FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Cards face Idaho in NCAA 1st round
- Cardinal Couple Pick Em for NCAA WBB still open
With UofL WBB playing their first game of the NCAA Tournament Sunday at 5:30 p.m., I decided to spring a pop quiz on a few people about the Cards first opponent...Idaho. Three of them follow WBB pretty closely. The other two are more MBB fans.
You can play along, too.
1) What is the University of Idaho's nickname?
a) The Bengals
b) The Vandals
c) The Potatoes
d) The Bears
2) What conference do they play in?
3) Which isn't a city in Idaho?
So, how did you do? If you chose "B" for each answer, you're a stinkin' genius. Out of the five people I posed this quiz to...no one got all three correct.
One guy missed all three. He's a CatFan, go figure.
Sonja went 1-3...but only because she's been to Casper and knows it is in Wyoming.
So...let's look at these Idaho Vandals, from Moscow, ID who played in the WAC. (And who decided on and how did Vandals develop as the nickname?)
They didn't do bad...going 15-1 in conference play and winning the conference tournament 75-67 over Seattle. The Vandals were 25-8 overall...with losses to Gonzaga, San Diego, California, Montana, E.Washington, Wyoming, Texas and Cal State Bakersfield. Three of those teams (Zags, Cal and Texas) are in the women's Big Dance.
The Vandals were repeat champs in the WAC and faced UConn in last year's NCAA Tournament. Even without Breanna Stewart, the Huskies had no problems with Jon Newlee's squad. The Vandals won the opening tip and it went downhill from there.
Stacey Barr, a 5'8" junior guard, leads the Vandals with 18.7 ppg. She is second in rebounding with 7.8 a contest. She's a starter...along with:
Alyssa Charleston 6'1" senior forward 14.4 ppg
Christine Salvatore 5'11" soph guard 10.7 ppg
Ali Forde 6'2" soph post 9.7 ppg/7.9 reb
Connie Ballestero 5'9" senior guard 7.3 ppg
The Vandals do have a 6'5" freshman center (Negra Solo) who has dressed each game but is red shirting.
Idaho does have a bit of an international flair...with players from Bosnia, Melbourne (Austrailia), Norway and Spain.
The three point threats....and the Vandals DO love the trifecta, with 862 attempts this season...26 a game...are Salvatore (89-269) and Barr (77-250). UofI averages 73.8 ppg, while holding opponents to 73.8 per contest. The Vandals grab 43.2 boards a night, their opponents 40.6
So how does all this translate out for a threat to Louisville?
The Vandals are quick, defensive-minded and love the deep ball. They're not a big squad, but Forde in the post will battle you all night long. Barr pumped in 28 points in the tournament win over Seattle...had 78 in three games and was the WAC Tourney MVP. With no quality wins on their schedule...and getting hammered by 29 vs. Texas...handling Louisville's talent, accuracy and pressure defense could be a very tall order for the Vandals.
Shoni should be able to do pretty much whatever she wants against the Idaho guards. Sara and Asia shouldn't have much trouble getting grabs inside and if Nita and Tia are hot early from beyond the arc...it should probably be over at halftime.
Coach Walz warns that you never overlook an opponent and that this time of year is survive and advance. The Cards take care of their first stop on the Unfinished Business trip by a wide margin.
The Vandals won't steal this one.
Oh, and the answer to the query about how the Vandals became such?
Don't use your dictionary to find Idaho's definition of a Vandal. No, Idaho's student-athletes go by a name earned nearly a century ago by a basketball team coached by Hec Edmundson, whose teams played defense with such intensity and ferocity that sports writers said they “vandalized” their opponents.
All righty, then.
I still prefer "Potatoes". THE SPUDS ARE ON THE COURT. All eyes upon them as they attempt to mash another opponent. It's baking here in arena...
It's been a rather slow-to-react entry pattern for contestants in the CARDINAL COUPLE WBB NCAA Pick 'Em Contest. Just 10 entries as of 7 AM Friday Morning. We are giving a CARDINAL COUPLE T-Shirt away as first prize...so, what are you waiting for? As promised, last year's winner Sonja has her picks listed below. You can leave your choices in the comments section or e-mail them to us at:
UCONN, GEORGIA, NC ST, NEBRASKA, GONZAGA, TEXAS A&M, OKLAHOMA, DUKE, SOUTH CAROLINA, OREGON ST, MICHIGAN ST, NORTH CAROLINA, DAYTON, PENN ST, IOWA ST, STANFORD, NOTRE DAME, ARIZONA, OKLAHOMA ST, PURDUE, SYRACUSE, KENTUCKY, CALIFORNIA, BAYLOR, TENNESSEE, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, PENN, MARYLAND, IOWA, LOUISVILLE, LSU, WEST VIRGINIA.
FROM 32 TO 16
UCONN, NEBRASKA, TEXAS A&M, DUKE, OREGON ST, NORTH CAROLINA, PENN ST, STANFORD, NOTRE DAME, PURDUE, KENTUCKY, BAYLOR, TENNESSEE, MARYLAND, LOUISVILLE, WEST VIRGINIA
THE GREAT EIGHT
UCONN, DUKE, OREGON ST, STANFORD, NOTRE DAME, BAYLOR, TENNESSEE, LOUISVILLE
UCONN, STANFORD, NOTRE DAME, LOUISVILE
UCONN, NOTRE DAME