Lady Cards Seek To Derail Freight Train

Can the Louisville Lady Cards stop the UConn freight train?

By Sonja Sykes

So, it’s down to two:  Undefeated UConn and the upstart University of Louisville women. David vs. Goliath. Dynasty vs. Darling. The ESPN faces are ready to roll out the red carpet for Geno, Maya and Renee. Kara, Doris, Mike, Rebecca and the rest…ready to bow, scrape and genuflect in front of the beasts of the Big East and national power.

And, although it very well may happen, let’s go ahead and play the game.

We all know that UConn destroyed the Lady Cards twice this season.  We’ve seen the precise, flawless and perfect Husky attack on offense and the lockdown defensive intensity. Maya can score, Renee can bomb, Tina can rebound and the rest of the team ain’t too shabby either.  We will hear this the entire game, be forewarned and no one in their right mind, save the Cardinal faithful, is going to suggest a Husky loss.

Play the game.

The Cards are overachievers. They got lucky because of a Sooner second half meltdown, a Maryland team that couldn’t score late and a Baylor team that couldn’t play defense. Forget the fact that UofL came in second in the Big East, and has Angel McCoughtry. The Cards simply don’t belong here.

Play the game.

Maybe Angel will start out hot in the final. Maybe the Cards pressure UConn into turnovers and the shots won’t drop for Maya and Renee. Maybe Keisha, Candyce and Monique go to the boards again Tuesday night and Dez continues to drive with determination and sink that sweet in the paint jumper. Maybe Becky Burke decides to knock down a few threes and Jeff Walz comes up with a good game plan and the team decides to pay attention to it for forty minutes.

Play the game.

It just might turn out like the previous three. The favorite, the ESPN pick, the beloved goes down and the Cardinals survive and advance.  The miracle happens. The unthinkable occurs. The impossible develops. Sometimes, you just have to have faith. Your team. Give ’em love and cheer loud. Swim upstream and dance like nobody is watching.

Sometimes you just have to believe.

Play the game.

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Another Epic Challenge

Still another game against a top 10 team, another game against a No. 1 team.

University of Louisville fans are still thawing out from the great ice storm of 2009, and the economic and emotional challenges accompanying all of the emergency situations. Many fans making it through some dire times, buoyed only by assistance from friends and strangers, and the heroics of their basketball team. Little, if any, time, however, to savor what has  been accomplished, too many challenges await.

The observer recalls a conversation over the water cooler with a UConn fan a dozen years ago, marveling that Connecticut was considered a national contender in anything sports-related. Those folks should stick to being a financial center, you know, taking care of the banks and the housing industry, ensuring that the economy is on a firm footing. Well, apparently they have become distracted by basketball, allowing the economy to go south.

Nevertheless, UConn arrives as a perennial power, the top team in the country.  Conference standings are more important to Louisville and Connecticut than the national implications of this game. But the rankings are important, don’t let anyone kid you.

The structural integrity of Freedom Hall will be put to the test in another game of epic proportions.