FIRST SEVEN ACC CONTESTS WILL BE A MAJOR TEST FOR WBB CARDS
The ACC looms...
Now done with a successful non-conference slate, the University of Louisville women's basketball squad sets their sights on ACC play. a conference that has talent galore this season. A conference aiming at the top two (UofL and NC State) and lay claim to a regular season title that is owned by someone other than the schools in Raleigh or Louisville.
Our Cards will play their first seven games in the ACC in a mere 22 days, three in the friendly confines of the KFC YUM! Center and four on the road. From Boston College to Miami with a few stops in between. Six opponents (Boston College is in there twice) with a combined record of 53-18. Three in the top 25. All with one goal in mind, to take down a top three team in DI NCAA WBB and get a season-building "W". As Jeff Walz has said more than once: "You don't get a night off in ACC play." With this year's parity the best it's been in some time in the conference, those words ring true this season.
The "second season" starts Thursday night when Baldwin the Eagle beings his Boston flock to the KFC YUM! Center. A B.C. squad currently at 8-3. The Eagles fell to undefeated North Carolina last time out, the loss to Boston University a bit of a head scratcher -- especially after Georgia Tech beat BU by almost 30 -- biut the Eagles do have talent and thr league's third leading scorer in Taylor Soule Jared will break this one down more tomorrow, just know that the Eagles return four talented starters from last year and a impressive 6'3" freshman center in Maria Gakdeng who is a board crasher.
The Cards head to Atlanta on Sunday January 2nd. to take on Nell Fortner's Yellow Jackets. They are 10-2 currently and have an impressive win over UConn in their resume. Stumbles against Auburn and Purdue in games that could have gone either way. A top 25 struggle against in-state rival Georgia that they won in Athens by one. This one won't be easy for the Cards --they've had close one's in McCamish Pavilion before, though. (Remember Myisha's game-saver a couple of years ago?)
Pitt comes to town Sunday January 6th. Thr Panthers are 9-4 with two ACC losses already, but losing to Texas A&M, South Dakota, NC State and Notre Dame aren't exactly program crushing, unexpected losses. They've also got Jayla Everette, Amber Brown and Dayshanette Harris back from last year-- three quick guards who can fill it up in a hurry.
Sunny Miami beckons January 9th and Sebastian the Ibus and his big winds are 7-3 this year. Top 10 Indiana and Maryland have handed the 'Canes two of their losses. Kelsey Marshall leads Katie Meyer's squad in scoring and the Hurricanes have been in the unenviable position of having their last two games cancelled (against Duke and North Florida because of COVID protocols.
The Cards bring the "Q"-less Syracuse Orange to downtown Louisville on Sunday Jan 13th, an Orange squad that sits at 8-4 and has a win over top 25 Ohio State and who thrashed Clemson by 40. It's a whole new look for the Dome dwellers -- seven new players on the roster but interim head coach Vonn Read has got them playing sound basketball as of now and Read has a wealth of prior assistant coaching stints -- including UK and the WNBA and NBA.
After another Boston College match (at Boston this time) on January 16th, the Cards go to Raleigh for a Sunday January 20th tilt against Wes Moore and his Pack. Yes, the Pack is touchable -- losses to Georgia and South Carolina prove that, but they also have wins over Indiana and Maryland. Cunane, Perez, Brown-Turner, names we've come to know over the past couple of years, add in a sparkling transfer in Diamond Johnson and a deep bench...there is plenty to smile about in WolfPackLand.
It'd be nice to write an article here on Jan 21st. about a 17-1 Louisville women's basketball team, but I'm not holding my breath....two very tough road tests await...as well as other tough tests against experienced teams ahead. But, it should be a lot of fun and let's hope our Cardinals returned from Christmas Break with some drive, spirit and desire.that it's going to take that this year in the Atlantic Coast Conference,