great experience for Lily and what great representatives of UofL women's sports teams! 

(Editor's note. We need to bring Lily on board here at Cardinal Couple. She's had more success in talking to players in one afternoon than we've had in two years...)

Thanks for sharing, Shirley. A great story! If we know the girls...Asia was probably watching Lily's plate to see if she could grab it away ( a rebound!), dish it to Bria (outlet pass) who'd drive it to the kitchen (penetrating the defense) and either pass it to Sara for a refill (shot from the paint) or send it to Tia or Nita for a long range toss into the dishwasher.  (THRRREEEE GIBBS!! THRRREEEE SLAUGHTER !!). 


Whitney Arion, a freshman on the Cardinal softball team has been named BIG EAST Player of the Week after her assault on pitching down in Knoxville this past weekend. Arion batted .500 with four hits (two of them home runs) and drove in five runs. She's a shortstop or designated hitter, whatever Sandy Pearsall needs her to do, and it's obvious she does it quite well. Caralisa Connell was selected to the BIG EAST honor roll for her six-inning no hitter over Memphis. 

Louisville hosts The Red and Black Classic this weekend at Ulmer Stadium. The Cards play two on Saturday...taking on St. Louis at 11 a.m. and Michigan at 1 p.m. We think you should go and take in both games...


From CARDINAL COUPLE writer Jenny, a great link on Cardinal WBB target from Oregon...Mercedes Russell. Encouraging things in this read...

Mercedes drives Springfield to Oregon State Tournament

Having her as a part of the 2013 incoming class would make it the best in UofL women's basketball history. Speaking of 2013 recruits... congratulations to Marion County's Makayla Epps and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers...who won the 5th Region title and are going to be one of the favorites and team to beat
in the State Basketball Tournament. 

It's time to move this thing to Louisville and put it in the KFC YUM! Center or at the very worst, Freedom Hall. Is the rest of the state that stupid not to realize that Louisvillians love and support girls basketball with attendance? 

Probably a David Williams mastermind and plot to keep it away from the largest city in the state.  


Finally, it's down to four contestants in the CARDINAL COUPLE BIG EAST Pick 'Em and one game to go. Here's the scenario:

Willie. The lone undefeated player at 14-0. He has Notre Dame winning the title. We finally got an e-mail from him, giving us some background details. It's printed below this article. 

PDX Phil. At 13-1 and with Connecticut winning the title, he's the only one with a chance to beat Willie. Phil's a regular reader and sends good e-mails and comments

Sandy. Our CARDINAL COUPLE writer is 13-1 and has Notre Dame taking the crown . She can't win...but could take second. Louisville's loss to St. John hurt her.

Smitty. The affable plumber says he knows very little about women's college hoops. He's 13-1, so he must know a little something. Has UConn winning but can't win the contest (see below)

If UConn takes the title tonight, PDX Phil wins the Pick 'Em and Smitty finished second.Phil wins the "tie-breaker" between he and Smitty because he had all the final four teams correct. He wins the tie-breaker against Willie and Sandy because he had the tournament winner.

If Notre Dame takes the title tonight, Willie wins the Pick 'Em and Sandy takes second. 

Good luck contestants! 

CARDINAL COUPLE Writers, forget it...we're at the back of the dog sled and can't see the lead dogs. Sonja isn't repeating as champ, Paul and Jenny have four losses and David's threatened bodily harm to me if I list his final four and winner. That's doesn't scare me...bring it, Hoosier...but I agree, his picks were pretty embarrassing. 


Willie M. is undefeated in 14 picks in the 'Pick Em' contest. He writes:

Hey Cardinal Couple. Sorry took me so long to get back with you.  Here some things about me and my excellent picks. I live in West Virginia. Near Huntington and I am a Marshall not West Virginia fan. Did not go there. I went in the Army after getting out of high school and made career of it. Been stationed in lot of places. Germany, Japan, plenty of places here in states. Even at your Ft Knox and Ft Campbell. I am from West Virginia originally and come home after retiring three years ago. My wife from Louisville so that is my Cardinal Couple connect. Sonja probably don't remember this but Brooke play basketball in high school with her. She a senior when Sonja a sophomore. She do a search online for some old teammates and that how she discover Sonja again and Cardinal Couple. You all crazy with all that chimp, goat and Cletus stuff but you write good articles too. 

My picks no big deal. They was pretty basic in first round except I liked Marquette over Cincy becuase I don't like Cincy becuase Bob Huggins coach there before he go to WVU and I still don't like him. Was the only reason I pick Marquette. 

The second round I just go with all the lower rank seeds and it turn out OK. I pick the lower seeds again in the next except WVU over Georgetown. Just a guess. Brooke a bigger Cardinal fan than me and she tell me WVU beat Louisville but Louisville beat Georgetown. I got lucky.

I liked Conn and ND to play in the final all along. And I like the ND to win it becuase they beat Conn already two times this year. So there it is.

(Thanks, Willie for the background! And Sonja does remember Brooke. Says she fouled a lot in games but was a good scorer.) 


  1. Thanks for posting the link for Mercedes. I really hope the Cards can get her.

  2. Thanks for providing the Mercedes link. I hope UofL can get her.

  3. Paul, did you empty the garbage like Sonja told you to do? Quit spending so much time on the computer.

    1. LOL! Not only has the garbage been emptied...but the carpet was cleaned, dishwasher loaded, ran and emptied, bed neatly made after sheets washed and checkbook balanced and bills paid. I also used my culinary skills to prepare that delectable treat...Spaghetti-O's ala Pablo.

      Yep, the last few CARDINAL COUPLE editions have been lengthy, I realize that, but there was a lot to cover. Beginning today, they'll be a lot shorter for awhile. The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful (old Jimmy Buffett song).



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