Apr 6, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Jude Schimmel (left) and guard Shoni Schimmel (right) during practice for the 2013 NCAA Womens Final Four at the New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Women's Final Four Preview: #5 Louisville Cardinals vs #2 Cal Golden Bears

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Oh man.  Three straight days of Louisville Basketball.  My heart can barely take it!  Last night’s shocking win almost sent me into cardiac arrest, and I’m sure I’ll be watching tomorrow’s national championship game from a hospital bed (hopefully not!), but tonight is another great game for Card Nation that true fans will care about and watch.  The Louisville Women’s Basketball team is playing in the Final Four tonight against the Cal Golden Bears, trying to become the second Louisville basketball team vying for a national title come Monday and Tuesday night.  Now, it surely will not be an easy one for the Cards to win.  After all, they are a five seed in the women’s ncaa tourney, a tourney and league notorious for its general lack of parity.   A win for the Cards is going to be very hard.  This is an extremely tough Cal team.  They’ve lost 3 games all season, and beaten teams that are in the upper echelons of women’s college hoops, including Stanford.  They’re going to be a tough out.  Most people have them beating Louisville.

Then again, most people had Baylor beating Louisville.

The fact that the Cards had to beat not only Baylor, but Tennessee just to make it to this point is absolutely astounding.  Two spectacular teams and programs, yet the Cards passed right on by them.  Sounds like destiny may be on the side of this team.  Not only destiny, but they also are a very physical team, which definitely helped them when playing the likes of Tennessee and Baylor.  Louisville plays these other physical Big East teams like Notre Dame and UConn, so they’re used to it.  Baylor and UT had no idea how to cope with that.  Cal will need to dish it right back at them if the Golden Bears are to win.  Louisville is also going to have to use that defense to lock down on Layshia Clarendon.  Clarendon is tough and is hitting right now.  After leading her team to that tough and hard-fought OT victory over UGA, she’s ready and poised to go right at Louisville.  Lousville’s guards will need to contain her.  Speaking of UofL guards, the Cards are going to have to get production from Shoni Schimmel.  She’s a junior guard and talented leader on this relatively young team.  She’ll need to show some of that experienced poise and continue to produce offensively, as she did vs Tennessee.

My Prediction: 

  • Cards will beat Cal 68-63 due to the scoring of Schimmel and Sara Hammond’s defense.  Cards go to play for the national championship on Tuesday night vs a fellow Big East rival.
  • Also a neat fact showing the lack of parity in NCAAWBB, Louisville advancing to the national championship as a five seed would be the lowest seed ever in women’s college basketball to accomplish such a feat.  Wow

GO CARDS

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Tags: Louisville Basketball Louisville Cardinals NCAA Tournament Womens Basketball

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