WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-NCAA Women's Championship Pick 'Em Guide (or...How I stopped worrying and learned to love the 'Madness')
-Softball Cards defeat Iowa 6-4
|A picture of a bracket|
So, today...I will offer sage wisdom, prudent decisions, a few upsets and uncalled-for advice on how you, too, can have a satisfying NCAA Women's Tournament Bracket Pick 'Em. Remember, one man's lock is another man's upset...so don't be afraid to go out on a limb from time-to-time.
Paulie's Rule #1 - Your FINAL FOUR SHOULD READ: Baylor, Stanford, Notre Dame and Connecticut. Anything else is just wishful or moronic thinking.
Paulie's Rule #2 - Play CLOSE attention to where teams are playing the early rounds. Besides the four mentioned above, the majority of NCAA Women's Basketball teams don't do very well too far from home. It's a "village" thing.
OKLAHOMA CITY REGION
Put Baylor in as winning and work your way backwards. Who will they face? The logical (and popular) pick seems to be Tennessee. This is a good "Great Eight" start...but you might want to consider Syracuse and UCLA in place of Tennessee.
I am not scared of Prairie View, Princeton, Liberty, Central Michigan, Stetson, or Oral Roberts. ( I am maybe scared of oral surgery...or wearing a stetson in public.) Creighton may be a dark-horse candidate to uphend Syracuse and Middle Tennessee is a good, not great team. So is Louisville, according to Jeff Walz. I went with Baylor, Louisville, UCLA and Syracuse as the four teams to advance out of the first and second rounds. Yes, Tennessee is playing in Knoxville (let the hate e-mails begin) but I was very impressed with Syracuse this season and like their toughness. I also like pretty balloons and the Three Stooges.
Write in Stanford (in pencil) as the FINAL FOUR participant in this region but take a close look at these four contenders. South Florida, Villanova, LSU and California. Warch Gonzaga, because they are playing in Spokane (their home town) They'll survive the first round against a good, not great Iowa State squad. They could even advance against a middle-of-the-pack Georgia team who is travelling a long way to be in Spokane.
No fear of Green Bay (unless Aaron Rodgers decides to play), Tulsa, Montana, CalPoly or Fresno State. A great match-up in the first round here is Texas Tech, at home in Lubbock, playing South Florida. But, South Florida went on the road and defeated Louisville in front of the 10,000 rowdy UofL fans. I doubt there will be that many in Lubbock...unless they offer free barbecue.
I have Stanford, Gonzaga, LSU (playing their first two in Baton Rouge) and California in the regional in Spokane. I think Stanford will probably survive...but it wouldn't surprise me to see South Florida or California advance to New Orleans. If Cal-Poly gets there, I'll buy every reader a new laptop...(with Jeff's VISA Card). Pending approval.
You know the routine. Write in Notre Dame as the winner in the bracket and also scribble in Texas A&M as the team they beat to get there. There are other excellent teams in this region, but they won't advance. Colorado will fall to the Irish. Duke will barely lose to A&M. DePaul will give Duke a test..but lose in the second round. Unless they have cloned Anna Martin and both the clone and the original play.
Dead zombies...UT Martin (no realation to Anna), Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota St., Chattanooga, Wichita State and Hampton. (I do like the Hampton breakfast bar, though.) I'd love to see Doug Bruno's DePaul squad down Coach Joanie P's Blue Devils and almost picked them. Could be a upset special. I ended up with Notre Dame, Colorado (who beat Louisville in the regular season), Texas A&M and Duke as the teams meeting in Norfolk. Irish eyes will be smiling.
It's a shame Connecticut has to do such extensive travelling to make the final four. Storrs and then Bridgeport. Maybe they'll go by way of Bristol. Most are liking Kentucky to play them in the final of the
Teams that won't need long hotel reservations are Idaho ( a shame they had to travel across country to play UConn) St. Joseph's ( who will need baby aspirin after meeting Vandy), Marist, Quinnipiac, Albany and Navy. The first round match up with Dayton and St. John's will be classic. Delaware and North Carolina will be a close one, too. I have Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and St. John's going to Bridgeport. The Huskies raise a leg on the Terrapins and Red Storm and trot off to New Orleans.
I'm leaving you on your own here. I can't spoon-feed everything to you, you know. Baylor won it all last year. Notre Dame came in second. Go from there and good luck in your selections. Both teams have their best player back.
The CARDINAL COUPLE NCAA Women's Tournament Pick 'Em closes on Saturday, March 23rd. when the first game begins at 11 A.M. All picks need to be in by then. Leave your choices in the comments section or e-mail them to:
Good luck, we hope you play and remember for the tie-breaker you need to give us TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS you think will be scored in the final game. First prize in a $25 Chili's Gift Card. If there isn't a Chili's in the area you live in...move immediately. Or, if you win...just let us know. We'll think of something to substitute. Maybe Bill the Goat's latest CD. Or an afternoon of watching Quentin throw paper wads at a trash can. A guest spot on our radio show.
Also, remember to put your name on your entry. Duh!!
|"Whaddya mean Syracuse has no guards? Sir, you are a|
moron! And your socks don't match!"
Games begin Saturday, March 23rd. at 11 a.m. EDT. The contest is purely for entertainment purposes and Cardinal Couple is a non-profit entity. That ought to keep the CC laywers happy campers.
Louisville softball bounced back from the Monday loss to Iowa with a Tuesday win at Ulmer Stadium over the visitors 6-4. The Cards found the bats early in this one...touching the Hawkeyes for four first inning runs.
Katie Keller singled and eventually scored when Whitney Arion was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 1-0. Taner Fowler cleared the bags with a deep double and Louisville was up 4-0.
UofL increased the margin to 6-0 in the fifth inning, picking up two runs on just one hit. Jordy Trimble was safe at first on a Hawkeye fielding error and Alicja Wolny was walked. Trimble touched home on a Maggie Ruckenbrod single and Wolny followed when Arion reached on a fielder's choice.
The Hawkeyes fought back late...two runs in the sixth brought in Caralisa Connell to relieve starter Rachel LeCoq. Iowa added two more runs in the seventh but could not fully close the gap. Le Gran Le Coq gets the win and is now 10-2.
Louisville (24-4) takes on Indiana today at 6 p.m.at Ulmer. TV available on this one in case you can't attend...WHAS 11.2 and the accompanying Insight and Comcast numbers...whatever they are. The BIG 10 tour continues.