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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- A National Championship and one to come in New Orleans!!


LOUISVILLE WINS NCAA MEN'S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP 82-76 !!

Congratulations to Rick Pitino and the 2013 Louisville MBB squad...overcoming a 12 point first half deficit to defeat Michigan for the title! Luke Hancock's sizzling 14 points in a row earned him the Most Outstanding Player award and Chane Behanan's strong-man board work in the final half gives Louisville their third NCAA title!

TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Jenny O'Bryan's report from New Orleans

-Louisville vs. Connecticut

-Walz leaving Louisvlle?

(You already know the task ahead. Defeat the Connecticut Huskies tonight for the NCAA Womens' Basketball Championship. Time to follow the men's lead, LADY CARDS!)


The drive down was uneventful.  We drove until shortly before the men’s game was to tip on Saturday.  It so happens that we pulled over in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to watch the game at a local BW-3.  The place was packed with people, but I have never been in such a crowded space with tv’s blaring and the local population not be at all interested.    I do understand we were in SEC country, where football rules, but it was the semifinals for the national championship!  Growing up in Louisville, KY, regardless of who is playing, everyone is interested and involved, and is at least rooting for one of the teams playing.  Not so.  As it were, there were about 5 tables in the place that were all rooting for Louisville, beyond that, there was very little interest.  
 

We finished the drive that night in to Hattiesburg, MS.  The next morning we looked about the town a bit and drove the last 1 hour and 45 minutes in to New Orleans. 

We found our hotel with little trouble, had our car parked for the duration of our stay, and set off on foot to explore a little as we awaited a phone call from the hotel that we could check in and get settled in our room.  

We are staying just 2.5 blocks from the Cardinal’s hotel, so we decided to head down there to see what may be happening before the game, a send off from the hotel, etc.  Quite a few Cardinal fans were milling about and we ran in to none other than Cardinal Couple’s very own Jeff McAdams.  He too was in the same dilemma, not able to check in, so we set out on foot so we could all grab lunch.  

We decided to eat at a little sidewalk cafe, if for no other reason than we could people watch.  As it turned out the food, while good, was second to the people watching.  It was the perfect spot!  We saw  Also spotted was recently fired Pitt Coach Agnus Bernato who chatted practically our entire lunch with several people, feet away from us.  Brittney Griner, Odyssey Sims, Tennessee Coach Holly Warlick, Louisville cheerleaders and a very interesting local man painted entirely silver.  Curious. 
Husky players Caroline Doty, Bria Hartley and Assistant Chris Dailey.

As we were finishing our lunch several UConn fans sat beside us.  A very friendly chat ensued.  Lots of praise from them about Louisville’s run, Coach Walz’s scouting and game planning, and from us, praised heaped on about the growth of their freshman’s play, specifically Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson.  It was a very nice chat, with them wishing us well and hoping to meet us in the finals, for an all Big East Championship.  Turns out it was a great spot to stop. 

Jeff, as well as I, got our respective calls from our hotels and parted ways as we each checked in.  It was my hope to make it down to the team hotel for a send off party, but was not able to make it back in time.  We did, however run in to Mayor Greg Fischer in our hotel lobby and chatted a bit.  He had just come arrived from Atlanta, and would be flying back to Atlanta first thing the next day, and hopefully back to New Orleans again.  It was nice to hear his excitement and see him in town, especially since the bigger party was in Atlanta. 
 
I won’t recap the games for you, Paulie did a great job in the Monday edition of Cardinal Couple.   I will comment on the crowd though.  The Connecticut Huskies travel very, very well.  I would agree with a comment in Monday’s edition, easily they outnumbered Louisville and Cal, 3-1.  As far as fans for Louisville and Cal, we were probably evenly represented.  One full section of seats as well as most of a second section held each of our teams, with others peppered throughout crowds. 

The Schimmel Clan was there in full force.  It was nice to see, they are like celebrities.  Media was up and down talking to them throughout the night, but more importantly, other Native people coming up and introducing themselves and their young daughters to the Schimmels.  Most of us have likely seen the documentary Off the Rez, and we know the importance of family life amongst the Native population.  Not only that, but, the huge significance it is for young Native girls such as Shoni and Jude to leave the Reservation.  It was very apparent that the Schimmel family as a whole is very, very admired and looked highly upon.  It was very touching to see. 

Everywhere we went we would chat with fans.  On streetcars, walking side by side into the arena, riding in elevators, etc.   Everyone with whom we spoke had such high praise for Coach Jeff Walz and the Louisville Women’s Basketball team.   I have that pride in my hometown team all of the time.  It was nice to hear it from other basketball enthusiasts.  Even several Tennessee fans we spoke with, nothing but praise for how Louisville has played this post season.    It is especially nice since it has felt like (before the Cal game) Louisville has not always gotten much respect from national media outlets.  So, it was so very good to hear.  I have been wearing my Louisville gear with even more pride, for both the men and women, who have the opportunity to do what only 1 other school has done in history, have both the men and women’s teams win it all. 

Win or lose, though, I could not be more proud of Louisville Basketball.  Our ladies are playing with pride, belief and a lot of heart.  Regardless of what happens tonight with our men and tomorrow with our women, this has been one magical ride.  I feel very blessed to be a part of it!

Geaux Cards!!

-Jenny O'Bryan

MORE JENNY PICS FROM NOLA AT THE BOTTOM OF TODAY'S COLUMN!

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And, so...Cardinal womens' basketball fans, it has come down to this. The NCAA Championship Game. Who will have the hot hand? The prevailing run, the foul trouble, the inside play and the grit and determination to win it all?

We know not yet how the ball will bounce or who will score the most points.

If Louisville pull the upset off, it will be the cherry on top on the deluxe sundae that the Cards have presented to college basketball this season. An unbelievable feat. One for the record books, in many ways.

If Connecticut takes the fight, it will still be an incredible accomplishment in the history of Louisville WBB. The team that wouldn't go home, quit or back down.  The ugly ducklings. The party crashers. The team that captured our hearts, respect, love and imaginations. It's been one doozy of a ride...

Shoni, Bria, Sara, Mo, Jude and the rest...you've gone this far in the journey, Are you willing to take one more step and bring the title home? 

Play with clear minds and full hearts. Dance like no one is watching and leave nothing behind as you try to shock the world one more time. Do your best, that is all...we, the fans can ask. We're damn proud of you however it turns out!

-Paulie

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MEET THE HUSKIES

UConn offers a multi-pronged offense attack that has nine players who can make an opponent pay if left unchallenged or unguarded. 6'0" sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, a first-team WBCA/State Farm All-American, averages 17.6 points per game and leads the Huskies in scoring. Dangerous from anywhere...she can usually be found on the wing...creating and driving.

6'5" junior center Stefanie Dolson is one of the paint occupants...a favorite of Louisville's Sherrone Vails...Dolson scores 13.6 a contest. She's also an WBCA/State Farm First team All-American. Powerful in the paint, Dolson can also take you outside and punish you with a mid-range jumper.

6'4" freshman forward Breanna Stewart has made rapid improvement as the season has progressed. Dangerous on the boards and a tenacious defender...Stewart tickles the net for 13.5 a night.

5'11" senior guard Kelly Faris is recognized as the best defender in women's college basketball. She also can hit shots from beyond the arc or mid-range and gives Geno 10.1 points each outing.

5'7" junior guard Bria Hartley is the straw that stirs the drink for UConn. Exceptionally quick and fearless with the ball...her totals are 9.1 an outing.

6'4" freshman forward Brianna Banks comes off the bench to give the Huskies a lift on the boards. She's comfortable in transition and produces 7.3 ppg.

6'2" freshman forward Morgan Tuck is another wunderkid for Connecticut. A powerhouse around the rim and shot-swatter, Tuck adds 6.4 a night for UC.

5'7" freshman guard Moriah Jefferson has come of age in the NCAA Tournament and gives Geno another attacking, slashing guard. 4.7 tally.

5'10" redshirt senior guard Caroline Doty has been at UConn since the Declaration of Independence and is a three-point threat from anywhere. 3.3 when the Huskies are playing.

Geno Auriemma is 7-0 in National Championship games.

The two teams met on Jan., 15th in Hartford. UConn defeated Louisville 72-58 in a game that wasn't really that close. UConn had four in double figures that night...Hartley 16, Dolson 16, Faris 13 and Mosqueda-Lewis 12. Louisville was led by Shoni's 14 and Nita's 13. The Cards were 4-15 from three-ball range.

HOW THEY  GOT THERE

UCONN 105 - Idaho 37   (Storrs, Ct.)
UCONN 77 - Vandy 44    (Storrs, Ct.)
UCONN 76 - Maryland 5o (Bridgeport, CT)
UCONN 83- UK 53           (Bridgeport, CT)
UCONN 83- Notre Dame 65  (New Orleans)

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Trying to figure out what to do before the game? The DISCOVERY FIT AND HEALTH Channel will show the documnetary "Off The Rez" at 6 p.m. tonight. It's a documentary about Shoni and the Schimmel's that traces her journey from Umatilla Reservation to Portland, Oregon.

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Louisville head women's basketball coach dropped a bombshell on the media during his pre-game media Q&A.

He's decided to leave Louisville.

Spurred on by the comments about his pink checkerboard "tablecloth" shirt, he has decided to become a waiter at Geno Auriemma's restaurant. Not just any waiter either. The best waiter and head waiter. You can catch the loquacious and sarcastic Walz at his best at the link below. It's around the 18:00 minute mark of the video.  

WALZ WAITS ON NO ONE

We've given the matter deep thought have decided to advise Coach not to sign the contract and take the job. First of all, he stutters. Food orders will get messed up and diners will end up with entrees they didn't originally order.

Secondly, Walz has a sarcastic streak. I might order the veal and he would probably 'bad talk' the dish, my selection and bring scallops instead. I could complain, but who would listen? He'd tell me that if I didn't like, I could leave.

Finally, we all know that Walz is easy to get along with if you do what he says. It's when people fail to do his bidding that they get in trouble. Restaurants are pressure-packed situations. Water refills, coordinating appetizers with salads and making sure the entree doesn't arrive at the table too early or late. Wine selections, pushing the special of the day or a dessert.

The whole tipping thing.

We can see Walz going ballastic on a diner that returns the salad, complains that the drink is too weak, claims he ordered the pasta when he receives the trout and keeps calling for "garcon" to cater to his every whim and complaint. Finally the head chef comes out of the kitchen, "T's" Walz up and puts him on dishwasher assignment.

If Walz is ready to change careers, we would gently suggest he be the lead pit mechanic at an instant oil change place. They have a pretty good game plan when they pull you into that bay and he likes it when people follow game plans. Also, not a lot of conversation when you're beneath the car removing the oil filter, oil pan nut and them putting them back on before the new oil is delivered.

Perfect.

We also surmise that Jurich will probably sit Walz down after the NCAA Tournament and discuss a new contract. That will probably keep Walz around.

After a few years, he can grab the wrenches (or wenches), put on the coveralls and pop on a VO-23 after draining the SAE-30 and hopefully not strip out the lug nut when returning it to the oil pan. Pressure under the clock. Precision.

Or just buy one and own it. He'll be able to afford it.

-Paulie

Tickets to the game!
Louisville native and WNBA star Kym
Hampton talks to fans
Cards celebrate the Cal win!
 


Sonja's favorite player A-Tayy at the
Men's Championship Game Watch Party!
Lookin' good #31 !











 

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8 comments:

  1. Not expecting a win (but hey, I didn't expect one against Baylor or Tennessee, either) but I am expecting a TEAM of outstanding young women to leave it all on the floor tonight. Win or lose I couldn't be prouder. Hope there's a lot of Cardinal red on the way from Atlanta to NOLA this morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We down to it now...as they say in the south...two teams ener, one team leaves a winner.

      Paulie

      Delete
  2. One title in the bag. One to go! Had a fun-filled day in NOLA. Did a little sight-seeing and tried to recover from Sunday's wildness. Enjoyed watching the game last night at Pat O'Briens with a couple of young ladies who I have become great friends with down here and the party afterwards. Not getting a lot of sleep down here. It's worth it. Not looking forward to my monthly VISA statement, but it's been worth it.

    Do I really have to leave here tomorrow? Go you Crazy Cards tonight!

    Curtis Franklin

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm sure you've seen where NCAA will not allow the university to get the mens' team to NOLA for tonight's game. Sure, technically speaking it's an "extra benefit" in that they couldn't/wouldn't do that for a regular student, but if the NCAA wanted to put its money where its mouth is as regards women's sports, they would OK this and make sure that the guys get on TV tonight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Jeff, Jenny and I have discussed on the radio show...the NCAA sure does love their rules and regulations.

      Paulie

      Delete
  4. I was wondering if the mens team was going to make it to NOLA, that is weak they wont allow this! Well, I hope they give it their all, sweat and tears till the end!!! Its the last DANCE!!! As we would say at the powwow CONTEST TIME! GIVE THEM THE BULLET!!! ONE MORE SONG!!! GIVE IT YOUR ALL!!! GO LOUISVILLE!!!!! SHOCKEM AGAIN!--UMATILLA23

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gonna either be the Bug or the Windshield. Go Cards!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Got the upset brewing. Trust in the mad scientist!

    ReplyDelete

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