And So It Begins...
Later today...well, probably later, depending on when you're reading this...the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament starts.
Paulie gave a breakdown of the Central Arkansas SugarBears, a team which certainly ranks well in the Cardinal Couple fascination for mascots, yesterday. If you haven't gotten your bracket picks in, time is quickly running out. I'll have mine down below.
We Get Letters, and Walz Writes Letters...
Usually when I title a section "We Get Letters" it's about some controversy that we're hearing a lot of our readers and listeners. This time, though it's about letters being sent, particularly emails, and a few phone calls. Specifically emails from WBB Head Coach Jeff Walz.
Walz doesn't spend much time and effort on social media such as Twitter, but what he does expend in that area is masterfully spent. After tweeting Monday suggesting that people take a half day off of work to come see the team play at 2:30, Cheryl Ruckriegel responded asking for him to write her a good excuse, saying "I know I need to be there, the boss is the issue." Walz responded "Send me his/her email." Direct Messages ensued and later Walz shared that she was good and that her boss was, "a good man." Coach invited the boss to come to, but noted "as a UK fan, I'm not sure I can get him to come."
Other requests ensued, including one from "JP (the.jenni.p)" asking for an email as well, only this time, her boss was Mayor of Louisville Greg Fischer. That apparently elicited a direct call from Walz, instead of an email. Soon, a steady stream of requests were heading his way, along with some comments that he was going down a dangerous path and would soon be inundated with requests. Walz stated he "I've always put our fans first. I will write as many emails as needed". In the midst of it all, he also managed to help arrange for some handicap seating for a fan with a broken foot in a cast.
Normally I wouldn't write too much about exchanges like this that happened on Twitter, but this one went a bit viral, with ESPN and the AP picking it up. The UofL marketing folks picked up on it and created a form letter that people could fill out and give to their bosses. One fan even volunteered that she could get the day off and her boss would even pay for the ticket if coach would email. For that largess, Walz offered a phone call as well, requesting a phone number via Direct Message to make the contact.
Coach has, particularly in recent years, been very strong in stating his thanks for CardNation's support for this team. A coach thanking the fan base for their support can sometimes sounds a bit cynical, but it's things like this that re-enforce the sincerity of the feelings from Walz and the rest of the UofL Women's Basketball program.
Games for the tournament overall start today at noon. UofL will be playing in the 2nd game of the session at the KFC Yum! Center at 2:30. It's probably not too late to get a note from Walz. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, or at the door.
Swimming and Diving Championships
The big news out of Georgia Tech's pool is the 100 yard Butterfly split where UofL's Kelsi Worrell put the faster split, in history. Because it was part of a relay, it's not eligible for any official records.
Andrea Acquista finished 33rd in the 1 meter springboard diving competition after rising as high as 14th in the standings during the competition. UofL has never competed significantly well in diving, so it's exciting to see the first steps into national level competition on the diving side of the team.
UConn SetonHall MissSt MichSt USF UCLA Missouri Texas Baylor Auburn FSU TexasA&M DePaul Louisville OklahomeST OregonSt SouthCar KansasSt Florida Syracuse WVU OSU GreenBay ArizonaST NotreDame Georgia Miami Stanford Purdue UK Washington Maryland
UConn MisssST USF Texas Baylor FSU Louisville OregonST SouthCar Syracuse OSU ArizonaST NotreDame Miami UK Maryland
UConn Texas Baylor Louisville SouthCar OSU NotreDame Maryland
UConn Louisville SouthCar NotreDame