Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Women's Basketball Top 16, Walz Rumors and ACC Tournament Thoughts -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
ENTER THE CARDINAL COUPLE ACC "PICK 'EM" CONTEST.
DETAILS AT THE END OF TODAY'S COLUMN
WBB CARDS NOW SECOND ON THE #1 SEED LINE
Yep, the NCAA has been revealing and taking sneak peeks again. Before your dig out the shotgun or call Andy and Deputy Fife, not to worry, they are just revealing their top 16 in women's college basketball for the second time.
And, there have been a few changes since the first reveal. Mississippi St. and Oregon are off the #1 seed line, because of recent losses. That #1 seed line is now Baylor, Louisville, UConn and Notre Dame. Which makes sense. I've been saying all season long that west coast hoops is week and Oregon will not be, in my opinion, leaving whatever region they end up in to visit Tampa in April.
Stanford and Iowa make up the other two schools on the #2 seed line. Sure. Whatever. Another two squads that can book a flight back to campus when the regionals are finished.
I see five teams, maybe six if you include my long-shot Miami, as "Tampa worthy" and in the running for the Final Four. The Cards, Notre Dame, UConn, Baylor and Mississippi State are my top contenders. Anyone else is just fooling themselves, you and the media that promotes them.
The rest of the reveal (Woo! Hoo! Just what we've been waiting for)...
NC State, Maryland, Oregon State and South Carolina
Miami, Iowa State, Syracuse and Texas A&M.
Five ACC schools in the top 16. As we all know, the ACC is the best conference in women's basketball and deserving of the rankings. Charlie Creme? Yeah, I guess he has another Bracketology babbling out there somewhere. You go find it, I'm not interested.
DRAGGING OUT THE "WALZ IS LEAVING" PONY AGAIN
I'm 99% sure Jeff Walz has no intentions of taking any possible head coaching job at the University of Tennessee. That includes women's basketball, tennis, bobsledding or forming a lacrosse team.
The death knoll bell continues to ring for Holly Warlick down in Knoxville and Walz's name is being bandied about with others (Katie Meyer - Miami, Wes Moore - NC State, Carol Owens, Scott Rueck, Daffy Duck, Gene Hackman and Barack Obama). The insufferable, old belief that Tennessee women's basketball is still a relevant program in a viable conference continues despite evidence to the contrary.
Hey, maybe Matthew Mitchell will get the position!
The question is...will Phil Fulmer, Vols A.D...do the deed at the end of this year or give Holly, by golly, one more year to repair the leaks, straighten the main sail and scrape off the barnacles of the listing, sinking Tennessee ship?
Vols fans want changes now. The "coach after Pat" scenario has played out, per them.
I say...call Scotty Davenport. He is one of the most inspirational, motivated, caring and competitive men I have ever met. Jut another log to toss on the fire that is raging four hours from Louisville. I bet he could beat Vandy.
That 1% chance of Walz grabbing his Louisville Slugger bat and going elsewhere evolves from Vince Tyra somehow managing to not properly compensate the most successful coach on the UofL campus. Vince is a smart guy, has business sense and will, hopefully...do he right thing and reward Jeff for his remarkable accomplishments in his 12 years at Louisville.
Even the UofL board can surely see that it's time to "pay the man" what Geno, Kim, Dawn Staley, Vic Schaefer and Muffet McGraw are getting.
Go back to DefCon 1, Louisville WBB fans. Walz is busy trying to win an ACC Tournament and return to the Final Four. He has no time to be bothered by this inane speculation. I may just stop by Knoxville on my way back from Greensboro and buy a pair of orange pom-poms and they may find their way into Walz's office. No telling just what Paulie will do.
AN ACC TOURNAMENT ODDS CHART
Jared Anderson will give you the pre-ACC Tournament primer in tomorrow's column. Today, I'll preview Paulie's "unofficial" and speculative "winning the ACC Tournament" odds.
LOUISVILLE 1-1. Asia Durr, solid defense, the best coach in the ACC and motivation to repeat as the Tournament champs makes the Cards the favorite in Greensboro. As Paul Hornung used to say on his sports show many moons ago "Unbuckle on them". Bet the house.
NOTRE DAME 8-5. They do have a win over Louisville but one more regular season loss. They are faced with the aspect of possibly having to beat Miami in the semifinals and then play Louisville. That worked out poorly in the regular season and they ain't playing this thing in South Bend.
MIAMI 4-1. They are the lone team in the ACC that has beaten the Cards and the Irish. They also managed to lose to Clemson, NC State and FSU. Hof and Cornelius are dangerous, So is Mompremier, if her head is right. A good value play and forget the loss to NC State last out. Raleigh was so alive for that game, the Minnesota Lynx would have had a hard time going in their and winning.
NC STATE 8-1. Wes Moore has done a great job with these Wolves and they can play with anyone in the league if it's a up and down the court, fast break style of hoops. Good defenses can shut them down though. Maybe they should have settled for a #4 seed, since the Cards decimated them by 30 and could face them Saturday. Then again, Notre Dame beat them by 23. I'd pass on the bet.
FLORIDA STATE 20-1. If they can get by NC State on Friday and Louisville on Saturday and the stars are perfectly aligned and Jupiter is aligned with Mars and.....OK, you get the idea. An uphill climb for the Noles.
SYRACUSE 30-1. The "Q" has talent up north and they might knock off Miami to get to the semis. The train probably stops there, though. The odds on him being nattily attired and motivational on the sidelines are 1-9, though. The travelling "Q" is headed to the Boro
EVERYONE ELSE 50-1.
I'll be in Greensboro beginning tomorrow, hopefully through Sunday -- and will be Tweeting and adding to the boys' articles here with reports. I haven't decided on whether I am doing my regular Thursday column yet or not. If not, I'll add to whoever ends up with it. My Twitter account is:
Follow along for the adventures and chronicles of Paulie and his ACC Tournament Special Correspondent Tom Curley as they eat too much, watch all the games, put the Greensboro Police Department and Coliseum security officials on High Alert, and get lost and in trouble out on the mean streets of Greensboro
THE CARDINAL COUPLE ACC PICK 'EM
We invite you to participate in the Cardinal Couple ACC Tournament Challenge Pick 'Em.
14 games, 15 teams. Can you pick the most winners?
It's free and you can enter by putting your picks in the comments section here at Cardinal Couple. Or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I got an e-mail from....let's call this person Spanky...who wants to try and with their choice of a $25 Panera or Cracker Barrel card with the best pick record. To break ties, give us the total number of points scored in the final game. Here's "Spanky's" picks below:
Ist Round: Boston College, Virginia Tech, Duke
2nd Round: Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Florida State
Quarterfinals: Syracuse, Notre Dame, Louisville, Florida State
SemiFinals: Notre Dame, Louisville
Finals: Notre Dame
Total points: 147.
You can download a ACC Tournament bracket at:
Good luck and get those picks in by Wednesday, 1 p.m. Our Jared Anderson will be the "tournament judge" and any bribes you might send his way could get you a mulligan or two...just sayin' .
Good luck and do well.