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Sunday, March 19, 2023

Basketball Advances - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Basketball Advances

Let's get my shame out of the way.  I only watched a few seconds of yesterday's WBB tournament game.  I have season tickets to the Louisville Orchestra Pops concerts and last night's concert started at the exact same time as the game.  With the concert theme being 80s music, my choice to go watch a one time event with the LO playing the music of my childhood (Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Joel, The Eurythmics, Elton John, Heart, Hall & Oates, Robert Palmer, Whitney Houson, Tears for Fears, Debbie Gibson, and more!) or see the first of what I was confident would be several tournament games this year.  Friends, I went to the concert, but not without a fair bit of FOMO.

Despite my fandom betrayal, the five seed Cards did win in their always dangerous 5/12 seeding battle with the Drake Bulldogs, 83-81.

Drake knew what they needed to do to beat the Cards, and it was a very binary offense, either they were in the paint shooting layups, or they were shooting threes.  There was no in-between.

Louisville, however, had Tournament Hailey, scoring 26 points, and add in a trio of assists and a couple of steals.  Quite an impressive tally by the Washingtonian after sitting much of the second quarter thank to having picked up a couple of fouls.

If Haily Van Lith shows up consistently, come tournament time, with 20+ points, Cards fans have also been conditioned not to expect impressive offensive output from Mykasa Robinson.  She has always contributed mind blowing defensive efforts, team leadership, that "spark" that makes everyone around her better.  Last night, however, she did all that, and plunked down a career high 14 points.

Nyla Harris, Chrislyn Carr, and Olivia Cochran joined HVL and Kasa in the starting lineup, all contributing well, but falling just short of double digits.  Credit Merissah Russell, coming off the bench and scoring nine.

A hot start for both teams, with a 25-23 first quarter where Louisville held a slim lead, but Drake would get the two back to tie the game at 39 at the half.  With essentially a new, half-length ballgame starting in the second half, Louisville held a slight edge in the third quarter, 17-15 in the quarter to end it 56-54.

But really, the ending is what has everyone talking.  With a minute left, the score was tied 75-75, HVL popped a shot from elbow.  The Bulldogs (c'mon, how is their mascot not "The Dragons" when their school name is Drake?!) brought it down and missed a lay-up and Harris got the rebound.  Drake realized they needed to foul because they had a foul to give before Louisville would be shooting free throws.  A foul on the inbound sent Kasa to the line with 20 seconds left.  Hitting one of the two, making it a three point game and leaving the door open for Drake.  Kasa then fouled Drake on the inbounds pass.

This starts the discussion of whether it's wise to foul in the waning seconds of the game if you're up three.  I've always been in the camp of going ahead and fouling in this situation, but reasonable people disagree.  Keep that thought in mind, however.

Drake hit both free throws, drawing within one.  Coach Jeff Walz uses one of his two timeouts to advance the ball to half-court.  Another timeout to avoid the five second call as Drake played great defense, denying the inbound pass.  On the second attempt, Mad Scientist Walz draws up a brilliant inbound play with nearly everyone breaking for the backcourt except HVL, gets an open inbound pass from Kasa, and scores with "and one" foul, putting the Cards back up three.  The stone-cold free throw pushed lead to four with 18.2 second left.

Drake uses one of their remaining two timeouts to advance, gets a relatively easy inbound and scores a very deep three with 14.4 seconds.  Louisville was now out of timeouts, but could count on Drake fouling.  HVL draws it, hits both.  Drake doesn't use their last timeout to advance, gets a look at a three point shot and misses.  Morgan Jones gets the rebound, but goes to the ground with it and gets called for a questionable travel call.

Drake gets the ball under their basket with 3.3 seconds left, and uses their last timeout to draw up their play.  Again, Louisville is up three, so the question of fouling to put the opponent on the line for two comes up again, this time I've got coach Walz joining me in my corner.  Louisville commits the foul even before the ball is inbounded.  Drake hits the first shot, which then brings up the next tactical question, do you intentionally miss the second shot to try to get the rebound and put back?  We don't know if that was Drake's intention, but they did miss the second free throw.  Unfortunately for them, Kasa Robinson grabs the rebound instead, fires a quick pass over to HVL in clear space preventing Drake from being able to commit another foul and extending the game.

I'm sure everyone was on the edge of their seat watching this one, and the score was certainly closer than any of us would've liked for a 5/12 seed matchup, but Louisville comes away with the win.

Next up for the Cards is a matchup against four seed Texas, tomorrow.  Texas easily beat East Carolina in their first game.

Fred Report

(Lamont, can't they stop a back door layup?)

I forgot to add the Fred report upon first writing, my apologies, I haven't done too many recaps this year, I'm a bit rusty.  -- JMcA

Free Throws - 78.9% on the game, that's good enough for a capital F, regardless of the variances of how we grade this (I only do capital F's for above 75%, and lower case f's for 70-75%).  The bulk of those were from HVL and Kasa Robinson who went 5-5, and 6-8 respectively.  Well done.

Rebounds - No letter here as Drake outrebounded the Cards 33-28.

Effort/Execution - A bit subjective here, and tougher to grade when I didn't get to watch the bulk of the game, but there's certainly a letter worthy thanks to the execution in the crucial last minute of play.  The close score through the game suggests that there were more breakdowns earlier in the game, so I'm going out on a limb here at only going with a lower case e.

Defense - Drake clearly had a game plan and stuck with it, lay ups and three pointers with nothing in between.  You'd like to see the defense preventing so many entries into the post and force at least some mid-range, or long twos.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen evidence to award a letter here.

F-_-e-_ isn't a great outing in the Fred report, but ultimately the game still goes in the win column and the Cards advance.

Post Game Walz, Van Lith and Robinson

NCAA post-Drake presser below with Walz, Hailey Van, Lith and Kasa Robinson and Drake's presser. 

Cardinal Couple NCAA Pick 'Em Contest

So, the first round is done and we have a bunch of very wise game predictors !  After 32 games, here is my highly unofficial, "probably wrong" and subject to scrutiny and persecution results for the "top three"

27-5   Vivian, David Watson
26-6   Kenny S,  Katy, Paulie, Sonya, Curtis, JMCA, Jared, Karen J, Thomas, Daryl, Jason. Joe Hill and a partridge in a pear tree
25-7  Arthur, K Stark, Case,, Mike D. Faris

If you don't see YOUR name, it's probably because you did worse than 25-7. Do better and get on the "top three" list !!  Any disputes, questions, objections, or tips on removing messy stains should be directed to out bracket czar JaredKodak.  Of course, that means he'll show up at your home or work office, take a bunch of selfies with your stuff, any animals, public conveyances, motor vehicles and any surviving members of the Great Flood of 1937 that he stumbles across. Or, just ask in the comments section. 

Asker beware. If the Chimps get the message first, they'll convert it to Basque and don sombreros with intent of taking over UofL's Humanities building

Swimming and Diving

Louisville finished up their appearance at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships with a fourth place finish for the team total.  The finish was bolstered by some point scoring finishes in the diving side of the pool, an aspect of the sport only recently seeing success for the Cards as well as a third place finish for the  Gabi Albiero, Christiana Regenauer, Julia Dennis, and Ella Welch 400 free relay team.

The men still have the championship on their side of the competition, but the focus for Swim and Dive switches to more individual competition, as well as metric system measurements.

Congratulations to another great season for Arthur Albiero and team.

Today's Action


Scott Teeter and the Lacrosse team head north to Milwaukee to take on Marquette today at 1pm.  The video link for it goes to Flo Sports:

Marquette is 6-1 on the season, but for the most part, hasn't faced intense competition.  The loss is to a very good Northwestern team, ranked fourth in the country, but otherwise the Eagle's schedule is filled with decent teams, but no one to write home about.


Softball will try to get enough warmth into the Don Dobina Field and Ulmer Stadium to be able to host the third game in the series against Pitt.  Originally scheduled for one game each of Friday, yesterday, and today, the teams instead played a double-header on Friday, with the third scheduled for yesterday.  Yesterday turned out too cold to play so they moved the third game back to today when it was originally scheduled.

So they're currently slated for a 2pm start.  The hourly forecast from the National Weather Service predicts 36 degrees with a wind chill of 30 at 2pm.  That is just on the cusp of being allowable conditions to play.  Will we have a delay?  It's possible, but the forecast does show the temp and wind chill continuing to rise, so it shouldn't be much of a delay if there is one at all.

Louisville beat Pitt in a run rule in the first game Friday, 12-2 in five innings, with a closer game for the nightcap, but The Cards still emerging victorious 5-4.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

A full house for the CCRHP yesterday, or as I prefer to call it, four of a kind with a queen high.

As you might expect, we covered the then upcoming game for basketball, as well as past games of lacrosse and softball.  We got a first hand account of just how cold it really was for Softball from our intrepid photog, Jared.

It was good fun and great discussion as always, it's always a special delight when all five of us can make it onto the call.  Check it out at it's newly renovated Spotify home at:

It is, of course, still available as always, at all major podcast directories.



  1. Blink, they backdoored, layup
    Turn your head for a second, they backdoored, layup.
    Play good defense for 25 seconds, lapse, they backdoored.
    Stop the backdoor, 3 pointer.
    Thought Walz was gonna friggin explode🤣
    That 5 out offense is one I hope we NEVER see again!!!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. FYI - I will gladly not be tied for the lead in the bracket if the Cards will beat Texas on Monday.

  4. Congratulations on beating us. I ran across your site here and have to give you props and credit for a very easy-to-read, well-written and enjoyable take on athletics.

    Yes, we are hurting today but our future looks pretty bright. Good luck the rest of the way.

    The Big Dog
    Des Moines, Iowa

  5. (above comment was sent to me e-mail, added it to comments. Very classy, Big Dog...)


  6. I don't recall having seen a game where a team did not attempt one mid-range shot. Drake took 17 3-pointers and 39 layups.

  7. Nice win by your lady's. What time your men play? C-A-T-S, CATS, CATS CATS!


    1. I know...obviously Boz can't recognize that this is a site that is about women's sports at the University of Louisville.

    2. Bye, bye kitty. Let Calipari explain that loss to...Kansas St? Hahahahahaha.

      And, basketball ends in Lessington.

      Nick O

  8. Good morning Cards Nation that was a great game Drake is a outstanding basketball team had the cards on there Hills but the Cardinals pulled it out.
    Great defense by the Cardinals outstanding defense .

    I'm coming to see you Elizabeth lol ,I love that Red Fox captain.

    1. THAT was NOT outstanding defense.
      I'm just happy they started missing the bunnies we were giving them👍

    2. Yeah they we're back dooring us all game long.

  9. Sad to see Purcell's run done. But, he's building a nice program down there. And, Boz, who did the Kitty WBB team beat in the first...oh, nevermind, there watching on TV and considering the portal.


    1. Yes I was sorry to see his team go down, but he had a good first year.


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