Louisville Crushes Texas, Advances to the Sweet Sixteen
For the sixth straight NCAA Tournament, Louisville women's basketball is headed to the Sweet Sixteen! The Cards took down host Texas 73-51.
While there was plenty to celebrate, it was the postgame handshake that sparked controversy. It wasn't a case of Jeff Walz not talking to Muffet McGraw. In fact, this altercation didn't involve him at all. Hailey Van Lith was stopped by Texas' Sonya Morris and tv cameras caught part of it. Many tried to lip-read what Morris said and the consensus seemed to be that she said something along the lines of "honorable mention", referring to Van Lith being an honorable mention All-American (if that is what was actually said).
Either way, it appeared that a handful of Louisville players picked up it and were not a fan of the comment. We do not have confirmation on what was actually said. Hailey's post-game comments about the delay in the handshake line were pretty general and did not specifically address Morris being an asshole.
Here's the ball game recap:
1Q: Louisville 16, Texas 16
The Cards raced out of the gate on a 7-0 with three different players logging a basket. It took Texas three and a half minutes before they logged a basket and got onto the scoreboard. The Longhorns did cut Louisville's lead to three before the media timeout. The Cards pushed the lead back to five before Texas used a 7-2 run to close out the quarter. Despite a rough 1-5 from three-point range, the Cards were tied with the host Longhorns
2Q: Louisville 37, Texas 23
Defense was the name of the game in the second quarter for the Cards, as they limited Texas to seven points. Louisville jumped out to a 9-0 run, including back-to-back baskets by Josie Williams, and forced Texas to burn a timeout. The Longhorns did cut Louisville's lead down to five before the Cards pushed it open to a double-digit lead that ended with a pair of free throws from CC Carr to go into the half.
3Q: Louisville 56, Texas 35
While Louisville was able to extend the lead to 16, Texas then began chipping away and got it back to single-digits midway through the quarter. Then, the Louisville defense stepped in. The Cards held Texas to four points over the final 5:29 of the quarter while going on 16-4 run to close out the period.
|(Should I go start the bus?)|
4Q: Louisville 73, Texas 51
Understanding that they were one quarter away from a trip to the Sweet Sixteen, the Cards had all the motivation they needed and opened up the final quarter with six quick points for a 27-point lead, the biggest lead of the game. The absence of having a killer instinct and being able to put opponents away had been something Louisville struggled with this season. Well, not this time. Louisville never let Texas get closer than within 22 points the rest of the way.
Louisville struggled to shoot the deep range shot, going 3-13 from three, but excelled in many other areas. Texas is a team known for its size but the Longhorns were limited to just four blocks. The Cards also won the rebounding battle 42-34. Louisville dominated down low with a 38-20 points in the paint advantage.
UofL limited their turnovers to just 10 and excelled in transition with 13 fast break points. The bench provided 25 points. The Cards shot 47% from the field and 66.7% from the free throw line.
Hailey Van Lith had another high-scoring effort with a game-high 21 points. She continues to climb the Louisville record books in terms of scoring in the NCAA Tournament. She was also credited with drawing six fouls.
Morgan Jones was the only other Cardinal in double figures, scoring 10 points, mostly close to the rim. She was a perfect 5-5 from the field.
While Liz Dixon struggled to score, she dominated the boards, logging 10 rebounds with three of them being on the offensive glass.
Nyla Harris recorded six rebounds with a whopping four of them being offensive rebounds.
Texas struggled from the floor. The Longhorns went 1-10 from three and shot 34.5% overall. Texas turned the ball over 13 times and was limited to five assists.
|The "crime dog" would approve of the Cards toughness.|
Free Throws- A 10-15 outing is a bit on the lower end for what we want to see. CC Carr was the only Cardinal to attempt more than one free throw AND be perfect on it. The Jeff Walz philosophy includes rebounding a missed free throw for a made basket as a plus. We did see that happen one time. But a 66.7% free throw shooting percentage can barely qualify for a lower "f".
Rebounding- The Cards outrebounded Texas by eight. They turned 15 offensive rebounds into 17 second chance points. Unlike the Drake game, Texas is bigger and plays more heavily in down low. Those numbers in this situation certainly earn a capital "R".
Effort/Efficiency- There's no doubt the effort was there for Louisville. The hustle and energy have been present nonstop since the postseason began. Despite the struggles from three-point range, Louisville shot well overall from the field and had a 1-1 assist to turnover ratio. They maximized scoring opportunities including making layups. Capital "E".
Defense- Fans questioned the defense from Saturday. There's nothing to question here after the win against Texas. The Longhorns never scored above 16 points in a quarter including a single-digit second quarter. Texas had difficulty getting good looks, which was a big part of their poor shooting. Also, giving up just 51 points to a team that was averaging 73 points per game is remarkable. Capital "D".
f-R-E-D is the verdict following the win.
5-seed Louisville now gears up for a game against 8-seed Ole Miss on Friday March 24, time TBD. The Rebels upset 1-seed Stanford last round and recently took South Carolina to overtime in the regular season before falling. Ole Miss is not a walk in the park by any means, but when it comes to March, Jeff Walz has his team ready to go and the Cards won't go down without a fight.
For us, we get to continue celebrating the joy and excitement of Louisville women's basketball a little bit longer this season.
POST GAME PRESSER WITH COACH WALZ, KASA , OLIVIA AND HAILEY BELOW:
Softball Visits EKU
Fresh off a series sweep against Pitt, Louisville softball hits the road for a midweek game against Eastern Kentucky. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. ET, and will be aired on ESPN+. Louisville is 18-9 on the year and is currently on a three-game win streak.
The Colonels bring a 15-11 record into the game following being on the wrong end of a series sweep to Liberty over the weekend. Prior to that, EKU swept Valparaiso in Richmond.
Three Colonels are batting over .500: Vianna Barron (.371), Maggie Pertee (.368), and Jasmine Miller (.303). EKU has outscored opponents 142-119 on the year.
In the circle, EKU boasts a 3.89 ERA. Lauren Narvaez leads the pitching staff with 37 strikeouts while Brooke Davis has the best ERA at 2.57.
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen is Set
The final games of the second round of the NCAA Tournament concluded yesterday and the Sweet Sixteen is set. All games will be played March 24-25.
Last night's scores:
5-seed Louisville 73, 4-seed Texas 51
3-seed Ohio State 71, 6-seed North Carolina 69
4-seed Tennessee 94, 12-seed Toledo 47
4-seed Villanova 76, 12-seed FGCU 57
9-seed Miami, 70, 1-seed Indiana 68
2-ssed UConn 77, 7-seed Baylor 58
6-seed Colorado 61, 3-seed Duke 53
4-seed UCLA 82 vs 5-seed Oklahoma 73
I didn't get a chance to stay awake to see the back half of UCLA vs Oklahoma (early alarm for work), but the Miami win over Indiana did some major damage to brackets, including a couple brackets that had the Hoosiers winning it all. Most brackets had the Cards getting the win over Texas. Before I went to bed, we saw three upsets in terms of seedings last night including the second 1-seed of the tournament go down.
So, it's down to South Carolina, UCLA, Notre Dame, Maryland, Ole Miss, Louisville, Colorado, Iowa, Miami. Villanova, LSU, Utah, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Ohio State, and UConn. 1/4th of the field ACC. 1/4th of the field SEC.
Our condolences to all of our Hoosier fan readers...locally and across the Ohio River from us. I think a lot of us were wanted to see Grace Berger and her squad go a little further. It's a mad, mad, mad, mad tournament...though. (I know a guy selling IU Sweet Sixteen t-shirts VERY cheap...)
CARDINAL COUPLE NCAA WBB BRACKET PICK 'EM UPDATE
HERE are the top 25 in the Cardinal Couple NCAA WBB Bracket Pick 'Em Contest. If you don't see your entry....well, better luck next contest !
38-10 Katy, Jason, Jared, JMCA
37-11 Sonja, Kenny S., K.Stark, Vivian
36-12 Arthur, Paulie, Wahoo Card, Joe Hill, Faris, Thomas, Daaryl
35-13 David Watson, Case, Vivian
34-14 Blue Lou
33-15 Curtis, Mike D., Becky, Cindy
32-16 Nick O.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!