Long day, needing rest, steady dose of meds.
Jeff Walz was unable to attend the selection show party Monday evening at a Fourth Street Live club for the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. He was home in bed with a temperature of 101 degrees, attempting to recover from a cold.
Reports from a practice session earlier in the day had him coaching his team from a balcony two stories above the court. He was playing it safe, not wanting any of his players to get the bug. All the players were on hand for the show, including Dakota Weatherford, looking fine. Weatherford, who missed the ACC tournament a week ago because of flu-like symptoms, smiling broadly while denying having passed the virus to Walz.
A shame the coach couldn’t make it, the fans packing the Sports & Social Club, cheering every time the University of Louisville appeared on the many TV screens throughout the bar.
The loudest cheers came at about the 7:25 mark with the announcement that UofL will host two opening rounds. Some disappointed that Lexington was out of the picture for regional action but Dallas would be more fun anyway.
The Cardinals will play Central Arkansas at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, following a game between DePaul and James Madison at noon.
If Central Arkansas sounds familiar for some reason, it happens to be Charlie Strong’s alma mater. The Sugar Bears finished the season 28-3 and won the Southland Conference tournament.
Difficult to gauge the size of the crowd Monday but a long line extended quite a distance across the former Galleria complex 30 minutes before the doors opened. Thankfully one observer was able to find a side door and a decent seat up front before the place was overrun by UofL fans. The music was loud, the drinks were flowing, lots of laughing and chattering, quieting down only after the selection show got under way.
Jeff Walz would have enjoyed the party, but not as much as he will getting some relief from those nagging aches and pains … and not sharing the virus with his players.