Louisville Begins ACC Play Tomorrow
When the Cards take on Syracuse tomorrow afternoon, they'll do so to open their sixth season in the ACC. Louisville has had pretty nice success in this conference, since coming over from the brief stint in the American Athletic Conference. Since joining the ACC, Louisville holds an overall 68-12 conference record, not including tournaments, and has had a season low of just 12 conference wins (twice). The Cards have never been the outright regular season champions, twice tying with Notre Dame at the top, and have only once held the crown at the end of the conference tournament.
This year, however, is different. Notre Dame, after losing all five starters to graduation/the WNBA, is squarely in a rebuilding year. The Irish sit at just 5-7 and have lost three straight. Their wins have been generally narrow margins and they have not come against particularly quality opponents. They'll open their conference season with Clemson tomorrow and we'll see if their dominance is truly diminished for this year.
Louisville was selected by the coaches to finish as the number one team in the conference, and the Cards have, so far, lived up to that billing for the most part. Despite the loss to Ohio State and a couple of other scares, Louisville has just the one loss on the season and already has a top-15 road win after taking down their rival in Rupp. Louisville also took down then-ranked No. 1 Oregon in one of the early season tournaments. At 7th, the Cards are the highest ranked ACC team in both polls, ahead of Florida State by one spot in each. Both FSU and Duke currently sit ahead of Louisville in the standings, but only by way of having played a conference game already.
Louisville's athletics site points out that Jeff Walz is 10-2 in conference openers since taking the top job at UofL. The last came all the way back in 2012, when the Cards dropped a six-point loss to Depaul in their Big East opener. The only other conference opening loss for Louisville was in 2008, and it coincidentally came against the Orange of Syracuse. As Paulie pointed out in yesterday's article, the Cards typically do not have a lot of trouble after the holiday break, and I don't imagine that changing tomorrow. Surprises happen, though. Syracuse is only 6-5, but four of their five losses came to ranked teams. The fifth loss was to Green Bay in overtime, so perhaps these Orange have more to them than meets the eye. Walz and Co. are sure to be prepared.
And so, the Cards' regular season title defense begins.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
The time has come. The last Cardinal Couple Radio Hour from WCHQ is nigh. The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour will go out as it came in, with Jeff and Paulie leading the way. The rest of the cast are otherwise indisposed, with me becoming a late scratch due to illness. The guys will bring you a great show for the last one of the WCHQ era and will have plenty to discuss as they prepare for the conference basketball season. Jeff may also give an update to the future of the CCRH as we prepare the way for our new presentation methods. Have no fear: the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics isn't going anywhere.
Until next time, Go Cards!
Until next time, Go Cards!