Potential Postseason for UofL Squads
We learned back on Easter weekend that the VolleyCards would be dancing in the NCAA Tournament as the 11-seed. Louisville will play the winner of San Diego and Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Thursday. Our own Jeff McAdams is making his annual pilgrimage to watch the VolleyCards attempt to advance in the Tulsa bubble and we'll look forward to his updates. That begins Thursday.
We do have other Louisville teams quickly approaching their postseasons as well. Some of them are in better shape than others, but a postseason appearance is still within reach for several teams.
A team that has received praise all season from us is Justine Sowry's field hockey squad. The Cards are 12-5 on the season with wins over ranked opponents such as North Carolina, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Boston College, and Duke.
Their five losses have come from a combined seven goals including two losses to North Carolina. All of their losses have been against ranked opponents.
The #3 Cards host Wake Forest for the season finale on Saturday. This one can probably be considered a must win.
Field Hockey got screwed by the NCAA. The normal field of 16 teams, which is too low as is, has been shortened to 12 this season. Originally, 10 of the teams would be automatic qualifiers with two at-large bids. With the Ivy League backing out a third at-large spot opens up. North Carolina will take the ACC automatic bid by winning the ACC Championship in the fall so Louisville can only find themselves in the tournament as an at-large bid.
#1 North Carolina is an automatic qualifier. #2 Iowa, #4 Northwestern, #5 Michigan, #10 Rutgers, and #11 Maryland all have a shot at winning the Big Ten with the other three also competing for at-large bids.
#6 Liberty and #7 UConn are battling it out for the Big East automatic bid with the other hopeful for an at-large bid.
#8 Syracuse and #9 Wake Forest are also still in the running, but both are living on more than just a prayer out this point.( Sorry, Bon Jovi. )
The latest rankings haven't come out yet so we aren't sure how far Louisville may fall after their penalty shootout loss at Duke, but a win against a highly ranked Wake Forest squad would certainly add to an impressive resume.
If the NCAA would treat women's sports with more respect and extend the field hockey bracket to something more reasonable such as 24 or 32 teams, Louisville would be in without a doubt. You don't see the baseball brackets getting lessened to fewer teams. And men's soccer still has 36 teams (normally 48), way more than field hockey is getting.
At 15-17 and having 17 games remaining, it's a long shot for Louisville to make the tournament. We would need to see the Cards go on a hot streak that would involve wins against #9 Florida State, #10 Kentucky, and #16 Duke.
They do have another way to make it in. If Louisville can win the ACC Tournament then they would receive the ACC's automatic bid. The Cards host the ACC Tournament giving them a bit of a home field advantage. 10 of the 13 teams in the ACC qualify with the 1- and 2-seeds earning a first-round bye.
Louisville sits at ninth in the conference currently carrying a 9-12 record. North Carolina is one game ahead of them at 8-9. Virginia is two games back from the Cards at 9-16. Georgia Tech is in third at 6-16, 3.5 games behind Louisville. With 16 conference games remaining Louisville must fight to stay in the top ten and then go on a run.
Louisville's woes have bounced back-and-forth between offense for much of the season to pitching as of late. The Cards return home this weekend for a four-game series with Duke.
Despite their 5-7 record we have seen Louisville make some vast improvements over the last few years. With a 1-6 conference record the Cards are seventh out of eight teams. All eight teams compete in the ACC Tournament.
Lacrosse is another sport with a small bracket. In 2019, the bracket consisted of 26 teams with top six seeds receiving a first round bye. The NCAA has not specified if the field will be smaller this year or remain the same.
Currently ranked #18 in the country, Louisville is in an okay spot but could certainly use a couple more wins the rest of the season to help solidify their position. They play Syracuse twice at home and close out the season on the road at Notre Dame. Winning the ACC Tournament would also guarantee a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017.
For now, time will tell with these Louisville squads. We will continue to cover them no matter what happens and will gladly celebrate any successes they may have.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!