Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Louisville women's basketball -- Selection Monday -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CARDS #1 SEED! WILL OPEN FRIDAY AGAINST BOISE ST.
The University of Louisville women's basketball team now knows the road ahead of them. And, it turned out just the way the Cards wanted...logistically. Louisville will open as a #1 seed in the Lexington Region and play their first two games in Louisville, opening Friday, March 18th at noon against #16 seed Boise State.
Also in the Louisville first and second round site are #8 seed Marquette and #9 seed Dayton. The winner of that matchup advances to play the Cards on Sunday at the KFC YUM! Center. Going two for two would advance the Cards to Lexington for action starting March 23rd.
A crowd of over 500 packed the Thornton's Academic Learning Center's fourth floor to witness Selection Monday with the team. A nice change of venue, with all the trappings...a free food line, cheerleaders, pep band and autograph tables lined with players. More on that later. A nice 300 seat auditorium to view the broadcast, too.
I represented Cardinal Couple at the event and arrived a little after the doors opened. Once inside the fourth floor, I found a pretty huge crowed already at tables and in chairs awaiting the show. Right away, I saw familiar faces and spent a brief period strolling through the crowd, speaking with people and just taking it all in. I picked Sam Purcell as my first interview and you can hear that one at this link:
SAM PURCELL SELECTION MONDAY
After my enjoyable chat with "Sammy P" I sought out the other "Sam" on the UofL coaching staff and did find Samantha Williams. She was surrounded by well-wishers, but after they slacked off a bit, I chatted with Samantha. Neither of the "Sam's" claimed any knowledge of the Central Florida Chimps Aerospace University (CFCAU), who I think might make a strong run in the "dance" and an institution that has approached me about a position as Floor Warden for Freshmen Scholarship Chimps. Here's Samantha (who was dressed stunningly) and the ol' Pauster. Here's that audio below:
SAMANTHA WILLIAMS SELECTION SUNDAY
I did consider another coaching interview, sisn't see any but saw my pal Lamont Russell hovering nearby and wanted to get a few words with the guy who "carries" the team. His graphic design and video coordinator work at Louisville is invaluable in helping the team prepare for opponents, and as a former DI basketball player, he also has a vast knowledge of hoops, the squad (his little sisters, per him) and can really "pick up" the players. (See photo).
Lamont and I had a great chat, I didn't probe too much into his occasional "picking up girls mid-game" and we talked about the event and team. Hear his words below:
LAMONT RUSSELL SELECTION MONDAY
Following Lamont Russell, I went to a fan who I know pretty well and I wanted to get a little fan perspective on the event. We decided to keep him "anonymous" and we chatted about the season, the Selection Show and a few other topics, as the players entered the big room and headed to a couple of long tables to sit and sign autographs. Here is anonymous fan:
ANONYMOUS FAN SELECTION MONDAY
I decided to get in line with those waiting for autographs after my talk with anonymous fan and while waiting to reach the tables, Jeff Walz grabbed the main microphone and talked a bit to the crowd.
Walz thanked the fans that were in attendance and went on to cover a lot more material with them...but the line was moving pretty quickly and I decided to cut these Walz remarks short, because I was getting closer to Dana Evans, first one seated at the table. Part of Jeff's opening remarks are below:
WALZ OPENING REMARKS
I decided to try something I thought might be fun, going through the autograph line and interviewing each player quickly as I progressed. It may be un-rivaled in interview history...it certainly was a madcap seven minutes... and I did have a 8x11 picture that was free and on the table of the team that each player signed as I strolled down the tables. You can hear my questions and the great responses here:
WALKING PLAYERS INTERVIEWS
After the dash through the players, I needed a moment to re-compose. After resting a bit and getting a quick beverage, I saw Walz surrounded by people and decided to see if I could get a bit more from Coach. He was gracious and chatted with me while he signed shirts and stuff. I appreciate his time and "exclusive".
Hear Coach's comments below:
WALZ ON THE SELECTION SHOW AND ACC.
It was time to go into the auditorium and see the selections. The seats were filled and I spent a little time with the media group, stationed behind the cameras, chatting with a couple of our occasional CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR guests Mike Gilpatrick and Daryl Foust. I also chatted with Howie Lindsey and decided to follow him to the entrance to the auditorium's seats. We were able to see the big screen, see the fans and players and watched the drawing there and I took a few of the pictures you see here.
Louisville has an interesting road to Columbus. In the Lexington bracket are also Stanford, Tennessee and Baylor. Several people I spoke with after the show was completed expressed concern about Mulkey's Bears and Kalani Brown. At least her dad...ex NBA'er Dee Brown...has no eligibility.
It's all about survival and advancement now.
Just survive somehow.
As I prepared to leave the facility, Walz got hold of the microphone again and thanked everyone for attending. He also made a heartfelt plea to the fans in attendance to get their tickets and bring a couple of friends. Louisville was been allotted 3500 tickets for rounds 1 & 2 and he'd like to see all those gobbled up by start of NCAA action.
Leaving the Learning Center, I had a sense of pride about the huge turnout I had just been a part of. It was a fun-packed two hours and I hope the University definitely considers this venue again. A lot of familiar faces and great fans. This program has a lot of love for it out there in our community and beyond and if most of our "media" is too short-sighted to see that on a regular basis, shame on them! Their loss. There were the TV Stations there last night, a few other journalists and website folks there to cover. I hope they stay with this team during their run. I hope many more jump on the bandwagon. Forget about all this "f@#$%&!" men's BB drama and back WBB!!!
Three tournaments of two games each. A simple but revealing way to look at the Cards March march. It's showtime, ladies and gents. Let the games begin.
It has to be good fortune that ROBBIE BARTLETT has been chosen to sing the National Anthem on Friday....right?
NCAA WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT "Pick-Em" CONTEST
You know who play who, where and when by now. Download a bracket, make your picks and join us in the Cardinal Couple Women's Basketball NCAA "Pick-Em" Challenge. We've got a $25 Panera Card for the winner and I'm working on a prize for runner-up as well. It's fun and simple. Be the envy of your friends and be a winner! Say you don't know much about WBB? Hey, neither do we! Enter anyway.
With Jared Anderson the analysis director of your picks, you can be assured of a comprehensive scoring reliability and frequent updates.
1) Make your picks.
2) Enter them in any comments sections here at Cardinal Couple from now until Friday.
3) In case of tie, earliest entry wins, so don't dally.
Here's an example of an entry. The CARDINAL CHIMPS went through a couple of blenders of banana smoothies to come up with their choices. They chose against Central Florida Chimps Aerospace University, since a few of them were indicated on taking fruit kickbacks and payoffs from zoo keepers and were expelled.
ROUND 1 PICKS: UConn, Miami, Belmont, Georgia, USF, FSU, California, So Carolina, Notre Dame, Villanova, Drake, LSU, Ohio St., Green Bay, Oregon, Miss. St, Syracuse, Princeton, NC St., Creighton, UCLA, Ariz. St., Texas, Louisville, Dayton, FGCU, Stanford, WKU, Tenn.,Michigan, Baylor.
THE SWEET SIXTEEN: UConn, Georgia, FSU, California, Notre Dame, LSU, Ohio St. Oregon, Syracuse, NC St., UCLA, Texas, Louisville, FGCU, Tenn., Michigan.
THE GREAT EIGHT: UConn, California, LSU, Ohio St. Syracuse, Texas, Louisville, Michigan
FINAL FOUR: UConn, Ohio St., Syracuse, Louiville.
THEN THERE WERE TWO: Ohio st., Louisville
Come along and join the fun!