Oh my goodness. Anything is possible now.
The University of Louisville women’s basketball team has done it again, taking down Tennessee 86-78 in another incredible performance, and is headed to the Final Four in New Orleans.
Now there are two UofL teams in the NCAA Final Fours. The women taking on California in New Orleans. The men squaring off against Wichita State in Atlanta.
The women have shaken for good being intimidated by the teams from the gender’s power structure, taking it to them, Baylor first, Tennessee next, surprising themselves, rewarding their coach, and serving notice that anything goes. Bring on California next, and either Notre Dame or UConn.
No team seeded higher than fourth has ever won a game at the Final Four. Doesn’t matter. The seemingly impossible hasn’t stopped this group of Cardinals yet. Things have changed.
“No one wanted to see us beat Baylor and Tennessee and we did both of those and now we’re going to the Final Four,” said Shoni Schimmel after the game.
Shoni is on fire, taking leadership, ownership and charge, playing fearlessly, making high percentage threes, barreling down the lane for twos. Shoni and Jude Schimmel combining for 39 points for a second consecutive game, scoring 24 and 15 points, respectively.
Monique Reid was there at the end again, sinking six of six free throws when Tennessee was making its run. Playing with one leg wrapped from the ankle to her knee and above, overcoming the pain, wanting to stretch her collegiate career, contributing 13 points.
Sara Hammond, Mighty Sara, not getting pushed around, taking it and dishing it, throwing her weight around, coming down with five rebounds, putting in 11 points, including a distant three.
Bria Smith, taking another beating, always getting beat up that girl, but getting back up, getting back in the fray, contributing 13 points.
Tennessee would seriously challenge the Cardinals in the closing minutes but Jeff Walz’ team refused to wilt. They’ve seen what it takes to be successful and they are hungry for much, much more.
The rush continues Sunday, against California, shortly after 6 p.m. Breathe deeply, in and out, in and out, in and out.