A one-day break for Louisville basketball fans, not much time to recover from the emotionally-draining Hartford experience. But, ready or not, here comes the men’s version of the Big East Tournament.
Still haven’t come to grips with the need for post-season conference tournaments. Revenue generators for the conferences and lots of television exposure, but the wear and tear on the players and fans takes a toll. As Bobby Knight says, “Winning the conference championship over 16 or 18 games is a tremendous accomplishment. Why put them through something else?”
Besides, how is a fan of both women and men’s basketball expected to have a life? Big East basketball will have consumed eight out of the last nine days when the men’s tourney is over.
* * *
The barber tells me today that Notre Dame is the team to beat, but, in the next breath, admits that Notre Dame is his second favorite team after Kentucky. So much for his credibility. Probably thinks the games are in South Bend. The Irish would win there because so many basketball officials equate calls for the Irish with confessionals at the Vatican subsidiary.
* * *
Open Gate Policy — Possibly heeding the call for more transparency in the football program, Steve Kragthorpe is opening all sessions of spring practice to the public. Spring practice begins next Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. There are 16 dates, including the Spring Scrimmage, scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 18.
* * *
Baseball Cards — The U of L team that extended the thrills for Card fans deep into June last year is off to a 7-4 start. Somebody finally got a hit off Gabriel Shaw in the second game against Xavier on Tuesday but he already has three saves and 12 strikeouts after nine innings. Justin McClanhan and Chris Dominguez are the leading hitters with .435 and .391 batting averages, respectively. They also have three home runs each.
Had to Happen — You just knew the Women’s Lacrosse team wasn’t going undefeated in its historic first season under Kellie Young (at left). They are 5-1 after dropping a 9-8 decision to St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia last week.
* * *
Softball Showdown — After sweeping Marshall in doubleheader Wednesday, these Lady Cards are 10-8. They host No. 9 Michigan, Minnesota and Miami (Ohio) in the three-day Cardinal Classic at Ulmer Stadium this weekend. U of L will face Miami at 2 p.m. and Minnesota at 4 p.m. on Friday. Michigan and Minnesota get the tournament started at noon.