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Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Jared Looks at the NCAA Tournament -- Softball Visits Miami (OH) -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Jared's First Look at the WBB Tournament

Photos: Jared Anderson

Now that the full field for the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament has been released, we have plenty of exciting games to look forward to. The women's tournament has shifted away from the mostly-chalk field from a decade or longer ago with more upsets each year, and this year looks to be no different. I haven't had a chance to look too deeply into each match-up and give my hopefully-accurate predictions, but here are some of my thoughts at first glance.

Note: If you are filling out a bracket, please take into consideration that these are just some of my early thoughts at first glance.

Albany 1 Regional

The undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks earned the 1-seed, no questions asked. I don't think they'll see much competition until they face 2-seed Notre Dame in the Elite Eight. The Irish are heating up at the right time and freshman star Hannah Hidalgo has now had a full season under her belt. Oklahoma was put in a tricky spot. They have one of the toughest opening round match-ups against Florida Gulf Coast, who won a 5-12 match-up last year. The Big 12 regular season champs have a tough pod. Indiana is the 4-seed in that pod and the Hoosiers are sure to have learned their lesson after falling to 8-seed Miami in the second round last year. 7-seed Ole Miss is no stranger to upsets as the Rebels took down 1-seed Stanford in the second round last year. The Rebels could give the Irish some fits early in the tournament.

My prediction: South Carolina has unfinished business after their exit in the Final Four last year and will be back there again this year.

Albany 2 Regional

Reigning national runner-up Iowa gets the 1-seed here, but the Hawkeyes have arguably the toughest regional. The selection committee putting 6-seed Louisville and 3-seed LSU in the same pod was no accident. Putting Hailey Van Lith against her former team in the second round would just add to the drama the Tigers have had this year. However, Louisville has a tough match-up in the first round against 11-seed Middle Tennessee. As Paulie mentioned yesterday, the Blue Raiders got the best of the Cards lost season in an 18-point regular season win. If Jeff Walz and Co make it to another Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight then they certainly earned it. 5-seed Colorado struggled the back half of the season and got paired with a red hot 12-seed Drake. This same pod features 4-seed Kansas State, who limped to the finish line. 9-seed Princeton is no stranger to causing postseason chaos. 

My prediction: The magic of Caitlin Clark runs out due to a weak supporting cast and UCLA will earn a trip to Cleveland.

Portland Regional 3

USC earns the 1-seed after impressing the country with their best season in 30 years. Their current head coach, Lindsay Gottlieb, took California to the Final Four back in 2013. The team that beat Cal that year? Louisville. 7-seed Duke gets an interesting rematch against 10-seed Richmond, a game that the Blue Devils dominated to start the season. Virginia Tech barely snuck into the top 16 with a 4-seed. The ACC regular season champs have some help by playing at home opening weekend, but I don't see Liz Kitley donning a VT uniform again. While the Hokies did make the Final Four last year, I don't believe they will repeat. 6-seed Syracuse is a bit better than many of us expected this year, but they got a poor draw by having to be in the same pod as 3-seed UConn. 2-seed Ohio State vs 3-seed UConn has the potential for one of the better games of the tournament early on pending the Huskies staying healthy.

My prediction: Of all the regions, I think this one will be mostly chalk, but I think the experience of Ohio State will prevail against the tournament newcomers in USC.

Portland Regional 4

Stanford believed it deserved the final 1-seed over Texas. It's a tough case to make. One team won the Pac-12 regular season title and the other won the Big 12 tournament title and neither team has a loss to a non-tournament opponent. Utah gets the dreaded 5-12 match-up and will face 12-seed South Dakota St, who is always dangerous come tournament time, but the Utes have flown under the radar due to the competitiveness of the Pac-12. Minus their surprising loss in the West Coast Conference championship, 4-seed Gonzaga has been a force to be reckoned with. Their last loss prior to that came to Louisville early in the season. 7-seed Iowa State has the 'Swag Wag Five' freshmen that have taken the Big 12 by storm, but are they ready for the dragon that we call the NCAA Tournament? 3-seed NC State has been one of the biggest surprises of the season as coach Wes Moore reloaded instead of rebuilt his team and survived the test of the ACC.

My prediction: NC State takes down Stanford and Texas en route to their first Final Four in over two decades.

Some NCAA Tournament notes to consider dating back to 2017. These figures do not account for tournaments prior to 2017.

-At least two 1-seeds have made the Final Four

-No team lower than a 3-seed has made the Final Four

-A 2-seed or 3-seed has made the national championship game in the last three tournaments

-The national champion has come from a Power Five conference

-At least three host teams have not survived opening week each tournament


Now, I want to remind everyone that this is just my first look insight and guesses. After I do more research, these might change so please don't base your selections based on my expertise... or lack thereof.

Please submit your Cardinal Couple Pick Em selections at least one hour prior to tip-off of the first game NOT including the play-in games. The first game is scheduled for Friday, May 22 at 11:30 am ET.

Softball Visits Miami (OH)

Coming off a successful 3-1 weekend in the Cardinal Classic, Louisville softball is quickly back in action as they head north to face Miami (OH) at 5:00 pm today. The Cards are 19-9 following this past weekend while the Redhawks are 18-6. Miami currently rides a five-game win streak. The Redhawks lead the nation in home runs and rank sixth in the country in batting average. 

There doesn't appear to be any type of video or live stream for this one and we have been advised to follow @LouisvilleSB on Twitter/X for game updates.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!




  1. Hey Couple! Curtis Franklin With yoy after what seems like a long time...Here is my guess on the nCAA PickEm:

    SC, Mich St. Okla, IU, E.Wash ST, Neb, Ole Miss, ND
    Tex, FSU, UCIrvine, Utah NCST Tenn Iowa St, Norfolk St.
    Iowa, wVU, K St., Drake, LSU, LOU, Creight, UCLA,
    TAMCC, Mich, Baylor, VT, UConn, syr, Duke Ohio St
    SoCar, IU, Neb, ND, Tex, Utah, Tenn, Iowa St
    Iowa, Drake,, Lou, Creight, Mich, VT, UConn, OhioSt
    Iowa, Lou, VT, UConn, SoCar, OhioSt,

    131 pts
    ,Lou, VT, SoCar, UConn, Lou, UConn, Lou

  2. I agree πŸ’―Let's go Cards πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

  3. The Coming-in-hot, Just-under-the-deadline, still-no-better-than-a-coinflip bracket.

    South Carolina, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Indiana, Nebraska, Oregon St, Marquette, Notre Dame
    Texas, FSU, Utah, Gonzaga, Tenn, NC St, Maryland, Stanford
    Iowa, Princeton, Colorado, Kansas St, UofL, LSU, Creighton, UCLA
    USC, Kansas, Baylor, VT, Syr, UConn,Duke, OSU

    South Carolina, Indiana, Nebraska, Notre Dame
    Texas, Gonzaga, NC St, Stanford
    Iowa, Kansas St, UofL, UCLA
    USC, VT, UConn, OSU

    South Carolina, Notre Dame, Texas, NC St, Iowa, UofL, USC, UConn

    South Carolina, Texas, Iowa, USC

    South Carolina, Iowa

    South Carolina



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