COME AND CUT ME FREE
Quarantine has been absolutely miserable. Fortunately, I have the capability of working from home. That, plus video games and streaming services have helped pass the time somewhat, but I'm ready to get out and about again.
After COVID-19 came through and wiped out a good percentage of folks at work, including myself, we've all found ourselves confined to jail, I mean home. I've been lucky enough to be asymptomatic and have avoided Katy like the plague. In a pair of PCR tests this week, she has been negative so fingers crossed she stays that way.
Boredom has led to some plenty of random conversations with friends lately, including one that I found interesting enough to talk about today. After having been highly successful over the last couple decades, Louisville women's basketball could schedule pretty much any team they wanted. So who should Louisville schedule for non-conference opponents?
Should Schedule Every Season
Kentucky. The Cards vs Cats rivalry is a no brainer. This is a game circled on the schedule every year and draws in a huge crowd. The Wildcats hold the 34-22 advantage but Louisville is on a five-game win streak.
Bellarmine. Now that the other big in-town school is DI, it will be a fun way to connect Louisville and Bellarmine. For the foreseeable future, Louisville should win these games with ease, but it will almost always be the biggest game on the schedule for the Knights. Louisville is 12-2 in NCAA regulated games against Bellarmine after the Cards thrashed the Knights last season.
Play at Least Every Other Season
UConn. What used to be a single-sided rivalry has turned into some memorable match-ups over the last few years. Walz vs Geno is a guaranteed TV spotlight game and is a great resume builder for when tournament time rolls around. Louisville has won three times in 21 attempts against the Huskies, most recently in the state of Connecticut last season.
Cincinnati. Bring back the old Big East rivalry. These games may not get as heated as football did, but the I-71 battle was a classic. Plus, former Louisville assistant coach Michelle Clark-Heard is currently the head coach of the Bearcats. Louisville has nearly doubled up Cincinnati in the all-time series, 41-24.
Every in-state school that isn't Kentucky and Bellarmine. It's always a good thing to establish positive relations with other schools in the state. Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Northern Kentucky, Murray State, and Morehead State might not be top of the line programs when trying to create the strongest schedule possible, but who doesn't love the in-state match-up? WKU is the only of these five schools to have a winning record against the Cards, holding a 20-18 advantage.
Play Every Few Seasons
Memphis. Talk about a throwback. This Conference USA rivalry was feisty and has been a rivalry fans on social media have begged to revive for years. Sadly, I was too young to remember this one without having to re-watch film. Also, Memphis has some good food and I wouldn't mind going back to Beale Street or the Rendezvous for some BBQ. The series is tied at 23-23.
DePaul. DePaul is team that has spurts of greatness and spurts of not greatness. DePaul upset the Cards in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2016. In return, Louisville dropped 116 on them a couple years ago. The Cards trail the all-time series 16-17. Or, schedule just for seeing Doug Bruno on the sidelines/ One of the "great ones" in women's college basketball.
Tennessee. If the Lady Vols are returning to their glory days, this would be one heck of a non-conference match-up between ranked opponents. Surprisingly, these two teams have faced each other a total of four times and the series is split even. Prior to her young career at Tennessee, Kellie Harper was at NC State for four years so Louisville has seen her before. Harper was at Missouri State briefly between NC State and Tennessee. Former assistant coach Sam Williams is now an assistant at Tennessee.
South Dakota State. This is more of me wanting to see one of the most successful mid-major women's basketball programs go up against the Cards. The Jackrabbits run their offense to mimic their mascot- fast. Who else is known for running a fast-paced offense? Louisville. How about a 40-minute sprint of a basketball game? Louisville is 2-0 against South Dakota State, having played in 2016 and 2017.
Are there teams you think should be on regular rotation for Louisville to play? It can be based off history with that team or just because you think it would be a fun match-up to watch.
Happy Friday and Go Cards!