CARDS WBB LOOK TO KEEP DANCING AGAINST NORTHWESTERN
The University of Louisville women's basketball squad will look to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA WBB Tournament today when they face the Northwestern Wildcats. Game time is 5 p.m. ET and Louisville will be back in the AlamoDome in San Antonio. The action is on ESPN2 this afternoon, as well as on Cards Radio 790 AM WKRD.
What will Jeff Walz's squad face today in second round action?
Northwestern comes into the game as the #7 seed in the Alamo region and advance to the next round with a 62-51 win over Central Florida. It continued a season that saw the Wildcats make the Big Ten semifinals for the first time in five years. Northwestern was 16-8 in the regular season and 11-7 in conference play. They made the tournament despite a 85-52 shellacking by Maryland in the Big 10 semis.
The Wildcats are a guard-oriented attack squad. Lindsey Pulliam and Veronica Burton are the main two threats. Burton, a 5'9" junior guard, was named 2021 Big Defensive Player of the Year and she also led the Wildcats in scoring at a 16.3 clip a contest. She's also the main three-point threat for the Wildcats, hitting 37 out of the 122 she's attempted. Pulliam, a 5-10 senior guard, was selected to the All-Big Ten second team. She averages 16.0 points a contest and had 25 points against Central Florida in the first round of tournament action. That was a bounce back from her one-point effort against Maryland in the Big Ten semifinals.
Besides Pulliam and Burton, the Wildcats also regularly start Jordan Hamilton and Sydney Wood. They went seven-deep against the Golden Knights last time out, Paige Mott getting the start but playing just 11 minutes.
Northwestern is not a tall team. Freshman Anna Morris is 6'3" but plays just 10 or so minutes a night and averaged 2.1 points an affair. Northwestern is not a strong rebounding team -- opponents out-grabbed them by three over the course of the season. UCF had a 39-24 advantage over them on the boards.
The teams had no common opponents this season, Northwestern did face Indiana and fell to the Hoosiers 74-61. They did beat Iowa and Caitlin Clark twice, though...77-67 and 87-80. Michigan, who has advanced to the round of 16, played the Wildcats three times and beat them twice.
|(Winner gets to advance to Mouseville?)|
If Louisville can avoid the slow start that hindered them against Marist, and establish a viable post-presence against the Wildcats, they should take this contest this afternoon. If not, we could see the five-guard, under 6-foot contingent that rallied the Cards to the drubbing over Marist. In any event, it should be a good one and let's hope UofL is up to the challenge.
NCAA WBB RESULTS/SCHEDULE
Eight teams advance yesterday to the Sweet Sixteen. Stanford, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan, Baylor and NC State all are still dancing. The ACC lost Virginia Tech as a participant, though, the Baylor Bears showed no mercy on Kenny Brooks squad yesterday.
In games today, besides the Cards vs. Northwestern match-up, we'll see #13 seed Wright State face off against #5 seed Missouri State at 1 p.m. Alabama tries to slow down Maryland at 1 p.m. also. Oregon and Georgia do battle at 3 p.m., Texas takes on UCLA in the 9 p.m. nightcap. IU goes against Belmont at the same time Louisville is playing (5 p.m.) #11 seed BYU tries to stay alive against Arizona with a 7 p.m. start and Iowa State will face the second-seeded Texas A&M Aggies at 7 p.m..
Shame that IU and UofL go at the same time, but that's how it works. It's also sad that they can't stagger these starts so games arent' on top of each other. I was speaking with a Cardinal Couple regular reader last night and he proposed that they start action at noon with a game. Then, go with a starts every hour after that -- your final game would tip at 7 p.m. and viewers wouldn''t have to do as much channel switching. Of course, if you're like our Jared Anderson and Daryl Foust, you have multiple viewing devices in operation and track the action that way.
Maybe it's because I'm an old guy and don't stay up past 11 p.m. much anymore, but I was yawning and becoming disinterested in the two late affairs between Stanford vs. Oklahoma State and UConn and Syracuse last night. I felt bad for the Orange and Coach Q -- they just got handled by the Huskies.
How about families with kids? How about the young women trying to watch their heroes -- who might want to watch a UConn, Louisville or Texas A&M but have to hit the sack because of an early morning wakeup ahead? It's time the NCAA addressed this as well, get the games started no later than 8 p.m. and avoid overlaps as much as possible.
CARDINAL COUPLE NCAA WBB PICK "EM"
Much to my surprise, I have emerged to the top of the Pick 'Em standings.
Surely this travesty will not stand and I fully expect to plunder back down the ladder as games are played. Without verification from our Bracket Czar Jared, here's the standing the way I see them with our 20 participants. If I'm wrong, I'm sure he'll let me know.
33-7 Callie, Kenny S.
31-9 Worldwide Jeff , Jason
30-10 Bracket Czar, Arthur
29-11 Vivian, Kstarksr, Sonya, Nole, Clemson Cuz, Bea
28-12 Blue Lou, Case
27-13 Nick O
24-16 Joe Hill
20-20 The Cardinal Couple Chimps.
Best of luck to all today in the eight games!