UofLWBB Ranked #1 in Latest Poll
Sometimes you just need to take a moment to sit back and smile. The latest AP Poll gave us all the reason to do so when we saw Louisville women's basketball at the top of their rankings.
Yep... your UofL Cards are ranked #1 for the first time in program history!
The Cards, who are 12-0 on the year and boast a 5-0 conference record, moved up to the #1 spot after a pair of conference wins as well as a little outside help. Colorado hosted Stanford on Sunday. The Buffs took down Stanford 77-72 in overtime, knocking the Cardinal from their perfect record and top ranking.
Louisville hosted Boston College on Thursday and took them down 89-70. They then welcomed Florida State on Sunday and beat them for the first time since Jan. 24, 2019 by a score of 84-56.
The crowd at the KFC Yum! Center got notification on their phones late in the game about Stanford's loss, adding to the excitement down the stretch. Although the results were not announced inside the arena the team did find out in the locker room after the game, leading to them having a celebration of their own.
"It's a great honor," said Jeff Walz. "Obviously it doesn't do you anything come March, but it's something that we're proud of, because we have sustained something here for 14 years. It's been a lot of hard work and we've had a lot of great players and a great staff. And not only do we win some ballgames, but I think we win our community, we win in public. Our players are wonderful young women that represent our athletic department to the fullest."
I've only been following UofL women's basketball since the start of the 2012-2013 season. This #1 ranking has been a long time coming and quite inevitable when you look at the program over recent years. For others here on the staff, like Paulie for example, he was a regular WBB attender back in the late 70's. He's obviously very proud of the program as well
Earning a #1 ranking and keeping a #1 ranking are vastly different, as we have come to see as teams such as South Carolina and Stanford have faltered from the top this season.
The Cards are back in action this Thursday when they host #23 Syracuse. CeeLo Green, err, I mean Quentin Hillsman and the Orange have given the Cards a run for their money recently. Louisville won at home by four to close out 2019 before falling on the road by eight in February of 2020. The two foes met in the ACC tournament where Louisville was much more successful, winning by 25.
#23 Syracuse, who decimated Miami Sunday., gets another test today when UNC comes to visit. You can watch this game on the ACC Network at the interesting time of noon. The Tar Heels and Cuse have already met once this season, UNC beating the Orange pretty easily 92-68 in Chapel Hill.
Kianna Smith Named ACC Player of the Week
UofL women's basketball saw more good news when Kianna Smith was named College Sports Madness ACC Player of the Week.
Despite what seemed to be a meaningful injury that we later learned wasn't as severe as initially thought, Smith had stellar performances against both Boston College and Florida State. She averaged 14.5 points per game, shooting 52% from the floor and 7-15 from three-point range. Also on her two-game averages were 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Even more, she only committed one turnover in 59 minutes of action, something Walz has praised in the past.
Smith has shot 23-56 from three-point range on the season. The 41% mark ranks eighth in the ACC.
Vanderbilt Cancels Season
A third Power Five Conference team announced the cancellation of the remainder of their season. Vanderbilt decided they would discontinue this season amid COVID-19 concerns.
Vandy was 4-4 and 0-3 in SEC play. They lost soundly at home to Alabama, got demolished against South Carolina, and are fresh off a loss at Kentucky. They have also had four cancellations and two postponements.
The Commodores join the ranks of Duke and Virginia. The season is still rather young and we may see more teams call it quits before the season concludes.
A Cool Accomplishment
Being the ACC's selected UofL pool photographer has its perks, including being able to go to all of the home games. Aside from being able to provide everyone here at Cardinal Couple plenty of up-to-date in-game photos, I also get to see my work shared on various neighboring sites such as our friend Charlie Springer's UofL CardGame and Daryl's old Crunch Zone website, on top of many others.
Something I was not expecting was to see my work featured on the ACC's social media pages or published and printed on the Courier-Journal. It was rather exciting and emotional to see both yesterday.