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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Spring Sports Galore -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Women's Basketball Host Eagles

The Cardinal women's basketball team will welcome Boston College to the KFC Yum! Center today. Both teams are coming off of a win, with Louisville taking down Virginia Tech on Thursday and Boston College snapping a ten game losing streak by beating North Carolina. The Cards shouldn't have much trouble against this 9-16 (2-10) squad from the northeast, but will need to put a focused game together to avoid a major stumble late in the season.

Louisville is 3-1 all time against Boston College, winning last season. Turnovers will be a major factor today, as Louisville forced 21 against BC last year and the Eagles, despite winning the game, had 22 turnovers against the Tar Heels. BC shot lights out from three against UNC and won the rebounding battle by a large margin. Focusing on exterior defense, pressuring the ball, and winning the battle of the boards should be the keys for Louisville today.

The game can be found on Fox Sports South, 790AM, or at the corner of Second and Main. Tipoff is at 3PM.

Men's Basketball 'Steals One' From Miami, 71-66

Head Coach Rick Pitino made no bones about it when he said "we stole this game" in his post game press conference yesterday. Louisville, while winning the game by five, had trailed for the entire game before tying it for the first time since 0-0 with 6:12 remaining in the game. Though they went up by 6 after that point, Miami was able to tie the game again with less than two minutes to go. Pitino explained that his team was outhustled and outplayed, but that their character won them the basketball game, one that 90-95% of the other teams in the country would lose.

I'm not much for the "will to win" idea. Of course, a less talented team can beat a more talented team by outworking them, but that's not what Pitino described. Louisville may have been outhustled for most of the game, but they won the game because they started playing the way they should have played the entire game. Does it show good character as a team to not give up in the face of adversity? Yes, but don't act like Louisville wasn't the better team in yesterday's contest. 

I had imagined that Miami would give Louisville fits, especially since Louisville was trying to reintegrate a missing piece back into its lineup. Unfortunately, I wasn't wrong. Miami extended their lead to as much as fourteen in the first half, though Louisville didn't really seem out of the game. Not until much later. Louisville always seemed as though they were just a short run away from being right in striking distance. The Cards cut the Hurricane lead to six before Miami went to the line for free throws with six seconds remaining in the half. After hitting the first, the Miami shooter's miss of the second free throw fell to Donovan Mitchell's hands. Mitchell brought the ball up court quickly and heaved a contested three from just inside the Cardinal Bird. The straight shot clanged just off the back iron and the Miami lead remained at seven.

The start of the second half was back and forth until Miami extended it's lead back to nine at 44-35 with 14:29 remaining. Louisville went on an 8-0 run to make it a one point game. It was at this point that Louisville seemed that it might have made its last blast. The Cards had two possessions at 44-43 to take the lead, and squandered both. Miami quickly pushed its lead back to six. There was still almost nine minutes remaining in the game, but that comeback seemed as though it might have taken a lot out of the Cards, who had fallen just short.

Fortunately, the Yum! Center crowd decided to make yesterday one of the days where they actually feel like a college basketball atmosphere. The crowd was amped up. They didn't get too discouraged by the big deficits the team faced, and the comeback had only fueled their fire. I think the home crowd provided the motivation that the Cards needed to get over the hump. Louisville continued its run, extending it to a 26-9 run over 10 minutes to take an eight point lead of their own with under four minutes remaining. Miami hadn't given up either, as they put together an 8-0 run of their own to tie the game with two minutes remaining. 

Quentin Snider showed his value in his return scoring the next five points, including a deep three to put the Cards up five with 41 seconds remaining. It was Jaylen Johnson who actually iced the game for the Cards, though, after the teams exchanged free throws. Johnson drained two free throws to extend the Cardinal lead to five with 6 seconds remaining, and that was the game. 

It was a nail biter throughout, but the win puts the men tied at fourth in the conference with Duke (Louisville owns the head to head tiebreaker) at 8-4. The Cards will look to hold an edge over 8-5 Syracuse when they travel to the Carrier Dome for a Monday night game.

In other Men's Basketball news, the committee released their "bracket preview" yesterday, which I think is kind of silly. There is an entire month of regular season remaining. Anyway, the Cards were awarded a number 2 seed in this mockup and found themselves bracketed with Villanova, Kentucky, and UCLA. Uhhh... No thank you. The only good thing about that bracket is that Louisville can't possibly have to play all three. I'll hope for a more matchup friendly bracket come March, but we'll have to beat some of the best in the nation to win a championship, regardless.

Softball Splits Day 2

The UofL softball team is currently in Las Vegas for the Sportco Kickoff Classic hosted by UNLV. After an offensive outburst on day one, with two mercy rules, Louisville found itself in defensive battles yesterday. The Cards went 9 innings before finally topping Indiana State, and fell to the host school 5-3 after a 4 run first inning by the Running Rebels. Indiana State will get another chance at the Cards today in Louisville's final matchup of the tournament. Paulie may have more on this tomorrow when the tournament has wrapped up.

Lacrosse Hosts Robert Morris

After a thriller against Marquette, Louisville lacrosse is back at home today. The game will begin at 1PM in UofL Lacrosse Stadium. The Cards have only faced Robert Morris once before, winning 19-3 in 2008. The Cards are 2-0 and Robert Morris is 0-1, falling 11-10 to Bucknell. The Cards will need to keep the foot on the gas for the entire game, as Bucknell led 10-2 at halftime before narrowly escaping with the win in regulation. I feel quite confident that the Cards are a bit better than Bucknell, but, as in any sport, there are no days off.

All this and more...

on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. If you've made it this far, and you still want more, check out yesterday's show (here). We talk about all of the sports mentioned today, add a couple of more, and then throw our flair on it for good measure. As always, you can hear the show live on Saturday mornings from 11-12 on 100.9 WCHQ or by downloading the Crescent Hill Radio App.

Finally...Paulie Picks

Here's who the bearded one likes in today and Monday's match-ups.

Notre Dame hosts Georgia Tech. This one shouldn't be much trouble for the Irish. Look for the ones in green and white to have a successful Sunday.

Duke brings in the Pitt Panthers. The Blue Devils look to keep on pace for a double-bye in the ACC Tournament and Brown and Greenwell do work for the home team.

Miami invites the Clemson Tigers to prowl the beaches but storm warnings are in effect for these felines. Sebastian the Ibis rides out a Hurricane win.

NC State opens up Reynolds Coliseum for a turkey shoot and the Wolf Pack takes aim upon the Gobblers from Virginia Tech..Ms. Wuf gets the celebration dance today.

Virginia hosting Wake should be a very good matchup. I'll side with the Wahoos here. I've picked the home team in each contest so far and see the Cavs fighting through the Trees.

Syracuse defends the Dome against the Tar Heels and should roll past UNC. I still wonder how the Heels beat NC State..."Q" gets a win over Sylvia.

Louisville is in the Chicken bucket to face the B.C. Eagles in our only bird-battle of the day. We doubt anyone rushes the floor in this one and the Cards win the avian contest.

On Monday, Florida State invites Texas to Talhassee for a little riding and roping. These steers aren't bad but Chief Osceloa's bunch makes Porterhouses' of them.

Until Next Time, Go Cards

1 comment:

  1. Good afternoon paulie & cards fans I like that the chicken


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