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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Cards Onto the ACC Championship — Softball Splits — SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

(He waits for UofL on Sunday)


Happy Sunday and Happy ACC Championship Day, Cards fans! That’s right, Louisville women’s basketball is still playing. They highlight a busy day that also features a pair of softball games and a lacrosse match.

You may notice I’m not Jeff, but it’s time I check in from down here in the ACC Tournament. To say it’s been a busy couple of days would be an understatement. My photo credential allows me to photograph any and every game of the ACC Tournament and I took that literally. Starting with Miami vs Boston College, continuing through four games on Friday, and a pair of games yesterday, the camera shutter has been clicking like crazy. Then comes the editing and minimal sleep.

Besides the every game “thank you’s” from Louisville fans, players, and staff for the photos, I also received some pleasant compliments from a couple twin players on a certain orange and green team for some photos from their games this tournament. While that’s cool, my heart is still red and black.

Louisville Gets Revenge, Crushes Notre Dame

Third try is a charm, right? In this case, Louisville women’s basketball made sure their victory over 1-seed Notre Dame was no fluke as the Cards crushed the Irish 64-38.

Louisville lost the two regular season meetings by a combined five points. Yeah, yeah, you can point out that Notre Dame had Olivia Miles in those games… sort of. Miles did hit the game winner in South Bend in the first meeting, but the Irish were trailing when the sophomore went down inside the KFC Yum! Center and came back to win with her on the bench.

There was no doubt in yesterday’s game. Notre Dame had three straight single-digit quarters while Louisville raised out to a monstrous lead that had players smiling, laughing, and hugging on the court long before the final buzzer sounded.

The Cards shot 1-13 from three-point range, possibly the only downside to the game. However, they made up for it in several other statistical categories- 75% free throw shooting, +12 rebounding margin, only 12 turnovers, and 22 forced turnovers. Those 22 forced turnovers converted into 26 made points, coincidentally the exact margin the Cards won by.

Hailey Van Lith didn’t have a lights out performance like she did against Wake Forest, but the junior did contribute in many ways. She led all players in scoring with 15 points. She limited her turnovers to two while logging three steals and being responsible for six fouls drawn.

Mykasa Robinson had another stat sheet-filling performance. She shot 5-7 from the field for 10 points while also pulling in eight rebounds, dishing out five assists, and recording two steals. One of those steals and assists came on a beautiful loose ball play in the first quarter that wound up being a nice layup by Morgan Jones.

Olivia Cochran had one of her best performances of the year. The junior shot 5-6 from the field along with a pair of made free throws for 12 points. She added eight boards, two assists, one steal, and four fouls drawn while keeping her fouls committed and turnovers to nil. It was a continuation of the return of the Olivia of old,  And, it's great to see. 

1Q: Louisville 12, Notre Dame 7

Offense was not the name of the game in the opening quarter. Nyla Harris hit three of four free throws to start the game, but it took four minutes before Louisville made a field goal. Notre Dame needed almost two minutes for theirs, a pull-up jumper by Sonia Citron. The Irish held a 5-3 advantage at the 6:40 mark, but Louisville’s world famous defense got to work. The Cards forced six turnovers in the first quarter to halt Notre Dame’s scoring and Louisville used a 9-2 run to close out the quarter.

2Q: Louisville 29, Notre Dame 15

In a low-scoring game, a 14-point halftime lead feels like a large margin. The play on the court confirmed that. Louisville went on a quick 6-0 spurt that caused Niele Ivey to call a timeout. The Cards forced a turnover following that timeout to push it to an 8-0 run in the second quarter (12-0 run over both quarters) before Notre Dame was able to knock down a shot. A fast break layup by Jones pushed the lead to 15 with six minutes remaining in the quarter. The Irish scored on back-to-back possessions after that to cut the lead to 11 but the two teams traded baskets up to halftime.

3Q: Louisville 50-24

You don’t often see a team double up their opponent late in the game, but Louisville did that yesterday at the conclusion of the third quarter. Louisville’s defense forced a pair of turnovers and the Cards had a 6-0 mini run to open up the second half to push their lead to 20. The Cards continued to toy with Notre Dame as nearly half of the Irish’s third quarter points came from the free throw line. They had three times as many turnovers (six) as they did made baskets (two).

4Q: Louisville 64-38

The women’s basketball world turned their heads as Notre Dame, the ACC’s best in the regular season had dug a deep hole against Louisville. The Cards opened up the final quarter on a 12-4 run and held a commanding 32-point lead. Louisville started the substitutions about midway through the fourth quarter as the game was well in hand. Josie Williams, Norika Konno, and Alexia Mobley all got to see extended minutes down the stretch. With a different look on the court for the Cards, Notre Dame was able to cut into the lead a tad, but a basket by Konno with 28 seconds left in the game pushed the lead back to 26 before the Cards then ran out the clock shortly after.

Never doubt Louisville when March rolls around. There were more questions than answers when non-conference play concluded and Louisville was unranked and already had four losses. Rome wasn’t built in a day and this year’s team needed some extra time to gel and get things to click. With their second straight win by 26 points, Louisville seems to have figured a few things out.


(Still dancin')

FRED Report

Free Throws- Louisville shot 15-20 from the field with HVL leading the way, going 7-7. A 75% team mark is good enough to earn a capital “F”.

Rebounds- The Cards crashed the boards all game and won the rebounding battle 42-30. That’s a good advantage when going against a team that has Maddy Westbeld and Lauren Ebo commanding the paint. 16 of those were offensive boards that turned into 15 second chance points. Easy decision on a capital “R”.

Effort/Efficiency- Despite the 1-13 mark from three-point range, Louisville shot 40% from the field. They had more assists (13) than turnovers (12) and scored 26 points on 22 forced turnovers. They also had 12 fast break points. The Cards were out for revenge and it showed in all four quarters. They didn’t pull off the gas at any point in the game. Even with a few points deducted for the poor outside shooting, there was no question on the effort in this game. Capital “E”.

Defense- Notre Dame scored seven, eight, and nine points in the first three quarters, respectively. No Irish player scored in double digits and Sonia Citron was limited to eight points in 33 minutes after being on a hot streak. Notre Dame shot 1-10 from three and 31% from the field. What stands out the most is the 22 turnovers. A Kasa-led defense is a defense I want to see in the tournament. The ACC regular season champion got “upset”, much to the credit of the defense of Louisville. Jeff Walz credited it to the hours of practice on working around screens and recovering when they did hit a screen to get back to face guarding as to why his team was so successful on defense yesterday. Capital “D”.

F-R-E-D is well deserved following one of the most complete performances for Louisville this season. This might not have had the 41-3 start like last year’s regular season finale in South Bend, but it had that same feel.

Louisville has made it known they think they should be a 5-seed in the NCAA Tournament. They face the ACC 3-seed and projected NCAA Tournament 2-seed Virginia Tech today at 1:00 p.m. on ESPN.

(Bye, Bye Kara...thanks for showing up)

Virginia Tech had no trouble dismantling 2-seed Duke yesterday. The Hokies rolled past the Blue Devils 58-37 highlighted by Georgia Amoore’s 24 points.

Kenny Brooks has built a powerful team this year. His starting lineup includes one super-senior in Taylor Soule, three seniors (Elizabeth Kitley, Kayana Traylor, Cayea King), and one junior (Amoore). The two top bench players are also seniors (D’asia Gregg, Taylor Geiman).


ACC Pick Em

Now, onto what everyone wants to see- the updated Pick Em standings.

After yesterday’s games, we saw even more chaos. Quite a few brackets are done, regardless of what happens today, but there’s some major possibilities for ties, which is why we have the tiebreaker.

Updated standings:

13-0: —
12-1: —
11-2: Case, Daryl, Thomas I, Karen J
10-3: Paulie, Jeff, KStark Sr, Jared
9-4:  Dave-O, John S, Sonja, Vivian, Nick O
8-5: Jason W, Joe Hill, Curtis, Katy, Ben J
7-6: Lilli D, Jacob S, Bea
6-7: Blue Lou, Ken B, Arthur
5-8: Seminole Sally, Kenny S. 
4-9: —
3-10: CC Chimps
2-11: —
1-12: —
0-13: —

13 brackets are done with those brackets having picked winners such as Florida State, Notre Dame, Duke, Clemson, and Georgia Tech.

Five brackets have Virginia Tech winning- Jason, Sonya, Joe Hill, Karen J, and Jared.

Nine brackets have Louisville winning- Nick O, Curtis, Arthur, Paulie, Jeff, KStark Sr, Daryl, Thomas, and John S.


If Virginia Tech wins…

-Karen J wins at 12-2.
-Case, Daryl, Thomas I, and Jared tie for second and we go to the tiebreaker.

If Louisville wins…

-Case, Daryl, and Thomas tie for first at 12-2 and we go to the tiebreaker.
-Karen J, Paulie, Jeff, and KStark Sr tie right behind them at 11-3, but do not win any prizes.

We did have some confusion initially when Ally posted an incorrect bracket last Sunday. That, plus me staying busy down here at the ACC Tournament, could lead to a mistake so I’ll have Paulie double check me.

Softball Splits on Saturday

The weather in Louisville was good enough to play ball on campus. Much of the city was still dealing with a lack of power, downed power lines, or wind and fallen tree damage so a few softball games is a promising sign of improving conditions in the 502. We had no photographer or writer at the games, so thanks to various sources for the information. 

Louisville 8, Toledo 4

In their first game of the day, Louisville softball squared off against Toledo. The Cards came out on top 8-4.

Louisville posted a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning before Toledo matched it the next inning. The Cards plated one in the second and two in the third. A three-run fifth inning helped pull Louisville ahead for good.

Sam Booe got the start. Taja Felder came in relief in some mid innings and got the win. Cassie Grizzard and Gabby Holloway each tossed two innings in the win.

Northwestern 4, Louisville 1

The second game of the day wasn’t quite as good for Holly Aprile’s squad as #22 Northwestern took a 4-1 win.

The Wildcats broke a scoreless game with two runs in the fifth inning. Louisville got one run back in the bottom half of the inning before Northwestern plated a run in each of the sixth and seventh innings.

Alyssa Zabala got the start and tossed five innings, but took the loss to drop her record to 5-2. Taylor Robby came in for the final two innings in relief.

Louisville faces Northwestern again at 3:00 today and will close the weekend with a 5:30 game against Northern Kentucky.

Lacrosse Back in Action

After their match against Cincinnati on Friday was cancelled due to inclement weather, Louisville Lacrosse is back in action. The Cards host ACC foe Pitt at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium at 4:00 p.m. You can catch this one on ACCNX.

Happy Sunday and Go Cards!


  1. Great game third time was the charm the defensive intensity was great yesterday way to keep the pressure on the offense was what we needed great win let's sell the deal.

    Big game today Virginia Tech this is a rematch another Revenge game cards need to keep Pace with Virginia tech scoring, play good defense pay attention to detail because this team is an offensive machine. Cards have to play good defense and not turn the ball over limit their turnovers card should win the title. GO Unranked CARDS win the title!

  2. Oops seal the deal......

  3. This is a great environment for top recruits
    Even with the cards being unranked this year a schedule that was hard and competitive it seems like more young ladies would want to come and play for Louisville Cardinals with the Yum Center, great Coaching staff and the passionate fan base. I just don't understand why more young ladies wouldn't be willing to play at the Yum Center?

    1. There are a lot of coaches out there who can make their programs look like nirvana and NIL creeps in there also, let's face it -- the Cards are lagging in NIL except for what Hailey has pretty much done for herself. Sadly, NIL is a major player these days. In a lot of places, it's "the heck with the team concept, how much can I make in endorsements?"...and that's sad.


  4. defense won it for you saturday and defense will have to win it for you today. kitley can be stopped, so can soule

  5. Hello Friends !
    Arthur Here !

    Keep rolling Cards. Play the defense and Hailey needs to get everyone involved in the offense because they'll key on her.

    Your Friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC

  6. Finish. It's what has caused losses this year for the Cards. Failure to finish. They finished yesterday against a dinged up Notre Dame. Can they finish two days in a row? You have 20 fouls to waste on Kitley. (Liz, Nyla, O and Josie). I'd frustrate her so badly that she wouldn't know whether to take a walk, chew gum, sing a song or just fart and cry. Cut off the head and the rest of the snake (or any animal) dies.

    Go Cards! Wish I was there.

    Nick O

    1. You mean can we finish THREE days in a row, we finished against Wake and then ND👍

  7. Congratulations to Kenny Brooks in Virginia Tech Hokies


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