By Ed Peak
May be time for the Atlantic Coast Conference to move the women’s tournament out of Greensboro, NC. Sour grapes? Perhaps. But the disparity between University of Louisville women’s basketball fouls and North Carolina competition is blatantly obvious.
Yes, if Dana Evans plays better the Cardinals win easily. But it’s not all on Evans. She was 14 of 47 from the field, 29 percent. She kept UofL competitive by driving to the basket and setting up her teammates.
The fact that will stick with Louisville fans is that in two games with teams from Carolina, Louisville was whistled for 32 fouls while Wake Forest and N.C. State had only 14 fouls in two games. Fouls were nearly automatic when the North Carolina teams were shooting, non-existent on UofL field goal attempts.
UofL hit two shots out of six trips to the foul line, Wake Forest and NC State made 28 of 35 attempts.
Coach Jeff Walz preaches tough physical defensive play. Sure there are fouls but UofL was whistled for more than double the fouls.
The one that really galled Walz was N.C. State’s Elissa Cunane who consistently does a duck-in move only to move defenders out of the way for easy layups. She finished with 20 points, including the two free throws that tied the game in the final minute.
Of course Louisville turned the ball over and Evans missed a long shot from far the right that end the game.
“There’s times where it’s a challenge for our officials to officiate bigs’ play,” said Walz. “Cunane, I love the kid she’s tough as nails, but when she leans and goes into me I’m going to double over, it’s physics. It happens. She does a great job of it. She gets to the line more than any post player in our league and that’s the one call I wish we could get better at. Don’t bail out the offensive player.”
Let’s face it. Greensboro is essentially a home court for North Carolina teams. The fans know it and the officials act accordingly. The old Big East used New York’s Madison Square Garden as home. Also Washington, D. C. and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Time for the ACC to go elsewhere. Anywhere but Greensboro.