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Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Cardinal Couple - Unfinished Business

MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

( JEFF MCADAMS BRINGS US THE NEWS THIS 3RD DAY OR MARCH...LOOKING AT THE UPCOMING UCONN VS. LOUISVILLE GAME TONIGHT AND SOFTBALL'S LACK OF GAMES THIS WEEKEND. PAULIE ALSO ADDS A PEP TALK.)


A Washout

All five games on Louisville Softball's schedule were a washout this weekend, and I mean that quite literally.

With southern California having received multiple inches of rain over the course of the weekend, there was no chance to get any of the games in this weekend.  Much of California has been suffering from a severe drought, and while this storm won't make up for it all, I'm sure that area of the country is thankful for the rain that they got in general.  Unfortunately, its a basically wasted trip for Louisville, and Northwestern.  The other three teams were all local, Cal State Fullerton, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara, so at least they didn't have to deal with the hassle of travel, but I'm sure they are also disappointed that no games got played.

Such is the way of things for outdoor spring sports, however.

The Cards return to the friendly, and hopefully dry, confines of Ulmer Stadium for five games in The Red and Black Classic.

The Main Event

Of course, the main news for the day is the Big Monday matchup between our women's basketball team and the UConn Huskies.
 

What can be said here that hasn't really been said before?  UConn is an amazing team, everyone knows that.  We've also talked about how the Walz crew will need to play a near-perfect game to take down the Geno machine.

UofL is coming off of a great road win up at Cincinnati that I had the opportunity to road-trip for.  I think this game made a great tune-up for our squad.  They looked loose, were making mostly good passes and were jumping passing lanes extremely well, and mostly were shooting well.

The Cardinals have been plagued nearly all year with some slow starts and the Cincinnati game wasn't an exception to this though the funk passed more quickly than usual.  We can hope that a (weather-permitting) crowd of more than 19,000, plus senior night, plus Native American Appreciation night (with road-trippers from across the country heading in to town to see the game), plus a nationally televised Big Monday game equals a better than typical start for the Cards.

The game starts at 7pm, and upper bowl tickets, for $5, are still available, but they are definitely getting in short supply.

The Stakes

So what is each team playing for and what's at risk for the teams?

UConn

Playing for

  • Sole possession of the regular season championship in The American Conference
  • Guaranteed first seed in The AAC tournament
If The Cards pull off the win tonight, we split the regular season championship with UConn, no other teams are in the running (Rutgers and USF are next, each with five losses and all other teams are sub-.500).  With a win tonight, the series between the two team would be a split, so the normal tie-breaker for first seed in the conference doesn't come into play and the #1 seed would be determined by a coin-flip.

At risk 

  • An undefeated season
  • #1 national ranking
Honestly, there's not much here.  A loss to a #3 ranked UofL team would probably be enough to knock the Huskies out of their long-held #1 ranking in the polls, but they surely won't descend very far.  They would probably drop behind the lurking, and also undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but would a loss to UofL drop them another spot and let The Cards move up into 2nd?  Its possible, but I remain skeptical.  Regardless of the outcome, there is very little doubt that UConn will remain a consensus #1 seed in the NCAA tournament unless they completely flame out tonight and in The AAC tournament.

Louisville

Playing for

  • A share of the regular season conference championship
  • A chance for the top seed in the AAC tournament
  • A demonstration proof that UConn can be beaten this year and that we're a team that can do it
  • A huge resume entry for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament
Where do we send the Thank You note in Knoxville?  Last night, Tennessee knocked off South Carolina in a bit of an upset, which will probably push them out of contention for one of the #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament.  That, combined with a good showing tonight against UConn and a good AAC tournament appearance could give us the resume we need to get a #1 seed and push UConn out to the Lincoln Region.

At risk

  • Not much, really
Not many people are giving The Cards (or much of anyone, really) a chance of beating UConn this year.  Our resume for the NCAA won't take a serious hit with a loss, and even just playing well and keeping the game close will give us credibility as a team that, given another shot or two at it, might be able to knock UConn off their perch.

JEFFMCADAMS


////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////


EDITOR'S NOTE:

TIME HAS COME TODAY. TIME FOR PUTTING AWAY SCOUTING REPORTS, GAME VIDS, POSITIONAL ANALYSIS AND PLAYER TENDENCIES. TIME HAS COME FOR REBOUNDING, BLOCKING OUT, SCREENS AND BALL FAKES.

IT ISN'T THE LARGEST, MOST IMPORTANT OR MOST RELEVANT GAME THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE WBB  TEAM HAS EVER PLAYED...BUT IT'S A DAMN FINE WAY TO START MARCH MADNESS.

THE BLANKET OF SNOW AND ICE THAT ENVELOPED LOUISVILLE SUNDAY NIGHT AND MORNING MORNING WILL MAKE THINGS A BIT TRICKY FOR FANS TREKKING TO THE KFC YUM! CENTER TONIGHT BUT REMEMBER THE BASICS...LEAVE EARLY, ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME AND DRESS WARMLY.

THIS BLANKET OF WINTER THAT GRIPS OUR AREA IS ALSO SYMBOLIC IN A FASHION. THESE INVADERS FROM UCONN WILL FEEL RIGHT AT HOME IN THIS WEATHER. MOTHER NATURE HAS LAID OUT A WHITE, FROSTY WELCOME BLANKET FOR THE NATION'S BEST. STEF DOLSON MAY ALREADY BE SLEDDING DOWN CHEROKEE HILL. BRIANNA STEWART MAKING SNOW ANGELS ON TOP OF THE WITHERSPOON PARKING GARAGE. GENO BUILDING A SNOWMAN IN FRONT OF THE KFC YUM! CENTER. PARTY FAVORS FOR THE INVITED GUESTS.

YOU KNOW UOFL. THEY'RE THE PARTY CRASHERS. THE UNWELCOME GUESTS. EVEN IN THEIR OWN ARENA TONIGHT THEY'LL BE THE SECONDARY NATIONWIDE ATTRACTION TO THE SILENT, DEADLY AND EFFICIENT KILLING MACHINE THAT IS UCONN. THE BEAST HAS COME TO FEED AGAIN.

TIME TO RUIN ANOTHER PARTY. TIME TO DANCE WITH THE PROM QUEEN AND THEN TELL HER TO TAKE A WALK WHILE YOU TAKE THE TIARA, GRAB THE THRONE AND GET COMFORTABLE. DRINK FROM THE PUNCH BOWL. DOUBLE-DIP THE CHIPS.

TIME TO CONDUCT A LITTLE UNFINISHED BUSINESS.

FOR EVERY TIME THAT YOU'VE FOUND A STRAY $5 BILL IN THE JEANS YOU'VE JUST WASHED. FOR EVERY TIME YOU'VE MADE ALL THE GREEN LIGHTS ON YOUR CROSS-TOWN JOURNEY. FOR EACH TIME YOU'VE INSERTED THE DOLLAR AND GOT TWO SOFT DRINKS OR BAGS OF CHIPS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE...

LADY LUCK? HOW ABOUT WEARING A RED SHIRT TONIGHT AND LENDING A HAND?

GET LOUD. GET CRAZY. BE CARDINAL FANS TONIGHT. MAKE THE YUM RATTLE.

AND, KNOW THIS...LADIES. WIN OR LOSE, THIS CITY, THIS FAN BASE IS VERY PROUD OF YOU. GIVE 'EM A LITTLE BONUS AND GET THE "W".

GO CARDS.

paulie
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2 comments:

  1. "For Recreational Purposes Only"....

    UConn is a 19 1/2 point favorite.

    Wow!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's foolishness. We lose by 17 in Connecticut and they're getting another 2.5 points on our home court? Plus Creme drops WVU in the final #1 spot after SC loses to TN and blows us off. Not that his opinion matters all that much but just in case our Cards thought they were getting respect with their two loss season it's pretty clear that they've still got more wood to chop.

      Delete

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