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Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Cardinal Couple -- Field Hockey gets 2017 National Championships


- UofL to host 2017 Field Hockey championships

- Neutral sites for WBB beginning in 2014-15 

The University of Louisville has been awarded the National Championships for Field Hockey in 2017 for Division I, II and III. The news from the NCAA is a boost for the Cards and Louisville...even though it is a few years away. Trager Stadium is the gold standard when it comes to field hockey facilities and...with a little luck, good recruiting and some hard work...maybe Justine Sowry's stick swingers will be a participant.

Maybe by then the NCAA will also figure out how to plan an NCAA Field Hockey Tournament event. 16 or 32 teams would seem to be a good idea. Where they came up with 19 squads this year is anyone's guess.

Connecticut, Duke, Maryland and North Carolina were the FINAL FOUR teams this season and the Huskies defeated Duke 2-0 in the finals...held in Norfolk, VA. where ODU plays.

That's three ACC teams (one that's leaving in Maryland) and a BIG EAST squad. With UConn's the second year in a row that a non-ACC team has won the title...after a 10-year run of the ACC providing the National Champ.

Louisville has hosted four previous FINAL FOURS in Field Hockey...the last time in 2011


The NCAA women's basketball regionals are going back to neutral sites.

No regionals here for the foreseeable future
The championship committee announced Wednesday that Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Greensboro and Albany will host the 2015 regionals. The committee received  criticism this Fall from some coaches about the move to have regionals on campus
for this season's tournament.

"The committee heard the concerns from the coaching community in protecting
neutrality at the regional rounds and acted accordingly," said Anucha Browne,
NCAA vice president, women's basketball championships. "In looking for ways to
improve the student-athlete experience, the committee felt a move to neutral
regional sites was in the best interest of the championship."

Stanford, Notre Dame, Louisville and Nebraska will host games in March with the
chance to go to the Final Four on the line.

Muffet is a fan of integrity
"I'm so pleased to see the committee recognize the importance of neutral sites in order to preserve the integrity of the tournament," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "I believe they are as happy as the coaches are that we will be able to play on neutral courts for the regionals moving forward."

The first two rounds in 2015 again will be played on campus sites with the top 16 seeded teams in the tournament hosting the sub-regionals.

The Final Four will be in Tampa. There was talk of trying to move it up two days
to a Friday-Sunday format, but while still possible it is unlikely that it will
occur in 2015.

Sites for the Division II and Division III Final Fours were also unveiled. The
possibility remains that all three levels may play their championship games in
Indianapolis in 2016 over the same weekend.

(Thanks to Louisville S.I.D. for the feed alert)



  1. I just don't get it. The NCAA has no idea on how to host events. You go to places WHERE FANS WILL SHOW UP.Louisville has proved that it is one of those places. This netrual site bullcrap is just a ploy to placate big business in certain cities that sponsor and fund NCAA excessive spending.

    Am I excited about a 2015 tournament in Tampa? I am, because I live in Naples. If the NCAA thinks it is a neutral site, though, then they must have never heard of USF. Will USF have a women's basketball team good enough to make the 2015 Final Four? Probably not, but I hope that they do, just to shove it in the NCAA Rules Committee piehole.

    The real Joe Hill

    1. (The above is an e-mail Joe sent me that I felt needed to be seen by all.)


    2. Some good points. The reason they set it up the way they did this year was due to the proven poor attendance history at the neutral sites over prior years. Ackerman correctly called the tourney attendance problem out in her NCAA WCBB White Paper which I believe is what drove the regional structure this year. They went for proven WCBB markets that could expect a certain attendance baseline.

      Neutral sites for the regionals are a huge problem from a paying fan attendance standpoint. It hasn't worked in the past and it won't in the future.

      Muffet is more concerned about political correctness and not being accused of ND having a home court advantage than she is about overall attendance and the future direction of the tourney. Not too surprising that the PC crew won out in this situation.

  2. I have real mixed emotions on this issue. On the one hand, I recognize that, unfortunately, the WBB tournament has always had an attendance problem. That dictates the on-campus sites for first and second round games and the decision to hold 2014 regionals at on-campus venues. More tickets sold equals more exposure and more revenue, and I like that. On the other hand, from a fairness perspective, I'm not real fond of a team getting that huge home court advantage with a trip to the Final Four on the line. And I say that as someone who has four mid-court seats at the Yum! for the Regional and will do everything that I can do to make that home court advantage as meaningful as possible (assuming Cardinals are there).

  3. And which one of these sites (Louisville, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Stanford) is supposed to be an Eastern regional? If Rutgers makes it to the regionals, or any east coast school does, they have to travel at least 10 hours. Unacceptable.

    The NCAA set the deck and dealt off the bottom in this hand.

    Willie B.
    RU Fan

    1. Good point, Willie. Rutgers is about 11 hours from Louisviile ( I drove it once for the worst UofL football game in history) and about 12 hours away from South Bend.



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