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Monday, February 6, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Showdown in South Bend tonight -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


( Sorry for today's late post....Super Bowl sluggishness. What a game, though!) 

If you are a Louisville basketball fan, tonight's a night to reserve your spot on the couch, have the popcorn, beverages and whatever lucky charm or article of clothing you reserve for the big ones at the ready and prepare for battle. The Cards take over ESPN on Big Monday in two huge road matches against ACC foes.

Not only do the men face a Virginia squad that has had their number lately in Charlottesville (ESPN)...but Jeff Walz's women's squad is on the docket and travels to South Bend for a top ten match up against Muffet McGraw's Notre Dame team. (ESPN 2). Unfortunately, both are at 7 split screens and mutiple viewing devices will come into play. 

Louisville has won five out of their last six games and the Irish are on a five-game winning streak.  The Irish are #7 or #8...depending on which poll service you want to consider and the Cards are #9 or #7. Both have 20+ wins on the season. Both have much to gain (or lose) with a win (or loss) tonight. 

Muffet McGraw realizes the importance: 

" It's a huge game for both teams. It's certainly a game where we have to be really ready because they have so many weapons. They have excellent post play. This is going to be a battle."  

A lot of that post play will be hinged on whether Myisha Hines-Allen can go for the Cards. As of this writing, it's a matter of seeing how it goes in warm-ups and how she feels. Thanks for all the e-mails and texts about her status! 

The Irish can come at you from a lot of directions. Brianna Turner is the leading scorer in a balanced attack. The 6'3" junior forward averages 14.8 ppg and also leads with 7.5 rpg. Sophomore guard Arike Ogunbowale produces 14.7 a contest. One cannot overlook 5'11" sophomore guard Marina Mabrey and her 13.5 ppg. 5'8" senior guard Lindsey Allen leads with 185 assists and also averages 5.5 steals a contest. Kathryn Westbeld had 15 points in the last contest...vs. Virginia Tech. Freshmen Erin Boley and Jackie Young come off the bench to provide valuable contributions to the Fighting Irish. 

Where do you point the hose to start putting out the fire? This "magnificent seven" has been largely responsible for the Irish being in the top ten nationally in field goal%, 3-point field goal %, assist per game and assist-to-turnover ratio.

At 21-3 overall and 9-1 in the ACC..the Irish are tied atop the standing but they have had a few tough tests so far. Their ACC lost came to NC State 70-62 in Raleigh. Boston College got within 11 of them when UND visited them. Duke came into South Bend and narrowly lost 62-58. Visiting Virginia fell 82-74 to Muffet's gang. UConn won the early season match-up in the Purcell Pavilion 72-61 and the Irish traveled to Knoxville and fell to the Vols 71-69.  

The Cards are 4-12 in the series with Notre Dame and have lost the last nine meetings. Last year in the KFC YUM! Center the Cards led 35-30 at the half but ended up on the short end of a 66-61 final score. 

To win tonight in South Bend, the Cards must take care of a few things that Walz has been preaching all season. Consistency. Playing for 40 minutes. Making layups. Making free throws. Recognizing who has the hot hand and avoiding slow starts to the quarters are all areas UofL will need to control and manage if they want to leave South Bend with a well-earned
"W" in the luggage. 

It should be a great one to watch and we'll be back tonight with the recap. 



Another top 10 contest on the guys side takes place tonight also with Pitino's players facing Tony Bennett and the Cavs. If you listened to our Saturday morning broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO got some valuable insight from Case Hoskins on what the Cards would need to do to dismantle the Wahoos. Louisville MBB has been on fire lately and with all the top 10 losses over the weekend and the Cards huge win...Louisville could move up to as high as #3 in the nation. 

Virginia has been a nemesis. Can the Cards find a way to win this one tonight? 

Especially with the late news that Deng Adel and Mangok Mathiang will sit tonight because of a Saturday night curfew rules violation. 

Gonna be one hard row to plow without them, Q and Hicks...



Sunday ACC WBB offered a few surprises (at least to me) in the five game schedule. I went 3-2 in the selections. I did hit the Duke win at Virginia, Syracuse over Boston College and Wake Forest against Pitt...but was unsuccessful in choosing UNC against Clemson (nice win Tigers!) and Virginia Tech stumbled against Georgia Tech. 

Hopefully FSU and UofL can salvage a less than stellar week for your fearless prognosticator.  

ACC. Anything Can Culminate. 



  1. Is Myisha hines-allen playing tonight?

    1. Game time decision. That is all I am being told.


  2. OK thanks Paulie Go Card's beat Notre Dame.

  3. This is the Game for our Club. We need to show up and make a statement.

  4. Tough task, not impossible. Last regular season game to make a statement. And the idiots at ESPN could have made either game a 9:00 start.

  5. What happened to Taylor jump shot?

    1. You got to play her in order for her to score. She hasn't seen more than 12 minutes since the Ga. Tech game and just a total of 52 minutes in the last seven which is barely over seven minutes a contest.

      Blue Lou

  6. Morning Paulie and readers. I, too, slept in Paulie. This should be a national day off. Let's be perfectly frank here. The Cards have a slim chance of defeating Notre Dame if Hines-Allen is unable to play.
    No matter how huge Moore and Durr step up, someone has to be able to go to war in the paint offensively. I'd like to see Shook be that step up but I just think she's not ready to battle Turner, Ogunbowale, Westbeld or even Boley inside yet. Fuehring could be a candidate but for how many minutes? Dunham isn't up to that level of competition yet and C.Johnson has fallen off the radar in court minutes So, you run the heck out of Jazmine Jones with Moore, BJ, Asia and Cortnee and hope you can steal a few good minutes from the rest. Anything Taylor can add would be a bonus. Maybe Z can pop a few threes. Also Jonesey. Maybe Louisville can stay outside and bomb away all the game with some success but someone has to corral the misses beside Walton, who hasn't shown yet she can go back up with them for second chance points.

    Bottom line is how will this squad hold up under the pressure against a loud crowd, superior talent and possibly without Hines-Allen. She had 16/7 against them last year.

    I got a bad, bad feeling about this one this morning and I hope it's just the combination of chili, ribs, wings, beer and spicy nacho dip from yesterday causing it.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

  7. Best of luck to the ladies in their tough task. The men face even more of an uphill battle than anticipated. They're without Mangok Mathiang and Deng Adel, both of whom were suspended one game for breaking curfew and did not travel with the team.

    The 4th ranked Cardinals (KU only dropped to 3) will need all hands on deck to have a chance. Hopefully the new game plan that Coach Pitino came up with to attack Virginia didn't depend too heavily on Mathiang or Adel.

  8. Last time I can remember being at home having to switch between games we slayed the giant.😀😀😀

  9. Cards drop to 12th AP ranking.


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