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Wednesday, February 29, 2012


-Watson on the BIG EAST WBB Tournament

- Another writer's WBB BIG EAST picks

( David Watson is a special correspondent for CARDINAL COUPLE. He also has over 5,000 8-track tapes. We've seen them. 'Google' 8-tracks if you're under 18) 

I won't be attending the BIG EAST Tournament this year. I'm on a DON'T OCCUPY Hartford strike. Been there and done that. I was there in 2007 when Rutgers won the tournament. That's back when C.Viv had Matee Ajavon, Epiphany Prince, Kia Vaughn and Essence Carson. Just thinking of those girls makes me ache. Talk about physical!  

Louisville was a #5 seed and it was Tom Collen's final year at Louisville (although we didn't know it at that time). The Lady Cards came into the tournament after a tough loss to West Virginia. Angel was a sophomore and the Cards faced St. John's first. They won by 14 and a re-match with the Mountaineers awaited.   

I remember sitting in a downtown Hartford restaurant/bar establishment in my red windbreaker after the Louisville win over the Red Storm and catching some good natured ribbing from a few WVU fans there. I gave it back. The Rutgers fans rallied to my cause. The UConn folks just sat back aloof and dis-interested. Amateur night for them, I guess. I predicted we'd beat WVU. Some portly guy in WVU Blue and Gold was unconvinced and bet me a steak dinner that it wouldn't happen. I accepted.

Louisville, of course, got off to the great start in that game and handled the Mountaineers by a dozen. I never saw ol' portly again or got a free steak dinner. I did, however, run into a parent of one of the UofL players. I have sworn to her I'd never reveal her identity if I ever re-told the story about "the incident". 

And I won't. But, here's the story. 

I'm sitting with my friend Mick at the same establishment the next evening when "she" comes in with another Cardinal fan. We had two seats at the table open, the place was packed --so we waved them over to join us. We'd "had a few". It was obvious they had, also. 

The conversation was light, friendly and fun until a UConn "know it all" fan overheard some of what we were discussing. UConn was the Cards next opponent. We were told, in no uncertain terms, that the Huskies would demolish Louisville and that "her" daughter, in particular, was overrated and under-skilled. Mick and I took it as good-natured ribbing but she did not. 

This did not go over well. 

She rose to her feet and began verbally "laying into" this poor guy like a Baptist preacher at a revival. We watched -- amused and fascinated -- as it got louder and louder. The poor guy was probably wishing Scotty could beam him up to the Enterprise. The bar started to get quiet as she continued the assault. Her friend rose to quell her attack but was gently shoved away by her and the guy had backed up until he was literally 'up against the wall' (of the bar). 

I can't remember all the exact words but it would have gone viral on YouTube if someone could have captured it on camera. Finally, she ended the sermon by pointing a finger in the guy's face and telling him that "he didn't know nothing about anything." She then calmly returned to our table and sat down, grinning from ear to ear. The bar erupted in cheers and applause. The guy slunk back into the crowd, accompanied by taunts and laughter.

I'm not sure how many drinks got sent over to the table after that for her, but she was sharing them with us and the four of us left there hours later at closing time and had to walk the several blocks back to the hotel.

That, too, would have been great to catch on a camera phone or video and put on the internet.

It was one of Mick's favorite stories to tell. He went to the Great Beyond last year and I miss that old roustabout. We saw a lot of basketball together. He was a Notre Dame fan true and through. Smoking kills, though, kids. 

Louisville, of course, lost to UConn. We didn't return to the bar after the loss. We don't think she did either -- and I'd bet even money that the guy didn't show his face around there for a long time. 

About this year's tournament first round games.

-- The committee made a good choice by putting Syracuse's Quentin Hillsman on stage first. A great opening act! "Q" and his antics are always worth the price of admission. I'm guessing he gets a second afternoon matinee to perform in by handling Providence but the Morgantown Hillbillies will probably send him home before the Sabbath. Or invite him over for vittles on the "fancy dining table". Maybe. 

-- Paul's favorite non-Cardinal BIG EAST player Inga "the Russian Rocket" Orekhova leads the USF Bulls into war next against Pitt. This one could get ugly. Detente, anyone? Gotta feel for Agnus, a really nice coach. Guess it's true, though. Nice guys (and gals) finish last. I may go through my sock drawer during this one. Or sneak in nine holes at the public course down the street before the night session if the weather's good. Lord knows, I'm not going to work Friday. 

-- Harry Peretta brings the "shirt-tail out, unkempt look" to the XL in the quest to advance over Seton Hall to face Louisville. I love Harry and he's been around forever. They might struggle, but the Nova squad should get their chance to try and upset the Lady Cards. I'm starting a pool on what the time clock reads when Harry's shirt tails liberate themselves from his slacks. I've got the 8:00 minute mark in the first half. Maybe Anne Donovan should opt for playing Harry one-on-one to determine which team advances to Saturday.

-- The final Friday game features Cincinnati against Marquette. This match-up looks to be about as exciting as watching a boy roll a rock across the sidewalk. Maybe they'll offer half price beer and hot dogs to get the crowd to stay. It may be the first time in BIG EAST Tournament history that ushers will be walking the XL Center aisles offering NoDoz to those left in their seats. Or entice the Lady Birds to perform, which would be about the only thing that could get me to stay around for this one.

A couple of games further into the tournament that I hope materialize. 

--  Georgetown vs. West Virginia. The Mountaineers lost to the Hoyas by ten during the regular season in Morgantown. They went on a five-game winning streak after the loss -- leaving Louisville, Notre Dame, Rutgers, USF and Marquette in their wake. These two aren't exactly hand-holding, BFF's. Wait for the bell and come out swinging. Bring a couch and have a seat. Maybe they'll let Michael Buffer do the pre-game introductions. "Let's get ready to rumbllllleeeee!" I hope one of the pep bands learns how to play THE Archie's hit from the sixties "Sugar, Sugar". I've got it on 8-track in case they need a refresher course.

-- St. John's vs. Louisville. Cardinal fans and players want another crack at McKenith, Smith, Stevens and McPherson after losing to them in New York in front of about 40 or 50 people. It's the only game this year that ESPNU switched away from to show lumberjack competition. (Just kidding). St. John's has won their last seven games. Be careful what you wish for, Cardinal fans.  

-- Notre Dame vs ANYONE BUT UCONN in the finals. Don't care if it's St. John's, Rutgers, Marquette, Louisville or Christ the King High School. To watch a BIG EAST Tournament title game at the XL without Husky participation would be just as fun as having to attend your nagging bosses' birthday party and then finding out he's going to be a no-show. More champagne!  

It's time to get this annual rodeo out of Hartford, out of Connecticut and bounce it around awhile. Anyone in favor of the KFC YUM! Center being the first stop -- raise your hand. 

(David would also like the Daytona 500 to be run in Kansas, the Kentucky Derby to take place at Indiana Downs and Rosie O'Donnell to sing the National Anthem at UofL WBB home games next year. We still love him but think ROBBIE BARTLETT is a much better choice for the Star Spangled Banner. You listening UofL?)


OK. Paul Sykes here and I'll go next with my picks. I've offered a bit of reasoning with each head to the fridge and get a chicken's lengthy. Like David's cage-liner stuff today wasn't? 

"I'm sad to report that the Bulls are down by
three with 2:10 left, Mr. Big Shot..."
1. SYRACUSE over Providence. The Orange handled them by 26 earlier this year. Providence has lost seven out of their last eight. And, as David mentioned earlier, the "Q" is the best show in Hartford this weekend. He deserves a two-day run. Next?

2. USF over Pittsburgh. With Andrell Smith contributing again and Pitt's 0-16 BIG EAST record...this may be a wild, far-fetched guess, but give me the Bulls. Go, Inga, Go. I wonder if that USF play-by-play radio guy that looks like Cary on The Good Wife will be there. Fun guy to talk to. Maybe he'll bring "Mr Big" Chris Noth.
3. VILLANOVA over Seton Hall. I expect this one to be the best game of Day One. Now that the Pirates have won one and played Louisville close, they're reborn. Kinda. Nova still wins. All 14 on Harry's roster are from Philadelphia and hit threes, right? Shirt-tail alert, shirt-tail alert!

4. CINCINNATI over Marquette. I didn't like the way Marquette's head coach Terri Mitchell came into the post-game press conference complaining this year after the Louisville game because she didn't get to go first. It didn't bother Geno when he was in Louisville, Ms. Mitchell. That's the only reason I'm picking against the Golden Eagles. Seriously, I could care less on this one. Whoever...they aren't advancing anyway.

"Q" gets two games in the BIG EAST .
Tournament.Any more and he should be
 made president of Syracuse University.  
5. WEST VIRGINIA over Syracuse. WVU beat Syracuse early in the season. In the middle of the non-conference schedule. Both teams have grown since then but I think WVU will prevail in what should be another great and close match-up. Hemingway and Alexander fall just short. WVU did beat Notre Dame this year, you know. Syracuse? It was the Irish by 19. Enough said.

6. DEPAUL over USF. Martin and Harry ran into a inspired bunch of Cardinals Saturday but recovered well against Cincy. That recovery continues and they get revenge for the earlier overtime loss to USF in the regular season. It's a #8 vs. #9 seed game, though and it should be a "down to the buzzer" contest. Could be the most exciting of the second round games.

7. LOUISVILLE over Villanova. The Cards are playing with a purpose and have won four out of their last five. These two had a battle in the regular season, Louisville escaping by four. This one could be just as close, but Shoni, Becky and gang find a way to send Louisville to Sunday action. 

8. RUTGERS over Cincinnati. Don't look now...but Rutgers has won their last four games in a row. They took the Bearcats by 11 in the regular season. If you're looking for a second round potential upset, this isn't it.  C Viv advances.

9. GEORGETOWN over West Virginia. A good game between these two in the regular season. I think the Mountaineers will be worn out after a tough Syracuse battle though and Sugar Rodgers is the best guard in the BIG EAST. Go ahead and laugh...but I think she is. 

Anna will find the going tough
against the Irish. 
10. NOTRE DAME over DePaul. Put Keisha Hampton on this DePaul team and they have a chance. No Keisha Hampton and you get beat 90-70. Add in two games in two days for a short DePaul roster and the Irish eyes will be smiling. 

11. ST JOHN'S over Louisville. It kills me to pick against a Louisville team that I think has really come together as a unit in the last six games...but St John's has the hot dice right now and their guard play is just a tad better than Louisville's right now. I hope I'm wrong, I hope I'm wrong, I hope...

12. RUTGERS over UConn. Yes, you read it right. The first huge upset of the tournament. Geno says he doesn't care how they do in the tournament, this is a big rivalry game
and forget the fact the Huskies won the previous match-up by 28. Oliver, Rushdan and Sykes all show up on the same night and the Scarlet Knights go to the semi-finals. Notre Dame showed the world the blue-prints on how to handle the Huskies. Were you watching...Scarlet Knights?  

13. NOTRE DAME over Georgetown. I think this one could be closer than most think. I do think, though, that there is no one on the Hoya squad who can stop Peters, Novosel and Diggins. Irish eyes still smiling... 

14. ST JOHN'S over Rutgers. Another intense rivalry game. The difference in this one won't be by many. The Red Storm won both regular season matchups, though and they'll prevail again. Close, close, close.

Paul thinks Notre Dame
will win the BIG EAST
Tournament. Longshot
pick, big guy...
15. NOTRE DAME over St. John's. I really liked this St. John's team before the season started and had them picked to finish 4th in the BIG EAST behind Notre Dame, UConn and Louisville. OK, the Louisville pick was a bit off. The bubble finally bursts for Kim Barnes Arico's squad...though. The Irish handled them by 15 in Queens. This one won't be as big of a Notre Dame win, let's say by six...and a fun one to watch. The Irish go back-to-back as tournament winners. 

(You can get in the fun, too! Leave your picks in the comments section or e-mail them to CARDINAL COUPLE. We promise not to laugh and we'll laminate each one and use them as decorative wall-hangings. OK. We probably won't do that, but you can win a $ 25 PANERA or Wal Mart gift card. That's way cool and mas fina, amigos.) 

We've even attached a bracket below and will continue to do so the rest of the week and throughout the tournament, adding updates, so you can play along at home. 

WE'll be providing coverage each from Louisville. Couldn't get clearance from the warden to go to Hartford this year. Just as well, they city council would probably frown on me and five or six chimps running a muck through the city streets of Hartford and the XL Center tossing banana peels in front of unsuspecting citizens, de-pantsing referees and BIG EAST officials and getting "POO-BAH" and "SHONI" chants started in restaurants, the arena and various big box stores in the area.  


Monday, February 27, 2012


-Lady Cards 63  - Seton Hall 53

-BIG EAST Monday Action

-FINAL BIG EAST STANDINGS & Tournament matchups.

-Bracket for 2102 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT

Louisville defeated Seton Hall in South Orange, NJ tonight behind the 22 point effort from red-shirt freshman forward Shawnta Dyer. The Cards led by 17 with 8:19 remaining but had to withstand a late, furious Seton Hall run --aided by plentiful Cardinal turnovers -- that cut the Louisville lead to six with 45 seconds. Free throws by Becky Burke and Bria Smith in the final 30 seconds preserved the win.

Louisville will play Saturday @ 6 p.m. in the BIG EAST tournament against the winner of the Friday 6 p.m. Villanova vs Seton Hall match up.

STARTERS: Burke, Vails, Taylor, Shoni, Smith 

The Cards jumped to a 6-0 lead on two Becky Burke three's and held the Pirates scoreless for the first six minutes until  Terry Green hit a three for SHU. The Cards defense was forcing the Pirate offense into wild and pressured shots. 

Bria Smith picked up her second foul with 15:40 left in the half and Antonia Slaughter replaced her. Louisville got a jumper from Shoni Schimmel and a layup from Shawnta Dyer off a nice feed from Shoni to lead 10-5 with eight minutes gone in the half. 

Louisville extended the lead to 20-12 after Becky Burke drilled her third three of the game and then sank three free throws 30 seconds later after being fouled on a long range attempt. Asia Taylor drove the lane for a layup with 7:40 left. After two Dyer free throws, Louisville led 22-12. Slaughter's putback of a missed Taylor shot gave Louisville a 24-14 edge. 

Louisville held a 24-17 lead after Shoni missed two free throws with 4:46 remaining. She made up for it, though... by scoring the next five points for Louisville -- including a three -- to give Louisville a 29-17 lead and 3:05 on the clock.

The Cards would get a Burke free throw with 90 seconds remaining in the first half and take a 30-21 lead into the locker room. 

Burke led the Lady Cards with 13 points. Shoni had seven, Dyer six, Slaughter and Taylor two each. All ten of Walz's players saw action in the first twenty. Louisville was 4-9 from 3-point range, 9-23 overall for 39.1%. Taylor had seven rebounds and (sit down before you read this) NO first half turnovers for Shoni. Smith never returned in the first half after drawing her second foul. The Cards had six first half turnovers, Seton Hall seven.

Louisville was ragged at times but was doing the job defensively and getting big numbers out of "Big Shot." Seton Hall out-rebounded Louisville by two. The Cards did not hit a basket in the final 3:51. 

Bria Smith returned to start the second half and hit two free throws to open the scoring. A 4-0 Pirate run cut the Louisville lead to 32-25, but a Taylor putback and then eight straight points from Dyer gave Louisville a 42-29 lead with 14:59 left.

Two free throws from Burke and one from Smith had Louisville up 45-29 with 12:55 on the clock. Taylor's layup on a feed from Smith had Louisville up by 18. Louisville was pulling away and on a 10-2 run. Would it be a blow out against the 1-14 Pirates? 

Sara Hammond got her first two of the game on a Taylor feed to give Louisville a 51-34 advantage with 8:19 to go.  
Dyer got to 18 points for the game on a pass from Hammond to make it 53-38 Louisville and 6:36 remaining. Dyer got to 20 points when Shoni found her with a pass and 4:25 left. 

Seton Hall would put together a rally and cut Louisville's lead to 55-43 after a 3-pointer by Green with 3:47 left. Tajay Ashmeade's jumper cut it to ten and Crew's score inside had the Pirates within eight and 2:26 remaining. 

Dyer broke the Pirate run with a jumper but Crew countered with a score. Smith pushed the Cardinal lead back to 10 with two free throws at the 1:30 mark but Johnson got it to 59-51 after a Johnson jumper. After Shoni missed the first of a one and one from the line, Brown made it 59-53 with 45 seconds left. A Burke turnover gave Seton Hall the ball back...but they couldn't convert and fouled Burke when Louisville rebounded a missed Johnson shot. Becky hit two this time and Louisville led by eight. Bria Smith's  two free throws with 14 seconds completed the game's scoring and Louisville gets a 63-53 win. CARDS WIN! CARDS WIN! (Whew!) 

Even though the Cards did not hit a shot from the floor in the final two minutes, they converted the free throws when needed to preserve the win. Seton Hall's full court pressure over the final minutes led to 13 Louisville second half turnovers....19 for the game The Pirates turned it over 13 times. Louisville went 4-15 from 3-point range, Seton Hall 4-20. 

The Cards came back to win the rebound battle 39-37. Official attendance was a bleak 522. For senior night? C'mon Seton Hall. Gotta do better than that. Louisville had a sizable amount of fans in the stands...mostly friends, family and followers of Queens native Bria Smith. 

Dyer led all scorers with 22 points...16 in the second half. It was her highest scoring game of the season and it couldn't have come at a better time.  Burke finished with 17. Shoni had seven, but no points in the final twenty minutes. Bria Smith had seven second half points after getting none in the first half. Asia Taylor added six points and a team high 12 rebounds. Slaughter and Hammond scored two each. Vails, Harper and Jude played but did not score

A win, but a shaky one. Seton Hall used a late 13-4 run to get within six but the Cards held the Pirates scoreless over the final 45 seconds. The dribble drive from Seton Hall and defensive pressure was impressive, though. Especially from Jasmine Crew, who finished with 20 points for Anne Donovan's squad. 

Tough beginning for Bria in front of her posse. She did improve in the second half and her free throws late ( 7-8 for the game) helped clinch the win. For Shoni, only nine shots in 35 minutes. She did contribute in other ways, though...five boards, a team high seven assists and two steals. Asia was very impressive on the boards, especially on the defensive end...where she grabbed 10 out of her 12. 34 minutes for A-Tayy Monday night and only 2 fouls. Proud of ya...#31! 

Vails saw only eight minutes and never seemed to be able to get untracked. No points, rebounds, a foul and a turnover...but she did have two shot blocks. The final starter, Becky Burke, blistered the nets early with the first six points and went 8-9 from the charity stripe. Only four second half points, but all were clutch free throws. 3-8 from the field, all 3-pointers. 

From the bench, Dyer was the top performer. 30 minutes, eight boards to go with the 22 points. Tough, hard-working and was a scintillating 9-10 from the floor and 4-4 from the free throw line. Nita Slaughter may have played the most invisible 20 minutes of the season for her. Two points, two rebounds and a block. 1-3 from the floor and 0-2 from the line. Sara Hammond gave the Cards eight hard-working minutes and hit her only shot. A great assist to Dyer in the second half. Two turnovers and two rebounds. Jude Schimmel spelled Shoni for four minutes in the first half. A blank stat line except for a foul...but the offense didn't suffer or stagnate when she was on the court. Shelby Harper a minute of action. Not the type of opponent that she'd fare well against...the Seton Hall guard contingent of Morris, Brown and Crew very physical and pressuring. 

Louisville finishes tied for the sixth spot in the BIG EAST with Rutgers and Rutgers gets the tie-breaker. The Cards end the season 21-8 and 10-6 in conference. They'll face the winner of the Villanova vs. Seton Hall Friday game.

Louisville head coach Jeff Walz expressed frustration with the Cards careless turnovers at the end of the game.

 "We made some very poor basketball decisions late and they came back to bite us." Walz commented after the game. "We gave them 18 offensive boards. But...Shawnta Dyer worked so hard tonight and I'm proud of her. Shoni didn't score a lot but played a smart game for us and Becky got us off to a great start" 


All 16 teams played Monday in the final day of the regular season. The results:

- Notre Dame defeated UConn in the XL Center 72-59
St. John's handled Georgetown 54-45 in D.C.
- USF knocked off Providence 64-56 in Tampa
- Villanova downed Syracuse 68-60 in Philadelphia
- West Virginia won at home over Pittsburgh 60-42
- Louisville traveled to Seton Hall and won 63-53
- Rutgers defended the RAC with a 69-58 win over Marquette
- DePaul blasted Cincinnati 73-51 in Chicago


Final BIG EAST regular season standings: 

Notre Dame    15-1                     USF           8-8
St. John's       13-3                     Villanova    6-10
Connecticut    13-3                     Cincinnati  6-10
Georgetown    11-5                     Syracuse   6-10
West Virginia  11-5                     Providence 5-12
Rutgers          10-6                     Marquette   4-12
Louisville        10-6                     Seton Hall  1-15
DePaul            9-7                      Pittsburgh  0-16

Notre Dame, St John's, Connecticut and Georgetown earn the double byes and will play Sunday. 

Notre Dame gets either DePaul, USF or Pitt. St. John's will face either Louisville, Villanova or Seton Hall. Connecticut draws from Rutgers, Cincinnati or Marquette. Georgetown faces either West Virginia, Syracuse or Providence. 

West Virginia, Rutgers, Louisville and DePaul receive single byes and will start tournament action on Saturday. The Mountaineers get the winner of Syracuse vs. Providence. Rutgers receives the victor of Cincinnati vs. Marquette. Louisville takes on either Villanova or Seton Hall. DePaul will tangle with the champ in the USF vs. Pitt game. 

Friday action and game times:

noon -- #12 Syracuse vs. #13 Providence
2 p.m. -- #9 USF vs. #16 Pittsburgh
6 p.m. -- #10 Villanova vs. #15 Seton Hall
8 p.m. --#11 Cincinnati vs. #14 Marquette

All games Friday will be shown on BIG EAST TV and can be watched at the official BIG EAST TV web site. 

Personally, we love the Louisville draw. If they can get by either Seton Hall or Villanova...teams they beat in the regular season, they'd have a Sunday quarter-final game against St. John's. Most likely UConn would be the Monday opponent in the semi-finals if the Cards can down the Red Storm. 

Exciting basketball ahead! WE INVITE YOU TO PARTICIPATE in the Big East Tournament Challenge we're sponsoring here at CARDINAL COUPLE. 15 games, pick who you think will win them. Most wins gets the $25 gift card. PANERA or Wal-Mart. Tie-breaker goes to the player who has the most final four teams picked correctly. 

David woke up at
4 a.m. to make sure
he posted first.
We promised writer selections and here's the first one. David Watson e-mailed his picks to us at 6 a.m. He hopes to better last year's horrible performance where he had only two of the final four picks. Here's David's picks: 

Friday -- Syracuse, USF, Villanova, Cincinnati
Saturday -- West Virginia, USF, Louisville, Rutgers
Sunday -- Georgetown, Notre Dame, Louisville, UConn
Monday -- UConn, Georgetown
Tuesday -- UConn

Think you can top him? Send your picks to: by Friday noon.

Or, if you're as bold as David and want the CARDINAL COUPLE readership to see them, leave them in any comments section. A downloadable, printable bracket available at the BIG EAST Official site.



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Big East Championship Tournament Seeding Formula


-How the BIG EAST operates the post-season

- Lady Cards end regular season tonight

-BIG EAST pick'em contest


Courtesy of the Big East website:

A. Seeding Announcement
 The last regular season Conference games occur Monday, February 27. Championship seeding will be
released Monday evening (February 27) following the conclusion of the games.

B. Tournament Seeding Formula
 Overall Conference record, at the conclusion of the regular season, is used to seed teams numbering 1
through 16. All teams qualify for the Conference Championship. The following procedures are set up to
establish seeding for the championship and to break ties. Follow the appropriate steps in order.

C. Tie-Breaking Procedure for Seeding
 Two-Team Tie
1. Regular season head-to-head results (one or two games).
 If the tied teams split their two games, then proceed to Step 2 below.
2. Each team’s record vs. the team or tied teams occupying the highest position in the standings.
 Continue down through the standings until one team gains an advantage. When comparing records
against a single team or collective tied teams (before ties are broken), the following may apply:
 a. If the games played against the team or group are equal, winning percentage prevails.
 b. If the games played against the team or group are unequal, the following scenarios apply:
 i. Most wins do prevail only if the team with fewer wins could not equal that win total if
they played the same number of games. Two examples of many scenarios that do
provide an advantage:
 1) Team A 2-0 2) Team A 3-0
 Team B 0-1 Team B 1-1
 ii. Most wins do not prevail if the team with fewer wins could equal or surpass the win
total of the other team. Two examples of many scenarios that do not provide an
 1) Team A 1-1 2) Team A 2-0
 Team B 0-1 Team B 1-0
 iii. Fewer losses do not prevail if the teams have the same number of wins and if the team
with fewer games could equal or surpass the loss total of the other team. Two examples
of many scenarios that do not provide an advantage:
 1) Team A 1-0 2) Team A 0-1
 Team B 1-1 Team B 0-2
 c. If an advantage is not determined, proceed to the next team or group in the standings for
 d. If the tie cannot be broken after continuing down through the last team or teams in the
standings, revert back to comparing records against the top teams in order and allow winning
percentage to prevail even if there is a comparison of unequal games. Only then, if the
percentages are both 1.000, is 2-0 better than 1-0. However, the reverse is not true – no team
gains advantage when all have a .000 winning percentage (0-1 is never better than 0-2).
 Tie-Breaking Procedure for Seeding continued
 Multiple-Team Tie (3 or more teams)
 1. Teams are viewed as a “mini-conference” when comparing head-to-head results.
 The team with the best record (as determined by winning percentage, even if unequal games) vs.
the other teams in the mini-conference gains the advantage. The team with the worst record (as
determined by winning percentage, even if unequal games) vs. the other teams in the miniconference
is seeded the lowest.
 a. If only two teams have the same best winning percentage in the mini-conference, the higher
seed goes to the team winning the head-to-head series.
 b. If the two teams split their two games, then proceed to Step 2 under Two-Way ties. To seed
the remaining team(s) in this mini-conference, proceed to (e) below.
 c. If three or more (but not all) teams have the same best winning percentage in the original
mini-conference, then those tied teams create a new mini-conference and follow this same
procedure beginning of Step 1 (Multiple Team Tie).
 d. If all teams in the mini-conference have the same mini-conference record, proceed to Step 2
 e. After the top or bottom teams in a mini-conference are determined, the remaining teams are
ranked by their record in the original mini-conference.
i. If there are any remaining teams tied by their record in the mini-conference, then headto-
head results will determine the higher seed.
ii. If the teams split two games, then proceed back to the two-way tie breaking procedure.
iii. If there are at least three teams remaining tied by their record in the mini-conference,
they would then form a new mini-conference and follow the procedure again at the
beginning of Step 1 (Multiple-Team Tie).
 2. Compare each team’s record vs. the team or group of tied teams occupying the highest position in
the standings. Continue down through the standings until one or more teams gain an advantage. If
two teams have the exact same advantage (i.e., having the same and better record against a
compared team relative to their mini-conference), they are separated at that point by the two-way
tiebreaker procedure. The next step would take you back to Step 1 (e) (Multiple-Team Tie). When
comparing records against a single team or collective tied teams (before ties are broken), the
following may apply:
 a. The games played against the team or group are equal, winning percentage prevails.
 b. If the games played against the team or group are unequal, the following scenarios apply:
 i. Most wins do prevail only if the team(s) with fewer wins could not equal that win total if
they played the same number of games. Two examples of many scenarios that do
provide an advantage:
 1) Team A 2-0 2) Team A 3-1
 Team B 1-1 Team B 1-2
 Team C 0-1 Team C 1-2

 Multiple-Team Tie (3 or more teams) continued
 ii. Most wins do not prevail if the team(s) with fewer wins could equal or surpass the win
total of the other team. Two examples of many scenarios that do not provide an
 1) Team A 2-1 2) Team A 1-2
 Team B 1-1 Team B 0-2
 Team C 1-1 Team C 0-2
 iii. Fewer losses do not prevail if the team(s) have the same number of wins, but the team
with fewer games could equal or surpass the loss total of the other tied teams. Two
examples of many scenarios that do not provide an advantage:
 1) Team A 2-0 2) Team A 0-2
 Team B -1 Team B 0-3
 Team C 2-1 Team C 0-3
 c. If an advantage is not determined, proceed to the next team or group in the standings for
 d. If the tie cannot be broken after continuing down through the last team or teams in the
standings, revert back to comparing records against the top teams in order and allow winning
percentage to prevail even if there is a comparison of unequal games. Only then, if the
percentages are both 1.000, is 2-0 better than 1-0. However, the reverse is not true – no
John would flip a coin if worse comes
to worse. We're guessing it's a 50%
probability that he have to ask
someone whether it was head or tails.
team gains advantage when all have a .000 winning percentage (0-1 is never better than 0-2).
D. Coin Flip
If any ties still exist after implementing all of the above tie-breaking procedures, a coin flip is required. The
procedure takes place at The BIG EAST Conference office immediately following the conclusion of the last
regular season conference game. Commissioner John Marinatto or his designee will administer this
procedure. This session is open to the media and to athletic department representatives of the tied teams.

(Thanks to Sandy Walker for the above report !) 


Louisville ends their regular season this evening with a trip to South Orange, New Jersey to face 8-21,1-15 Seton Hall. The record won't scare too many people and Anne Donovan will be the first to tell you it's a rebuilding season for her Pirates -- but nevertheless -- it's a very important game for UofL.  Pending is the final seeding for the above mentioned BIG EAST Tournament. The opponent finally got into the BIG EAST win column with an impressive win over Pitt...a team that took Louisville to overtime before falling 71-68.

Besides Jasmine Crew, the Pirates don't pose any real offensive threats. They've played some of their BIG EAST foes pretty closely, though...losing to Cincy by six, Georgetown by five, Villanova and Marquette by nine. 

Final home game of the year, saying goodbye to seniors, and taking on a top 20 team --all things that can get a lesser-ranked opponent pumped up to provide the upset.

Louisville looks to have a solid, consistent effort to prepare for the Hartford Invitational BIG EAST Tournament. If they played it today, the Lady Cards would be a #7 seed, receive a first round bye and face the winner of #10 vs. #15 game (we'd think Syracuse) on   Saturday. 

Anything can happen, though. Louisville is tied for sixth in the BIG EAST with Rutgers...who ends the season against Marquette in the RAC. A Scarlet Knight loss would put the Lady Cards in sixth. That's as high as UofL could climb, though, even if fifth seed WVU lost to Pitt tonight, since the Mountaineers defeated the Cards in the regular season and would win the tie-breaker. 

The game most anticipated this evening is probably Notre Dame's visit to UConn. An Irish win gives them the conference title by two games. The Huskies tie for the regular season title if they defend the XL Center advantage. 

Other match-ups are:

ST. JOHN'S @ Georgetown
Providence @ USF
Syracuse @ VILLANOVA
Pittsburgh @ WEST VIRGINIA
Marquette @ RUTGERS
Cincinnati @ DE PAUL 

We capitalized the teams the teams we think will win. How have we done so far in the BIG EAST schedule? There have been 240 BIG EAST conference games so far this year. WE abstained from picks in 5 of we tried to pick 235 of them. We chose the right team 179 times and were incorrect 56 times. That's a little better than 3 out of 4 correct selections. Not bad, but we're not giving up our day jobs to become swami's or fortune tellers. 

Winner gets to pose with UofL
Card Game owner Charlie Springer!
Or Sonja. We're not strict. 
ONCE THE BRACKETS ARE FINALIZED AND ANNOUNCED...WE'LL have a "pick-em" contest for you to participate in if you want. Most correct picks wins a PANERA CARD. If there isn't a PANERA in your city, we'll send you information on how to become a franchise operator (Just kidding). We'll get something to you. You have the task of knocking last year's defending champion Sonja off her lofty perch. And, she's confident about registering a repeat this year. Aim and fire, readers. 

It's simple to play. Just pick who you think will win and advance. And, we'll remind you ad nauseam of the contest. You'll be able to enter via e-mail...or if you the comments section of any post up to Friday noon...if you're bold, confident and don't mind the rest of the readership seeing your selections. We'll post Sonja's and some of our writer's picks...and you can count on Co-Co and the other staff chimps to come up with a bracket or two. Covered in banana pudding. It's the only way we can get them to do anything. 

Good luck and GO CARDS! tonight. 

Softball Cards sweep Creighton 7-0, 4-0


-Softball takes two on Saturday

-Interviews from softball practice

The University of Louisville softball team shut out Creighton for a total of 14 innings yesterday behind the strong pitching of Chelsea Leonard, Caralisa Connell and Tori Collins and improved to 12-0 with 7-0 and 4-0 wins Saturday.


Leonard drew the start for game one and tied the Louisville school record with 16 strikeouts for seven innings. She allowed one hit to the Jays to improve her record to 3-0.

Louisville struck early with a run in the first inning. Jennifer Esteban singled and reached home when Katie Keller reached on an error. 

The Lady Cards added four runs in the second inning. After Hannah Kiyohara drew a walk, Whitney Arion singled and Kristin Austin smashed a double to score Kiyohara. Keller got both Arion and Austin home with a single and then scored when Jordan Trimble hit into a fielders choice. The Cards were up 5-0 and Creighton still didn't have a hit. 

The Cards were still hot in the third inning...Katelyn Mann singling and coming home on a Arion single. Louisville added their seventh run in the fourth when Taner Fowler put one over the left field fence. Her third home run of the season.

Creighton broke up Leonard's no-hit bid in the top of the sixth with a single. 


Caralisa Connell opened as the starting pitcher and struck out eight...allowing just four hits in five innings to improve her record to 3-0 before Tori Collins came in to finish. Collins KO'ed three Creighton batters and gave up just one hit.

Louisville had the hot bats early again in the second game, posting a first inning run when Austin singled, stole second and scored on a Fowler single. The Cards added the final three runs of the game in the fourth inning. Arion singled and both runners were safe on a Esteban fielder's choice. Austin reached on a error, scoring Arion and Keller drove in Esteban and Austin with a single. 

12-0 is the best start in Louisville softball history.


Had the chance to stop by and watch a bit of the softball team's practice and get a couple of interviews before the series with Creighton. Thanks to Jared Stillman and Lori Korte for letting me "piggyback" off Jared and a couple of spots he was doing. We'll be doing a feature article on "J-Bone" later this week -- be sure to catch it.

First off was first year softball trainer Lauren San Agustin

CC: What are some of the things an athletic trainer does in softball? 
Lauren: We make sure the athlete's bodies are ready for competition, that their bodies recover after training and their good to go for the next day. 
CC: As a trainer, you have to deal with minor and major injuries. How is this team looking so far this year on injuries?
Lauren: We got a little banged up early but we're looking to get those small injuries out of the way, and we're hoping to have a successful, uneventful season injury-wise.
CC: If you had to pick a player who is in prime shape, injury free and ready to play, who would be the first one that comes to mind?
Lauren: Our center fielder Jordan Trimble comes to mind. She gets in the training room, in the weight room and on the field every day and is always taking care of her body with preventative I think that helps her and keeps her in good shape 24 hours a day.
CC: What's the best part of your job? 
Lauren: Hanging out with the team, getting to travel and meet all different types of people! 

Next was sophomore multi-position player Taner Fowler.

You've had a great start to the season so far, hitting two home runs and batting .469. Talk about the great weekend you've just had. (in the ECU Pirate Clash)
Fowler: Our team fought through the whole weekend. We found ourselves down a lot but by the bottom of the seventh we found a way to get it done. We played with a lot of heart. We want to win, no matter what. We've worked hard. And this is what we've worked hard win no matter what. 
Speaking of bottom of the seventh situations, you had a big base that gave the Cardinals the lead at the time and giving you an extra inning win. Explain what you were thinking as the game moved along.
I just think about all the time and hard work I've put into my swing. Now it's time to let it show. I try to be relaxed, comfortable and try to win for my team. That's the most important thing. 
Speaking of hard work, Coach has said you've had to make changes from last season. She said you worked really hard over the summer and fall. What changes did you make?
I pull away from the ball a lot so I hit a lot of pitches foul. I was struggling and not getting through the ball. I worked on trying to get my hands out and get some of those inside pitches more up the middle and in fair territory. 
You really didn't know where you were going to play at the beginning of the season. You spent time at first base and catcher. You're going to be behind the plate for awhile now. What's it like to switch positions constantly? 
You just have to be ready for whatever because we practice hard and I'm pretty confident at whatever position I go in at. 
You're at 9-0 this season with three big games this weekend...what's it going to take to make that a solid 12-0?
We just have to stay focused like we have been. Whenever we come out we have to be ready to play. Just keep working as a team and keep out offense and defense together. 

Last but not least...Cardinal shortstop Jordan Trimble

Question: This is your first season and shortstop. You've played outfield and second base before that. Talk about the move.
Trimble: The move was difficult to adjust to just because of the reaction time. Working in the outfield is different, you have more reaction time and time to adjust. You throw differently. The physical aspect and mental aspect wasn't bad...I was a shortstop throughout high school.
Question: You had a great freshman season. Last year you red-shirted because of breaking your ankle. Tell us how great it is to be back and how you feel.
Trimble: The first practices were unreal...I've never been one to sit out. I have a really 'want to do' attitude. Sitting out all year was miserable. I did everything I could do to get back as soon as I could.
Question: How great is it to be back at Ulmer Stadium after two out-of-town weekends?
Trimble: It's a great feeling to be back, especially being a local kid. Just knowing everyone out in the stands and the support we have from them. 
Question: Talk a little bit about playing high school ball at Manual...was it a dream of yours to be a player here at UofL down the road?
Trimble: Definitely, my parents have wanted me to come to Louisville all my life...through middle school, high school ...through my travel ball was all part of the plan. 
Just coming here...seeing every game each summer with my grandparents. Louisville was definitely in my top five as schools to come to. 
Question: Talk a bit about coming back from an injury as devastating as a broken ankle.
Trimble: I've never really been hurt before. This was my first time of ever having to be out of games because of an injury. At the beginning I had a lot of trouble. I had to go see a sports psychiatrist to get my mind back in a state that it was going to be OK to lose a year, that I'd get red-shirted and I'd come back actually better than I was. (The ankle)...It gets sore sometimes, but when you break and then mend a bone it comes back stronger. It gave me extra time to work on things like hand-eye coordination and my swing. I think I actually gained from being out a year. 

Great perspectives from two very talented players and a up and coming new trainer for the Cards. We look forward to productive and healthy season for them and the entire Cardinal team. Thanks again to Lori, Coach P and J-Bone for their assistance and suggestions.