Monday, March 27, 2017
A crazy day of hoops...Lacrosse falls at Northwestern -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
(The misery loves company Monday Morning edition of Cardinal Couple...where the Cats join the Cards on the couch to watch the
Men's final four and madness reigns in four games)
One of the best parts for me during the NCAA Tournaments is that several day stretch when 16 turns into four. No, I'm not introducing another Walzian Theorem to you and it isn't a new version of the Jimi Hendrix classic "If Six Were Nine" but when the Sweet Sixteen becomes a Final Four....it's a pretty special time of year.
Your Monday morning musical selection here: IF SIX WERE NINE
Sunday was a great day for watching hoops. It started off with seeing if the Brianna Turner-less Irish WBB squad could make the Dallas dance against Stanford. After one half, that answer appeared to be "Why, Certainly!" Notre Dame had a 14 point-lead, Elizabethtown star Erin Boley was getting rave reviews and her Mom national TV exposure and all was well in the Muffet McGraw locker room...seemingly. An 18-0 Irish run and one wondered if the Cardinal was going to end up like the Cardinals.
Someone forgot to cue the Cardinal in on the script. A 24-12 third quarter from Tara's terrors made this one a ball game again. A wild fourth quarter that ended up, so ironically, with...first... a lob pass into Alanna Smith for the go-ahead basket. a play that Stanford never tries if 6'5" Turner is on the court. Then, the Arike Ogumbowale fake and drive that ends up getting rejected by 6'3" Erika McCall to preserve the win. Why not take the jumper you've been nailing all game long?
From a 56% shooting first half to a 33% number in the final twenty. The Irish go home and the Trees head to Dallas.
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Switching over to the men's side. Florida vs. South Carolina. How many of you had those two playing in your office bracket. Yeah, thought so. Two SEC schools, a #4 seed and #7 seed.
Frank Martin. If you're not familiar with the Cocks' coach...get ready. This guy is a gem. He just might make the Final Four on the guys' side watchable. He's kind of a white collar, subdivision doppelganger of Syracuse's "Q".
Florida bombing threes in the first half. Seven of them. With the apparent ease of tossing oranges into a gathering basket. Like, the women's game before, though, you play all 40 minutes to determine a winner.
Florida misses all 14 attempts from beyond the arc in the final twenty. South Carolina goes inside..22 of their 26 buckets in the paint in the final 20. I couldn't help but wondering several things as the Gators sunk into the swamp...What Would Billy Donovan Do? How crazy would SEC fans would get if the Cats could get by "DadGummit Roy" and how did Duke and Baylor both manage to lose to South Carolina. Once again, that madness of March.
Two names to remember: South Carolina's Sindarius Thornwell and Maik Kolsar. Candidates for Worldwide's All-Name team, or a Tom Clancy action novel and the two main reasons that the South Carolina squad marches on with a 77-70 victory. The Gamecocks sank their final five free throws to secure the win. Florida had beaten USC 81-66 in a game 35 days ago. Ah, the madness of March...
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The Cats were up next in the sequence. They held a earlier season win over UNC. (Yup, we've heard this one before...) They got a career game out of Issac Humphries . They made three threes in the the last minute. Malik Monk with the three to tie. Pandemonium next door at my neighbor's (who had a Big Blue watch party that I was invited to but politely declined). Then, stunned silence and a few minutes later...a girl staggering out of the front door and puking in my taxus bushes. (No, not at the game...next door, again). Thanks. Probably great fertilizer, right? At least she didn't fall into them...
Luke Maye goes Cool Hand Luke, Luke Skywalker...even Luke Hancock and nails the jumper. Nails the door shut on UK advancing. Nails a berth for the ACC in the Final Four and nails to the wall another example of why they play the game.
Cats up by five with five to pay. Tar Heels up by five with two to go. CBS is calling it an instant classic. That moniker may vary depending on what part of the country you live in.
Sit down and grab a seat on the couch, Wildcats. The Big Blue Mist just sunk into the Mississippi River. Oh, wait a sec...not that couch! Lexington news reports that numerous t-shirts, a television and a couch were burned in the streets last night. Here's a little video below that shows some of the post-game UK fans antics. (I just love the girl dancing about 15 seconds in!)
LINK HOW BOUT DEM KATS?
"Bring out the couch!" (Somewhere, a former UK and NFL quarterback by the same name is still hiding in an undisclosed basement...unwilling to emerge).
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While the silliness is going on in the streets of Lexington...in Oklahoma City there is work being done. Kim Mulkey's Bears and looking to send Mississippi State's Bulldogs to the doghouse.
We'll be polite and just say that this one was a lot closer than the Cards effort against Baylor. And, hello and we love you, Morgan William! Mississippi St. fighting tooth and nail against Baylor. Leading the Bears by three at the half. Kim Mulkey bringing out all her best dance moves, facial expressions and favorite howls and screams for this one.
A one-point lead for the Bulldogs after three and down to the wire we go! Little mighty-mite Morgan ties it at 75-75 with 25 seconds left in regulation and both teams miss chances to win it. Extra ball!
And...strictly no contest in those five minutes. Say it again. Morgan William.
41 points from the diminutive guard that had 14 made threes on the season before this game. Add six more to that total. Ten points in the fourth quarter and 12 in O.T. Playing on the day after that...three years ago...her father died. The feel-good story of this women's tournament...by far.
A 5'5" guard. Qualifies for our "Attack Yorkie" designation and a game from her that all attack Yorkies everywhere can proudly point. School and SEC scoring records for an NCAA Tournament game.
"Give the little gal a chance!" YES! That one was for you...Shelby Harper, Jessica Laemmle, Dana Evans and Taylor Johnson and all guards 5'6" or shorter.
Baylor goes bye-bye.
Kim Mulkey may have summed it up best:
"That one girl kicked our butts. I knew we were in trouble when they started banking in threes at the start of the game."
Yorkie Power. Expect the unexpected.
Vic Schaefer and Frank Martin at the same party? Forget about it...way out of control. Invite the dancing UK girl and turn up the radio.
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LACROSSE FALLS TO NORTHWESTERN
Louisville Lacrosse loses 12-8 to Wildcats
#14 Northwestern scored the final five goals in the contest to erase a 8-7 Louisville lead and take the match in Evanston., IL. Kellie Young explains:
" This was a tale of two halves. We executed our game plan in the first half and played well as a team. The second half was a different story. We have work to do. "
Hannah Koloski had four goals in the Cardinals' loss while the Wildcats benefited from five different plays with two goals each. Louisville got goals from Madison Hoover and Meghan Siverson to break a 3-3 tie in the first half and take a two goal lead to the locker room.
The Wildcats responded with four goals to open the final session and grab a 7-5 lead. Louisville battled back...Koloski scored twice and Ashley Lynch found the net to put the Cards back in charge 8-7 with 11:36 remaining. The Cards would not score again.
Five losses in a row to Northwestern...going back to 2012.
Louisville (9-4) returns to action on April Fools Day for a Saturday 1 p.m. ACC contest at Virginia Tech.