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Monday, March 18, 2013

Cards ready to host 1st/2nd rounds of NCAA Tournament



TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

( Staff Columnist and radio personality Jenny O' Bryan with today's report and a good one it is...the Selection Monday for WBB at the KFC YUM! Center! She also did the photos that you'll find in today's article. They would not allow her or Jeff in the bouncies, however...)



Fans waiting for Lady Cards autographs!
One of the many things I love about Louisville Women’s Basketball is how attending a women’s basketball event is such a family affair.  Selection Monday at the YUM Center was no different as the team welcomed fans, young and old, to a watch party as the NCAA Bracket was revealed. 

From the onset fans were greeted by the team set up in the lobby of the main concourse providing season posters and autographing them for the Cardinal Faithful.  Many waited in line to greet, chat with and get autographs from their favorite players. 

The lobby was filled with not only opportunities to meet the team, but free pictures with Louie the Cardinal Bird, face painting and a giant bounce house and slide greeted the young at heart.   I found myself spending much of the hour prior to the bracket unveiling snapping pictures and talking to friends who love this women’s program. 

When I finally found my way into the lower bowl and found my seating, I was delighted to see such a good turnout for the night.  My unofficial guestimate for the night would put the crowd between 300-350 Cardinal Faithful. 

Shelby Harper signs for the fans
Fans would have to wait until the final region of the bracket was revealed to learn who our first round opponent would be.  That is not to say that it was a long night of waiting by any means.  Cardinal PA announcer Sean Moth spent the commercial breaks between each regions unveiling speaking to several members of the Cardinal team.  Bria Smith, Coach Cameron Newbauer, Sara Hammond and Coach Jeff Walz all got a few minutes at the mic.  Shelby Harper also seemed to be put on the spot and given the mic just a few minutes before the show began.

One of the themes of the night, from anyone given an opportunity to speak, was the fan support of this team.  All three players and both Coaches mentioned one of the best things about playing/coaching for Louisville Women’s Basketball is the fan support.  Coach Newbauer apparently was told early on, in this his first season with the team, that even in a bad game fans woud number 8,000+.  He mentioned that being one of the many things that stand out to him from this season.  The players, too, were all very appreciative of the fan support and are grateful to play the 1st (and hopefully 2nd) round of the tournament at home in front of such great fan support.

Hammond, when asked about the transition from her freshman to sophomore year, commented on the pace and physicality of the game.  As an incoming freshman one comes in and is just “wow’d” by how much faster the game is.  She was better prepared for that after a season under her belt and off season workouts to improve her game.  Smith commented on an already physical game getting tougher in the post season.  Both are grateful for the home comforts that hosting the first rounds provide. 

Bouncies for the kids!
Coach Walz commented after the show on being pleased with the draw.  All three teams coming to the YUM Center Middle Tennessee, Purdue and Liberty all travel well and are very close in proximity.  All can and will bring fans with them to the YUM Center.  It is of utmost importance for any Cardinal fan out there who has been waiting to get their tickets, to do so now.  Now that the bracket is established, fans of other teams will be securing their seats as well.  Coach Walz would love for the Cardinal Faithful to fill the lower bowl and continue to support this team. 

I went in to the evening hoping Louisville got a little unfair treatment from the Bracket Committee, as in years past, and maybe got seeded a little lower than they deserved, and would be pushed down to a 6 seed.  Much like one of the readers here at the Couple commented recently, a 6 seed would have pushed us in to the lower half of the bracket and matched us against a potential 2 seed in the regionals instead of a 1 seed.   Instead, a very reasonable 5 seeding for the team gets the team the likely 1 seed if they make it to the Sweet 16.  In this case, Baylor. 

Before I go too far down that road, though, the team first has to be ready for 1st round action on Sunday around 2:30 p.m. as an estimated tip time.   It’s win and survive, or lose and go home. 

The NCAA Tournamnet kicks off in Louisville on Sunday around 12:10 for first round action of Purdue (4) vs. Liberty (13).  Following that game is our hometown favorite Cardinals (5) vs. Middle Tennessee State University (12) with an estimated tip off at 2:30 p.m.

Allie ready to celebrate after face-painting
Not only can we not overstate the need to buy your tickets and get your butts in the seats for our Cardinals game, but a strong attendance for both games will go a long way in helping to secure future bids for hosting touranments.  It is not enough to show up just for Louisville.  Get there early and watch back to back games and see just what is in store for our team when they make it to the second round against the winner of the first game. 

Cardinal Faithful, this is your call to action!  Be there.  Support your local team. Support your hometown seniors Monique Reid and Shelby Harper as they play their final games at KFC Yum Center. 

Editor note: Great recap of the event, Jenny! Be sure to listen to Cardinal Couple Radio on Saturday for interviews with Julie Hermann, Sean Moth, Cam Newbauer, Al Greener, Asia Taylor and fan reaction to the Cards seed and
opponents....

HERE'S A INFORMATIVE READ ON LOUISVILLE'S FIRST ROUND MATCHUP:

http://www.goblueraiders.com/content.cfm/id/66889

 

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I apologize for the lack of detail, but, wanted to inform the readers that the Softball Cards lost on Monday to Iowa 6-2. 

A positive note for softball, though, is that junior catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod was named Big East Softball Player of the Week.  Congratulations Maggie, keep digging them out of the dirt and pegging them off at the bags!

Editor's Note:  The Cards were in trouble early in this one, but for once is wasn't Caralisa Connell in hot water. Rachel Le Coq drew the start but didn't make it out of the first Iowa at-bat before Connell came in to relieve.

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Lacrosse Cards crept back in to the rankings at #20 this week after adding two more wins on the season.  Check out the latest news out of the lacrosse camp:

Also, congrats to Katie Oliverio for being named to the Big East Honor Roll!

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I would be remiss to not mention this news on Louisville’s incredible Athletic Director Tom Jurich.  He has been named as a finalist for Athletic Director of the Year award. 

Tom Jurich has led this Univeristy in ways that I can not even begin to mention.  Check out the attached article to really understand some of the many things he has done, and continues to do for the athletic programs at U of L.  Of particular note this past winter was securing a long term contract with the highly sought after Coach Charlie Strong of football.  If that was not enough for one man’s job, he also steered Louisville out of the soon to be defunct Big East Conference as we know it, and secured a spot for the University of Louisville in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). 

It is my humble opinion that Mr. Jurich is highly deserving of this award.  Congratulations to a very deserving man.  In Tom we Trust!

7 comments:

  1. #5 seed about what I expected. Baylor, though? OUCH! And Purdue is tough. No cakewalk there.

    Curtis Franklin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tough luck for your Cards. Not much easier for my Cats. Despite the #2 seed, St. John's will be a tough foe and if UK gets by them it's probably UNC and the UConn.

      It's the only NCAA basketball team on campus this year though. Good luck to Louisville in both NCAA Tournaments. I see you falling to Purdue. It saves you a trip to Oklahoma City to ger embarrassed by Baylor.

      -Matthew Mitchell For Governor-

      Delete
    2. Matt, good luck to the Cats. Hope they get that rematch against UConn. It's tough enough playing them anywhere, and here you get them at Bridgeport, yet another "home" game for Geno.

      No embarrassment if we get beat by Baylor. They embarrass pretty much everyone. I just hope we get the chance.

      Delete
  2. NCAA WBB PICKS:

    ROUND 1
    Baylor, Fla St, UofL, Purdue, OK, UCLA, Syr, TN, Stanford, Mich, Iowa St, GA, LSU, Cal Poly, TTX, Cal, ND, Miami, Colorado, SC, Chattanooga, Texas A&M, Okla St, Duke, UConn, Vandy, Marist, Maryland, WVU, UNC, Dayton, UK

    ROUND 2
    Baylor, UofL, OK, Syr, Stanford, GA. LSU, Cal, ND, Colorado, Texas A&M, Duke, UConn, Maryland, UNC, UK

    ROUND 3
    Baylor, OK, Stanford, Cal, ND, Duke, UConn, UK

    ROUND 4
    Baylor, Cal, ND, UConn

    ROUND 5
    Baylor, ND

    ROUND 6
    Baylor 144 points total

    Blue Lou

    ReplyDelete
  3. NCAA PICKS:

    ROUND 1
    Baylor, Fla St, CARDINALS, Purdue, Oklahoma, UCLA, Syracuse, TN, Stanford, Michigan, Gonzaga, GA, LSU, Penn St, TX Tech, Cal, ND, Iowa, Colorado, South Carolina, Chattanooga, Texas A&M, DePaul, Duke, UConn, St Josephs, MSU, Maryland, Delaware, UNC, Dayton, UK

    ROUND 2
    Baylor, CARDINALS, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Stanford, Gonzaga, LSU, Cal, ND, Colorado, Texas A&M, Duke, UConn, Maryland, UNC, UK

    ROUND 3
    Baylor, Tennesee, Stanford, Cal, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, UConn, UK

    ROUND 4
    Baylor, Stanford, ND, UConn

    ROUND 5
    Baylor, UConn

    ROUND 6
    Baylor 152 points

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice recap Jenny. I was there with my two daughters and they were thrilled to meet the players and get autographs. They had a great time!

    MY NCAA PICKS

    Round 1
    Baylor, Florida State, Louisville, Liberty, Oklahoma, UCLA, Creighton, Tennessee, Stanford, Michigan, Iowa State, Georgia, LSU, Penn State, South Florida, California
    Notre Dame, Miami, Colorado, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Duke,
    Connecticut, Vanderbilt, Marist, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, Dayton, Kentucky

    Round 2
    Baylor, Louisville, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Stanford, Iowa State, LSU, California
    Notre Dame, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Duke, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky

    Round 3
    Louisville, Tennessee, Stanford, California, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Connecticut, Kentucky

    Round 4
    Louisville, California, Notre Dame, Kentucky

    Round 5
    California, Notre Dame

    Round 6
    Notre Dame

    Total points 118

    Steve O
    Prospect, KY

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stanford is weaker than Baylor, Notre Dame or UConn and they won't make the FiNAL FOUR. Upset special here. South Florida finally gets a chance to play some non-BIG EAST teams and they make the most of it. They are headed to New Orleans.

    --Joe Hill--

    ReplyDelete

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