How About a Four Year Series with UConn?
UConn's Head women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma famously joked about Jeff Walz's attire, a red checkerboard shirt and that it resembled the tablecloths at his Italian restaurant. Which one? Good question, as he owns, or at least co-owns several.
Of course that was back in the days when the only way Louisville would get to play UConn was to advance against all expectations the national championship game. Would UConn deign to schedule a regular season game with lowly Louisville? Hah, of course not.
My how the turn tables.
UConn, it could be argued, is suffering a touch from their conference affiliation in the American Conference, while Louisville's WBB stock in general has soared, putting the Cardinals in routine discussion as one of the top teams in the country.
And now the two teams have agreed to a four year series of games starting this winter, sending the signal that Louisville has reached a level of respectability that puts them on the radar of UConn as a desired, and competitive team.
Let's not be too harsh on the UConn fortunes, no one is anywhere close to claiming they're a has-been of team. They finished the season with a 9th ranking, above UofL's final poll spot of 14 in the coaches poll this past season. UConn is still a very fine team, and Auriemma still a very fine coach. The all time record between the two squads is still heavily slanted towards UConn at 3-18.
The series will alternate between home locations, starting in Connecticut on Dec. 16th. Will it be in Storrs or Hartford? That's a good question, but of course there are going to be lots of questions with this matchup, including how healthy the UConn squad will be after having battled lots of injuries in recent years. Of course, the UofL roster is all but full of question marks at this point. Names are starting to be slotted into place, but who knows what this team will look like, and play like, in December.
Expect this to be a hyped game, both teams have built a reputation over the years, more years in UConn's case, but enough in our case as well, of year in and year out putting a solid team together that you don't want to sleep on. UConn is a favorite of the four letter network, so the games there are likely to be picked up on one of the linear channels, while the games here in Louisville are all but guaranteed to at least be on the ACC Network Extra.
All in all, this is a great announcement, heralding a regular series between two teams that can be counted on to play high level and competitive ball. Call it a win-win-win. It's a win for both teams to get the opportunity to play against the expected high level competition, and it's also a win for the sport of women's basketball to put on events that are sure to draw large viewerships.