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Friday, March 16, 2012

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FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


-A look at Michigan State Lady Spartans


-CARDINAL COUPLE NCAA Women's Tournament "Pick 'Em"... entries close Saturday prior to first game.


-HOW ARE YOUR NCAA men's brackets looking after Day One? 


The Lady Cards 1st round opponent in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament is the Michigan State Spartans. They compete in the BIG TEN conference and were eliminated in the second round of conference tournament play by Purdue. Suzy Merchant's squad went 20-11 on the season.


Those losses came to Villanova, Fla.Gulf Coast, Miami (FL), Texas, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue (twice) Illinois and Iowa. Six of those teams are competing in the NCAA Tournament. 


Porsche Poole (13.5 ppg) and Lykenda Johnson (11.0 and 8.7 rebounds) lead the Spartans. Both are seniors -- Poole a 5'8" guard and Johnson a 6'1" forward. MSU led the BIG TEN in defensive scoring...allowing conference opponents 60.6 ppg. They outscored all foes by an average of 67.4 points while giving up 59.7 a game. 


The Spartans turn the ball over 16.2 times a game and force opponents into 17.2. They attempt the 3-pointer 19 times a game and hit six of these. 


Suzy Merchant is 316-172 lifetime as a coach. The schools have met once before...MSU winning 82-73 back in 1990. 


How does #7 seed Louisville get past #10 seed Michigan State? The Cards need to do the following five things well, in our opinion. 


--Rebound effectively. Facing an opponent that out-rebounds their competition by almost seven game, Louisville will need to crash the boards after missed shots and block out. Asia Taylor and Shawnta Dyer are both proven "to go the boards" girls for Jeff Walz...but the entire front line and Becky Burke and Shoni Schimmel will need to grab a few also. 


--Nail the "3". Against a team that tries to keep the score down and values possessions, Louisville will need to open up the Spartan defense with some long range bombing. We know Burke, Shoni and Nita Slaughter can have big games from beyond the arc. Two of the three need to tomorrow to ensure Louisville's chances for a win.


--Free throw conversion. Louisville needs to do a little better than their last outing (against St. John's) from the free throw line. Let's hope Coach Walz stressed that in the practices following the departure from the BIG EAST Tournament. Bria Smith, Asia Taylor and Shawnta Dyer should get a lot of chances for "free ones"...given the aggressive nature of the MSU defense. They need to convert.


--Prevent the scoreless stretches. Louisville has had the tendency at times this season to go long stretches with little or no scoring. They cannot start slowly or finish poorly Saturday afternoon...or they might be going home before the weekend is over. 


--Limit the turnovers. Shoni needs to play with aggression but under control against the Spartans. The front line must be ready and able to catch her variety of passes and Bria needs to be smart and unselfish during her base-lines drives. 


Hopefully, the Lady Cards will be able to master these five areas we've mentioned and accomplish one more mandatory thing:


Score more points.


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Be sure to fill out your brackets for the CARDINAL COUPLE Women's NCAA Basketball Challenge. Click the link at the top left of the site or the link below and best of luck!


Our group is 814 and the password is ladycards. 

CARDINAL COUPLE Women's NCAA Bracket Selection Challenge


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So...are you playing the men's tournament selection brackets? And, how are you doing on them if you are?


CARDINAL COUPLE'S sweet Sonja went 14-2 the first day! Only Montana and UNLV got lines drawn through them on her bracket. 


Paul...not so good. 10-6. It happens when you try to "beat the chalks" and this tournament has been pretty lower seed success oriented so far.


DAVID WATSON reports he is 12-4. HE picked against Louisville to ensure they would advance. I know, Watson logic is hard to grasp at times...but that's why we love him.


Feel free to share your tournament successes or "woulda, coulda, shoulda"  stories in both tournament with us in the comments section or via e-mail. Misery loves company.  




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5 comments:

  1. I was 11-5 thursday. I had UNLV going to the final four tho so that is going to hurt.

    Blue Lou

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am with Sonja, went 14-2 yesterday.
    Wichita and K-State being my two losses for the day. Neither was going beyond the next round, though, so no real hit to the bracket.
    My final four is KY vs. Missouri and NC vs. Ohio St.
    Have Missouri vs. NC in the champ. with Missouri winning it all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 3 different brackets, 15-1, two at 10-6. Good guesses and bad guesses.


    Like the breakdown, would add one more to your list of 5 things, that is, play defense like they are capable of.

    Got a little jittery until I found out the actual times of both our women's and men's games, was thinking they might be on around the same time, glad I can watch both COMPLETELY! If I can stay up long enough to see the men, that is!
    L1C4!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Perhaps I should have waited til after the end of day 2 to so openly pronounce my FF and winner. #busted
    All of that being said, O'Quinn's post game interview is absolutely priceless. I admire him for being so grateful for the "gift " of an education via his 1 scholarship offer. He has done his momma proud, no doubt.

    Jenny

    ReplyDelete
  5. Norfolk State. Whoa? Did I see that earlier or was it just a dream? The "Show Me" state just
    got served. Miss'who'ri?

    Paul

    ReplyDelete

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