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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cardinal Couple Tuesday - Let's Talk Volleyball



Volleyball brackets

Illinois Sub-Regional

The NCAA Volleyball Selection show was Sunday night and, as we covered in yesterday's Cardinal Couple, UofL Volleyball will be traveling to Champaign, IL for a first round match with Marquette.  The winner will meet the winner of the 13th seeded, and thus hosting, Illinois vs Morehead State match.

As Illinois is the seeded host, their match is the second match with an 8pm ET, 7pm local, start time.  First serve for Louisville and Marquette will be at 5:30pm ET, 4:30pm local.

Marquette is a familiar foe, given the number of years that we spent in the Big East Conference matching up with Marquette frequently.  Somehow, and looking at their schedule I'm not exactly sure how, their RPI ended up being 8th in the nation.  Yes, their win-loss record is good, but I'm not seeing any real signature wins over top class opponents, and losses to the opponents you would expect on their schedule...BYU, USC, Penn State, Florida.  In the end, though, RPI doesn't matter, seedings don't matter; you go out and play the games and find out who wins.  Historically, Louisville has overwhelmingly won this matchup, with a 28-4 record against the Golden Eagles.

In the other half of the sub-regional, we'll be cheering for Morehead State to upset Illinois.  OK, sure, this one is a long-shot.  Morehead State sports a 95th place RPI and is in the tournament by virtue of beating SIUE...yes, I had to look it up too, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville...for the OVC championship and automatic qualifier.

Illinois proves the point that RPI isn't everything for NCAA selection.  With a 20th place RPI, and remember that Marquette is in 8th, Illinois is the seeded team in the sub-regional and thus gets to play on their home floor.  They also are playing hosts to one of the regionals, so if we can advance from the sub-regional, we return to the Urbana-Champaign area to compete in the 3rd and 4th rounds.  Historically, Louisville is 4-8 against Illinois.

Elsewhere in the brackets

The other three regionals are also hosted by teams getting a double-dose of hosting goodness.  Our
friends down I-64 in Lexington are seeded 15th, USC...Southern California, not South the 6th seed, and Nebraska have the number 8 next to their name.  All are hosting regionals as well.

The NCAA did a generally good job of keeping teams playing near home, though as is typical, there are a number of, "Sucks to be them" reactions to be had.  Miami (FL) and Oregon playing in Nebraska isn't ideal.  North Carolina and Cal playing in Wisconsin isn't the best either.  Then there are the doozies like: Utah playing at Penn State, Alabama at Stanford (which makes Oklahoma's trek to Stanford seem not-so-bad), Alabama State at Washington, and possibly the worst is New Hampshire at Southern Cal.  Hawaii is a host this year, which means everyone placed there has a long plane ride, with the lucky winners being Idaho State, Arizona State, and BYU.

The only undefeated team is 4th seed Missouri, with Colorado State only carrying one loss.  I'm hard pressed to identify many match-ups that I would tab for potential first-round upsets, though Wichita State over #14 Kansas:  is one that I would keep an eye on.

I would expect the Final Four to be some of the usual suspect.  #1 Texas and #2 Penn State are likely to be playing on the final weekend again.  #4 Missouri certainly looks like they have a shot, but their conference-mate #5 Florida is in the same region and may give them a challenge in their third meeting of the year.  #3 Washington also has a closely seeded conference-mate in #6 USC that could likewise give them a challenge in their third go-round.  Both Florida and USC lost both regular season matches with their higher-seeded conference-mates, but, as always, it can be hard to knock off the same opponent 3 times in a single year.

Same Song Seventh Verse

I think we have this one down pat at this point.  The American Conference announced weekly honors, with Maya McClendon digging up her seventh Freshman of the Week.  An error-free 16 kills vs Rutgers, in a double-double with 15 digs surely contributed to the last of these deserved honors for the year.  And with that we bid a fair adieu to The American Conference volleyball awards.

The Bears, the bears....

The Missouri State Bears lumber into the KFC YUM! Center tonight to play UofL in exciting women's college basketball action. Here's the word on them (thanks to Louisville SID for the preview)

Missouri State is 1-4 on the season with a home victory over Sun Belt
Conference favorite UALR and losses to Arkansas State, IUPUI, Arkansas and
Quinnipiac. Last Tuesday, Missouri State led Quinnipiac for the bulk of the
game’s first 31 minutes before Quinnipiac took over for a 75-65 victory at JQH
Arena. Kenzie Williams led the Lady Bears with 15 points and Hannah Wilkerson
added 12 on a perfect 4-for-4 from the beyond the arc.

Sophomore guard Kenzie Williams leads the scoring at 17.6 points to go with
4.6 rebounds. Tyonna Snow averages 9.6 points, 4.0 boards and team-bests of 10
assists and eight steals, while sister Bry Snow averages 8.8 points and is the
team’s leading rebounder at 6.0 per contest. As a team, the Lady Bears average
61.4 points and allow 75.2 while shooting 37.87 percent overall, 31.2 percent on 3-
pointers and 62.5 percent from the foul line.

Head coach Kellie Harper is in her first season with the Lady Bears. She
owns a career record of  168-133

so...using the old we beat them by this much and they beat them by this much hypothesis...louisville beat Quinnapiac by 18 and the bears lost to them by ten, so louisville wins the game tonight by 28. toss in ten points for home court advantage and it's a 38 point win. unless there is a post-UK slug and general malfeasance.




  1. The "we beat them, they beat them, home court plus" came out just about right.

  2. I continue to amaze myself with my occasional ability to get things fairly accurate. As my esteemed columnists will tell you, a Paulie prediction seldom comes to a positive end-game scenario. It's why they limit my prognostications...



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