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Monday, March 7, 2016

Catching Up and Commentary -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


ROAD WARRIOR RETURNS


First off, it's good to be back in the 'Ville after five days in the North Carolina. Not that there's anything wrong with NC...if you were following my tweets, you know I ate very well and had great fun (mostly) at the Greensboro Coliseum with the games, fans, security personnel, players and the folks that go into making up an event with this magnitude. 

The only awkwardness came when I couldn't get paper stats. And that was brief. I was able to get enough information on the ACC Live Stats link...but I'm an old guy who likes a sheet of paper in front of me. "Ms. ACC" disallowed it, but I managed to gather most of what I needed by other means.


I will comment that there is a "right" and "wrong" way to explain things and there is no need to belittle an old man who is a guest, unaware of the ACC's "stringent paper distribution" policy and who is just asking for a simple favor. If I'd been her boss, she'd be looking for employment today.

I logged almost 1200 miles on the venerable Ford Taurus on the trip down, around town and back. I slept really good last night after all that. Isn't it great to return to one's own bed after an extended absence? I managed to miss the snow in the West Virginia mountains, got no speeding tickets and had a great conversation with...let's just call him "drunk guy"...outside my hotel room Friday night when I returned from the quarterfinals. All in all, a nice excursion...except for the loss and early departure because of it. A special thanks to the CC and Greensboro Coliseum people who weren't "arena-dicks" and made my time there most pleasurable and informative. 



Louisville ran into a very hot team in Syracuse and guard play was the difference in the semi-final matchup. Walz indicated that the scout for the game wasn't followed and that the Cards weren't guarding well in the contest...but you do have to salute Syracuse's Quentin Hillsman for creating a successful game plan and his players for following it very well. When they needed the outside shot, they got open and hit it. They drove very well to the basket against the...at times...lackadaisical efforts of the Cards and grabbed some clutch rebounds at crucial junctures of the contest. 

The 11-2 game ending run was disheartening, no doubt, and Louisville made some key mistakes and forced shots to help effect it for the Orange. The bottom line has always been this...if you score the most points, you'll win the game and Syracuse's shot were dropping at the end...the Cards were challenged and not getting the ball through the hoop. 

Syracuse will be a challenging opponent for whoever gets them in the NCAA. "Q" has a hot streak rolling and if he can keep Peterson, Fondren and Butler sharp and productive...they could dance long into that NCAA Tournament night. 

It was mentioned to me that Walz was out-coached in the semis. I took exception to that. Yes, having Asia Durr throwing the ball in was maybe questionable but when a team goes 1-5 from the floor, commits foul fouls and two turnovers in the final 3:23...it's execution, not coaching. Syracuse did what they needed to. They made six free throws on six attempts in that time frame, got a huge three from Butler and defended well.

As John L. Smith said years ago, tear off the rear-view mirror and drive on. And, I'm sure that's what the Cards will do. Mariya's Moore's broken shot will get mended, Cortnee Walton's busted digit will have time to heal and Myisha Hines-Allen will continue to get stronger and more awesome. All good things as we wait for the Selection Show

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Not ReLAXing...


Lacrosse pulled off one of the biggest wins in program history Saturday when they took down Notre Dame 10-9 in overtime at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium. Kellie Gerding with her only score of the game gave the Cards the win over the #4 ranked Irish. 

Hey, we got a chance to beat Notre Dame at something this weekend, right? 


The LAX Cards are turning a few heads in the ACC and nationwide these days. Louisville is atop the standings at 2-0 and is 7-0 overall. They'll get a week's rest before heading to Durham and Duke on Saturday. 

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SOFTBALL CHALKS UP TWO WINS


Worldwide got to see a lot of softball over the weekend and perhaps he'll write or comment about what he saw later this week. The short of it is this: 

Louisville opened ACC play and went 2-1 against Georgia Tech out at Ulmer Stadium. The Cards won the rubber match 5-4 Sunday behind the clutch pitching of Maryssa Becker and her two RBI single in the bottom of the sixth provided the winning run. 


On Saturday, the Cards won 12-3 and lost 5-2 to the Techsters. 

The Hit and Pitch Cards host the Louisville Softball Classic beginning Friday. It'll be a bird battle in the first game with the Cards facing the Illinois State Redbirds. 

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I was a phone-in participant on our weekly CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR last Saturday and had fun talking with Worldwide and his special in-studio guest Jared Anderson. 

I haven't had a chance to listen to the re-broadcast yet but things seemed to go pretty well while I was on the air with the guys. I did leave them with about ten minutes left in the show...Miami and Notre Dame were getting ready to tip-off and the media refreshment stand was running out of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia...

The Soundcloud link for listening:

https://soundcloud.com/chradio/cardinal-couple-20160305


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AND THE WINNER IS: 


Beth P is the winner of the Cardinal Couple ACC Pick 'Em Contest with a 12-2 record. She and Nick O. were tied going into the final game...she had Notre Dame winning, he had Louisville. Her only incorrect picks were Florida State over Miami and Louisville over Syracuse. 

Beth, a self-professed dual fan of Louisville sports and Notre Dame sports, is victorious in her first-ever contest entry at Cardinal Couple. She found our site a couple of months ago on the recommendation of a friend she works with here in Louisville. 

Four contestants finished with 11-3 records. Thanks to all of you that participated and we'll do it again for the NCAA Tournament. 


paulie
xxxxx

11 comments:

  1. Glad you made it back safe and sound, Paulie. We were planning on making the trip but something came up last minute. Hope to make it next year. Some friends went and had lots of good things to say about the experience...except the last 3+ minutes, of course.

    Guard play was definitely the difference and, honestly, has been a weak spot all season. Not talking about scoring as much as on-ball defense and, to an extent, ball handling. As I've said a couple times, point guard play has to improve if the team is to take that next step forward. That may not happen this season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Cards fought back bravely to get that lead and I'm sure that if Walz could replay things over the last 3 minutes...he'd do a few things differently. Syracuse has three veteran and experienced guards in Peterson, Fondren and Butler and they simply out-played the Cards at the end.

      Someone mentioned to me that Louisville should have just keep feeding MHA at the end. Let her shoot or let them foul her. Maybe...but you had to get the ball to her and the Cards seemed to be having trouble executing that.

      Paulie

      Delete
  2. The contest was fun to follow and thank you cardinal couple for hosting it and the gift card. I love Panera and will choose that one. I'll be back for your NCAA Pick 'Em.

    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'll be back, too, and congratulations Beth on winning.

    Nick O.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just a follow up on the stats..only five contestants finished under .500 in the contest. The Selection Show is March 14th for NCAA WBB and we'll open up the Cardinal Couple NCAA Pick 'Em the next day.

    Same prize...either a $25 gift card to Panera or Cracker Barrel. I've also got a can "coozie" of Azura Stevens that the Duke SID folks were handing out to the media. I'll award that to someone, maybe the last place finisher.

    FYI, this contest's last place finisher was Tommy Boy, who went 3-11. He hung his hopes on UNC and Virginia. I'll probably send him the stat sheets from their losses. Or my media parking pass for the tournament.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete
  5. Paulie good point on us unable to use MHA in final minutes. The killer was that 3 pointer by Btanna Butler from the top of key. They executed screens beautifully on that and it got them from down 4 to just down a point. Give her credit for hitting that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was that the play when we were up by four, where we couldn't secure the rebound, they got the ball out to Butler, and she knocked it down?

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    2. The sequence was us up 73-69 after a layup and free throw by Durr. Syracuse came down, set a couple of ball screens and flashed Butler out for the three. No one followed and she drained it. It was 73-72. Durr made a turnover and they set Butler up for another three which missed...but Fondren was there for the rebound, was fouled by Cole and hit two free throws that gave them the 74-73 lead.

      Paulie

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    3. Dang that's good play by play Paulie!

      Delete
  6. Guess what player led the team with the best 3 point shooting percentage this year? She was the only player to average over 40%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be the lovely and talented Ms. Carter. What an improvement from the deep from last season. Although she isn't the Cards prime threat from three-point range, she has shown that she can drill them this season.

      Paulie

      Delete

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