Louisville women’s basketball team latest to pay a price

Sara Hammond, Tia Gibbs and Bria Smith get the word about UofL's seeding in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
Sara Hammond, Tia Gibbs and Bria Smith get the word Monday about Louisville’s No. 3 seeding in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

We will probably never know for certain why the University of Louisville, the nation’s third-ranked basketball team, was designated as a No. 3 seed by the selection committee for the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

Or why the UofL women, coming off of a runner up appearance in the 2013 championship game with a 30-4 won-lost record, were passed over as a No. 1 seed by South Carolina and Tennessee — two SEC teams that had lost five and four games, respectively. Passed over as a No. 2 seed by Baylor, Duke, West Virginia and Stanford as well.

But we can make a couple of guesses.

The first would be the fact that Louisville lost three games to UConn this season and the selection committee wanted to avoid still another repeat of last year’s championship game. Downgrading the Cardinals to a No. 3 seed greatly reduces those odds. Another championship game matching the same teams,  with still another UConn romp, would not be a positive thing for women’s basketball.

Another would be that all-too-familiar lack of respect for the American Athletic Conference. The committee concluding that Louisville had racked up all a school-record 20 wins against inferior competition. The women’s basketball program is paying the price that other UofL programs have had to pay this academic year.

The good news, as UofL prepares to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, is that the UofL women won’t bump into UConn nearly as often. Even better, conference affiliation won’t be an albatross hanging over the program.

Source: Cardinal Authority

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.