The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.
Issue link: http://louisville.epubxp.com/i/141236
PARTY CRASHERS This team wasn't supposed to go that deep. Not like Pitino's boys. Not this year. Sure, they were good. But, c'mon! They couldn't possibly keep this up. Maybe they win the next game. Maybe. But once they meet elite powerhouse teams, they would surely crumble. Or so people thought. Then something special happened. T It was Sunday evening and the UofL men had just beaten Duke. L Large groups of reporters, many from national outlets, were gathered around televisions in the Lucas Oil Stadium pressroom watching UofL play basketball. Again. This time it was the women, and they were pulling off what se several commentators called the gre greatest upset in the history of wom women's college basketball. he C Cardinals, behind an inspired shooting performance, knocked off sh top-ranked and defending champion Baylor and reigning national player of the year, 6-foot-8 center Brittney Griner, with an ye 82-81 shocker in Oklahoma City. 82 People were starting to really pay attention to these warriors. Jay Bilas, for ESPN, called a driving, no-look, over-the-shoulder layup by Shoni Schimmel over Griner, "The best shot of the NCAA Tournament, men or women." Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder visited the UofL locker room after the game. The win emboldened the Cardinals. They proceeded to crash the Final Four, knocking off tradition-rich Tennessee 86-78 in the regional final behind 24 points by Schimmel and 13 points and nine assists from her sister, Jude. "We ruined the entire party!" UofL coach Jeff Walz shouted in his postgame interview on ESPN. "We're the ugly ducklings that ruined the party. Nobody gave us a chance in either of these two games. And we've shocked everybody. Everybody talked about our defense, we just hung 82 on a great Baylor team, then somehow figured out a way to score 85 tonight. We haven't scored like that in three months. I don't know where or how we were able to start making shots like this, but we did." TICKET TO NOLA PUNCHED That was supposed to be the end for the upstart Cardinals. They overachieved to reach the Final Four, but no team seeded as low as the Cards (No. 5) had ever reached the title game. 28|LOUISVILLE.EDU The Cardinals faced a much taller, more athletic California team in the national semifinals, and it was tough going much of the game. They had their worst half of their NCAA Tournament and fell behind by 10. On the whiteboard in the locker room, coach Walz wrote "patience." And after battling for much of the second half, the Cards suddenly delivered a knockout blow late. Antonita Slaughter made six three pointers and scored a team-best 18 points, and the Cards pulled away for a 64-57 win. The win put the Cards into the NCAA title game for the first time since 2009. After the victory, Walz was standing in a corridor as Connecticut's women's team passed by on its way to the court for its semifinal game. Huskies coach Geno Auriemma saw Walz, stopped, grabbed his hand, then bowed and pretended to kiss it, as with royalty. "What he did in this tournament, it was just amazing," Auriemma said. "I'm not sure the women's game has seen anything like it." The Cards would face UConn in the championship game, and the magic would end. The Huskies won the game by 33. But Walz (Top left) Monique Reid and the UofL women had chalked up another drives to the hole against Baylor's imposing defense; milestone for the (Top right) The Cards program. In women's display tenacious defense basketball, there are no against the 2013 Player of upstarts. Yet UofL has the Year, Brittney Griner; crashed the title game (Bottom) The Cards bench now twice. storms the court to celebrate Monique Reid, a the stunning upset of the senior who played for Lady Bears