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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Elite Eight Edition

Louisville v Maryland

Louisville has a tall order ahead of them tonight.  OK, maybe we're favored to win, but Maryland is a tall team.  With three players listed at 6'4" or taller, while we only have one in Sheronne Vails...and she's not dressing.

Photo by Charlie Springer -
The bigger threat, however, comes from 6'2" Alyssa Thomas, the do-everything senior forward out of Harrisburg, PA.  Thomas is coming off of a double-double, with 33 points and 13 rebounds against a somewhat lethargic looking Tennessee team Sunday afternoon.  If there's any upside, Thomas was just about the only player on the floor that looked like she was playing high level basketball.  The downside is that comments near our seats were that she was being talked about as a number 1 WNBA draft pick, and she looked fully worthy of that high accolade.  That having been said, other players on Maryland's team contributed and score a number of points, but Thomas is clearly the driver of the team.

Photo by Charlie Springer - UofL
Maryland and Louisville have matched up twice previously, both NCAA tournament games.  The first was a Louisville win in the 2009 run to the championship game, while the last was in 2012 on Maryland's home floor in a second round game.  In the previous matchup, Shoni Schimmel narrowly missed a double-double, scoring 22 points with nine rebounds, along with six assists.  Other contributors were Bria Smith with 12 points, Asia Taylor with 6 and Shawnta' Dyer with 17.  The Cards are without the services of Shawnta' Dyer this year, of course, but have plenty of other significant threats.

Jeff Walz has said he hopes for 14,000 fans at the KFC Yum! Center, but Nita Slaughter one-upped him by calling for 20,000.  Tickets are available in the upper bowl for $10, while the lower-bowl is technically sold out, I suspect there are plenty available on the secondary market from disappointed Tennessee fans.


The winner faces Notre Dame...who shook off a close first half to send Kim Mulkey and Baylor home. Some concern, perhaps, for the senior Natalie Achonwa suffered a knee injury during the game and her status for the Final Four was not available as we posted today's article.

Much has been made about Kim Mulkey's outlandish outrage and technical last night. It is not surprising to Cardinal fans...we got a classic Mulkey performance last year in the first round of the regional in Oklahoma.

Time to go home, Monkey...and plant flowers or follow your son's baseball pursuits. Don't let the door hit you in the a$$ as you leave Nebraska...

In the other Elite Eight contest, UConn shook off a benched Brianna Stewart in the first half to eliminate Gary Blair and the Texas A&M Aggies.

These two await the winners of tonight's games. In addition to the Louisville v Maryland tilt...Stanford looks to advance against North Carolina.

Louisville is home to the Kentucky Derby. Maryland home of the Preakness...two of the races in horse racing's triple crown.

If Louisville advances (and I'm predicting they do) they would be the closest terms of Nashville and the FINAL FOUR. A short 2 1/2 hour drive down I-65. Notre Dame backers can take the I-65 route also...a 7 hour trek. UNC fans...if they pull the upset over Stanford...merely have to get on I-40 and head west for eight hours. Stanford fans, if driving, should leave Wednesday.

UConn fans are advised to stay home. The border is closed at the Ohio River and we won't let you into Kentucky. That distance is 850 miles. My guess is about 16 hours. I drove from Louisville to Hartford several years ago in 13 hours.

We'll have full post-game coverage here at CARDINAL COUPLE.


Schimmel Honors

Shoni Schimmel was named a United States Basketball Writer's Association All American.  This honor is added onto a second team All-American selection by ESPNW and a Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-Region 1 selection.  At the conference level, Shoni was tabbed for the All-AAC first team and the conference tournament team.

Maryssa Becker Honors

Maryssa Becker, the freshmen pitcher/first-baseman out of Medford, OR earned the AAC Pitcher of the Week honors.  On the strength of her performance in a double-header against DePaul where she pitched a shut-out in an 8-0 run rule victory in the first game, in the second game, Becker came in as a reliever for 7 innings to get the 7-3 win.

While it doesn't come into play for Pitcher of the Week honors, Becker is also an excellent batter, and when she isn't pitching, typically plays first base.

Brittany Duncan, the slugging transfer from Valporaiso, was named to the weekly honor roll.  She got tabbed for the honor based on hitting .400 for the week including 3 hits and 4 RBIs in the second game of the DePaul double-header.  Overall, she's hitting .366 with 25 RBIs.  If you take a trip out to Ulmer, you'll find Duncan on base far more than these numbers would indicate, however, as she tends to accumulate lots of walks from pitchers seemingly afraid to pitch to her.

Louisville ran into tough competition over the weekend in Houston...dropping all three to the American Athletic Conference opponent.

Lacrosse cracks the Top 20...again

In the latest Women's Lacrosse polls, our team cracked the Top 20 again.  After a 14-13 win over 14th ranked Georgetown, The Cards are being recognized by the Brine Division I media poll, the ILWCA coaches poll, and the Lacrosse Magazine poll.

As part of the effort, Kaylin Morissette earned Player of the Week based on her three goals and an assist, but mostly on her school tying...with her own record...11 draw controls.  She also has set the single season draw control record for UofL, with nearly a third of the season left to go.

Lacrosse takes the field again on April 6th...when they travel to Cincinnati to face an AAC foe. It's the first of three on the road for Kellie Young's net carriers...they'll also visit Temple (April 11th.) and Villanova (April 13th.).

Latest Cardinal Couple Radio Broadcast now archived

The Saturday show featured Paulie and Charlie Springer live and Jeff via phone. It's a the link below

Charlie, Paul and Jeff...oh, my!



  1. I see that K. Mulkey has not changed. At this point it is her team, assistant coaches and water persons all trying to hide her childish displays of temper tantrums. Absolutely there were questionable or wrong calls but not to the specific detriment of either team as Baylor had only one player foul out and that was late in the game.

    What was most troubling was that players on her team were starting to mimic her outrage.

    In contrast MM displayed sone class.

  2. "For recreational purposes only"...Cardinals favored by 5 1/2.

    Based on what I saw Sunday, the winner will be the team that takes better care of the basketball. Both teams like to run, and a live-ball turnover will often result in a 3-on-2 or 2-on-1 at the other end.

    Give Thomas 30 and 13 and shut down her teammates.

    Cardinal bigs need to stay in the game. No early fouls.

    Let's rock the Yum! tonight.

  3. Hearing reports that Natalie Achonwa has been diagnosed with an ACL tear in her left knee. Means her college career is done.

    1. Yeah, I am worried too for Natalie. She is a tough gal and I am sure she's gonna come out of it with flying colors.

  4. We have two sets of tickets to the Final Four at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. They are in Section 224, Row B, Seats 8 and 9. There are four tickets in all--two for semifinal and two for championship game. Will sell at face value of $87.50 each (total of $350). Will ship within 24 hours by whatever carrier you specify; I will pay the shipping cost. Contact Phil Hyatt at (865) 693-5527 or by email at

    Good luck tonight, Cardinal fans! Phil Hyatt


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