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Native American communities have rallied around the success that Jude and Shoni Schimmel have enjoyed during the Louisville Cardinals' run to the Final Four in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. For those that spoke with Swish Appeal - including Kansas Jayhawks star Angel Goodrich - the success of the sisters is about far more than basketball accomplishments.
Once again, threes played a major part in the Louisville Cardinals upsetting the Tennessee Lady Vols to get to the Final Four. But it was the combination of a balanced attack on their part and taking the Lady Vols out of their game that won the game.
In recent weeks - and even not so recent weeks - the subject of Brittney Griner stands as a hot topic in many circles. Here's a quick look at some of the most recent high-profile pieces on the Baylor senior.
Highlights of the Louisville Cardinals' 86-78 win over the Tennessee Lady Vols to advance to the Final Four of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
5 of the 8 teams in the men's/women's Final Fours will be from the Big East.— Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) April 3, 2013
In yet another shocking development in 2013 March(/April) Madness season, the Louisville Cardinals have upset the Tennessee Lady Vols to advance to the Final Four with an 86-78 win in the Oklahoma City regional final tonight.
Setting aside any deep analysis, the bottom line is that the Lady Vols came out flat and just never recovered despite mounting an extended comeback in the second half. In contrast, this Cardinals team is playing absolutely fearless basketball right now and has just outworked their last two opponents.
But more than anything, tonight's game should put to rest the notion that Louisville beat Baylor on a fluke, partially buoyed by playing their first two rounds at home: lightning doesn't usually strike twice.
ALL OF YOU PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT THE REFS MADE BAYLOR LOSE, WHAT NOW? lolol— KB =) (@afifteen) April 3, 2013
For more on Louisville's path to the Final Four, check out our Oklahoma City region storystream.
Tennessee Lady Vols fans entered this season calling it a "rebuilding" year.
They surprisingly won the SEC regular season title despite suffering some key injuries but then found themselves as the two-seed in the dominant Baylor Lady Bears' bracket.
Now, the Lady Vols find themselves in prime position to make the 2013 Final Four after the Louisville Cardinals knocked off the Baylor Lady Bears for them.
UT fans are seriously spoiled.
Chris Pendley of SB Nation's Rocky Top Talk summarized the feelings of the day and added a player to watch for tonight's game.
Meighan Simmons - you may have heard about her - has an insane shot when it's on and can beat a team singlehandedly in a half (see North Carolina). During the tournament? Well, she rolled a 1-15 against Oklahoma on Sunday; good luck assuming that won't improve. Simmons is the wild card; when she's on, it's game over. When it's not? Well, normally we'd say it's game over for Tennessee, but that 1-15 came in the last game of a single elimination tournament and we're still here, aren't we? It's not game over any more.
The Louisville Cardinals' NCAA Tournament run isn't over, but you can probably understand why fans of the program have already considered the team's legacy after their stunning upset of the Baylor Lady Bears.
Mike Rutherford of SB Nation's Card Chronicle touched on it briefly in his summary of the upset.
As improbable as the U of L men's run to the Final Four was a season ago, I think this one - even if the ladies lose tomorrow - has it topped. This team has been ravaged by injuries and had to go through what most people believed to be (and with good reason) an unstoppable force. Now they're just two wins away from playing for a national title.
The Louisville men made it to the Final Four last season as a four seed before falling to eventual champion Kentucky. While that was certainly unexpected, it doesn't match beating a team that looked as unstoppable as Baylor. It might also be interesting to discuss where this team stands relative to the 2009 Louisville women's basketball team, a 3 seed, that upset two #1 seeds to make the National Championship game, no small feat in women's basketball.
While it might be too early to discuss, beating a team like Baylor led by a player like Brittney Griner is tough to top.
For more on Louisville's win, visit our Oklahoma City region storystream.
The Louisville Cardinals didn't win many key statistical categories in their win over the Baylor Lady Bears, but they came through in one aspect of the game in a big way.
Baylor Lady Bears center Brittney Griner reflects on her career after an 82-81 loss to the Louisville Cardinals in which she scored 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting.
Even those that felt the Baylor Lady Bears weren't invincible probably didn't believe they'd lose as early as the Sweet 16. But the Louisville Cardinals got a combination of scorching hot shooting and smart defense to pull off one of the greatest upsets ever.
One of the things repeated during the broadcast of the Louisville Cardinals' 82-81 upset win over the defending champion Baylor Lady Bears was that the result was due to an excellent gameplan from coach Jeff Walz.
Mark C. Moore of SB Nation's Our Daily Bears disagreed rather strongly.
I had to turn off the coverage on ESPN after the game because the narrative was driving me crazy. It's not a "masterful gameplan" when it takes hitting 16/25 threes to win the game. Nobody can plan to hit 64% of their shots, and if you do, you're stupid. You can't tell me that Louisville's coach could have predicted how they would call the game in the first half, when Louisville built a huge lead on the back of beating the hell out of Brittney Griner. I understand ESPN wants to give credit where credit is due when one team beats another, but tell the truth. You have an obligation to present things how they are, not how you want people to believe them to be.
The fact is that nobody can "gameplan" for a 30% 3-point shooting team to tie a NCAA record for 3-point shooting. Without taking away anything from what Louisville accomplished, Moore certainly has a point.
In what has to be not only the upset of the 2013 NCAA Tournament but also the entire season - if not greater - the Baylor Lady Bears have fallen 82-81 to the Louisville Cardinals in the Sweet Sixteen.
The Cardinals used unreal shooting from 3-point range (16-for-25) to take control of the game and grab a 19 point led with 12 minutes left in a development that nobody expected, even if an upset could've been predicted. Defensively, the Cardinals held star center Brittney Griner to just 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting.
Head over to SBNation.com for a full recap and there's much more to be said about the game, but for now... wow.
The Tennessee Lady Vols beat the Oklahoma Sooners 74-59 today to advance to the Elite Eight, quite an accomplishment given the number of injuries they sustained in Holly Warlick's first season.
David Hooper of SB Nation's Rocky Top Talk highlighted the performance of Kamiko Williams in his recap of the game.
...on Tennessee's side of the ball, many things well quite well. Kamiko Williams started the game with a couple early steals to help build a quick 9-2 lead and allow Tennessee to set a fast pace. UT's passing was very crisp, especially in the first half when they tallied an 11/4 A/TO (with those 11 assists for only 18 made shots)...the star of the night was Kamiko Williams, with 15 points on 8 shots, a 4/2 A/TO, 7 rebounds, and three steals for the most complete and efficient stat line of the team. Breadsticks are all hers tonight, and well earned.
Not mentioned, but just as important to the Lady Vols' success, was Williams' defense on Sooners point guard Aaryn Ellenberg who was just 5-for-21 from the field.
Obviously most of the talk today will be about Baylor Lady Bears center Brittney Griner. But the Oklahoma Sooners and Tennessee Lady Vols matchup might be the better game between a pair of teams that have overcome quite a bit to get to this point.
The theme for the Tennessee Lady Vols for most of 2013 has been overcoming the injuries that have depleted their roster to surprisingly win the SEC regular season title and earn a 2-seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Yet as David Hooper of SB Nation's Tennessee site Rocky Top Talk has written, they might actually have more depth than the Oklahoma Sooners.
Depth advantage: ...Tennessee? This may actually be true. Oklahoma will dress nine, but will very likely only play seven. Against UCLA, Ellenberg, Hook, and McFarland had 40, 39, and 37 minutes, respectively. Tennessee will roll with eight, with only Ariel Massengale and Meighan Simmons as likely 30+ minute candidates. This may be key, because...Oklahoma is foul prone.
As Hooper noted in his piece, Oklahoma lost senior Whitney Hand in December, freshman Maddie Manning in November, and freshman Tara Dunn. Indeed foul trouble could be the difference.
Jordan Esco of SB Nation's Oklahoma site Crimson and Cream Machine reacted to the Sooners' women's basketball team returning to the Sweet 16 by upsetting UCLA in an inspired post yesterday.
...this Oklahoma team has suffered more than maybe any other Sherri Coale team in her tenure and yet here they are, coming back to play in Oklahoma City and in the Sweet Sixteen. The magnitude of that and what this team has accomplished this year really cannot be emphasized enough...I don't really care whether or not you're aware they were so desperate for bodies, just to be able to go 5-on-5 in practices, that they had to borrow two players from the volleyball team.
At a certain point, it's not really about that. At a certain point, it's about recognizing the accomplishment and giving it the respect it/they deserve.
Oklahoma making the Sweet 16 is not only an impressive statement for Coale's coaching job this year, but also the strength of the Big XII conference which has three teams in the Sweet 16 and another two (Iowa State and Oklahoma State) who were within striking distance.
For more on the tournament, visit our NCAA section.
The Louisville Cardinals are yet another team that sustained a few injuries this season in the Oklahoma City region and coach Jeff Walz credited his team for overcoming those after their 76-63 win over the Purdue Boilermakers to advance to the Sweet 16, as described by Mike Rutherford of SB Nation's Louisville site Card Chronicle.
"I'm as proud of this basketball team as I was of our team that played for a national championship in 2009," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "With the amount of injuries that we've sustained, and they're not just one week, two weeks you miss. We've got kids that are missing the entire season. We've had Mo (Monique Reid) playing on one leg. We found a way to continue to play."
The road ahead is about to get a bit more difficult: up next for Louisville is the Baylor Lady Bears.
For more on the teams in the Sweet 16, visit our Oklahoma City region storystream.
ESPN's highlights from the Baylor Lady Bears' 85-47 blowout of the Florida State Seminoles in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Highlights from the Tennessee Lady Vols' 68-52 win over the Creighton Bluejays in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
This is why they play the games, huh?
UCLA had beaten Oklahoma in Norman earlier this season. UCLA looked to have as much momentum as anyone in the field of 64 after demolishing Cal and fighting Stanford. Markel Walker is considered a first round-caliber WNBA draft pick by many. And though it was by a slim margin, the statistical projections had UCLA as the favorite across the board.
Though there was reason to believe Oklahoma had a good chance, most of the evidence seemed to tilt in UCLA's favor.
And yet Oklahoma won 85-72.
Rather than wait for a full recap, I offer you this comment from the game thread at SB Nation's Oklahoma site Crimson and Cream Machine.
Big upset for Oklahoma to advance to the Sweet 16 in Oklahoma City, which should give them a little edge when they face the Tennessee Lady Vols.
For more on the OKC region, visit our storystream.
After detailing the 3-point shooting prowess that the Creighton Bluejays used to take out the Syracuse Orange in the first round of the tournament, Chris Pendley of Rocky Top Talk zeroed in on what might be most important for the Tennessee Lady Vols (7:05 p.m. EDT today) in the second round of the tournament.
Defend the wings. Look, you know as well as I do that perimeter D matters and Tennessee's going to have a height advantage across the floor. You know as well I do that Kamiko Williams is going to matter as a third guard, and you know as well as I do that we're going to see a healthy dose of three-guard action. What matters as much for Tennessee is the ability of Taber Spani and Cierra Burdick (along with a bit of Jasmine Jones, who seems made for games like this right now) to defend the perimeter shot; having a height advantage on wing defense should translate into all kinds of defensive matchup issues for the Bluejays, and if things go well that should be a huge swing.
Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman insisted that the zone defense wasn't the issue against Creighton - instead, he focused on their surprisingly inefficient scoring and the fact that they lost the rebounding battle.
But it's fair to say that the Lady Vols probably won't risk zoning up a 3-point team too much.
ESPN's highlights from the Baylor Lady Bears' 82-40 win over the Prairie View A&M Lady Panthers in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, which included another Brittney Griner dunk.
A quick look at one of the best performances of the first day of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
The Baylor Lady Bears are the top seed in the Oklahoma City Bracket and the favorite to win the national title. However, there are a number of interesting matchups, both individual and team, that are worth watching.
Bob Knight discusses what impresses him about Baylor Lady Bears center Brittney Griner; Geno Auriemma likens her to UCLA men's basketball great Lew Alcindor.
A win was expected for the Tennessee Lady Vols in their 2013 NCAA Tournament opener against the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles; the big news for Lady Vols fans was the return of forward Isabelle Harrison, who had been out with a MCL injury.
David Hooper of SB Nation's Rocky Top talk described the impact of the 6-foot-3 sophomore forward's return in Tennessee's 83-62 win.
...Isabelle Harrison returned. She wore a knee brace through the game, but was solid for 13 minutes, earning 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks (one of which was an absolute monster on a three point attempt). Having Izzy back in the game was a terrific sight for Lady Vols fans; she forces defenders to respect two interior players, giving Graves space to work and making double teams a very risky proposition. With one game in hand, she can put the injury behind her and return to the form she had that helped beat Texas A&M and win the SEC regular season. Her presence completely changes Tennessee on the court in a very positive way.
Syracuse Orange coach Quentin Hillsman as well as players Kayla Alexander and Carmen Tyson-Thomas answer questions after a 61-56 loss to Creighton in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament (via UTSports.com).
Creighton registered the first upset of the tournament and while none of the statistical projections had that one, kudos to Queenie for pointing out that Syracuse got a bad draw on Selection Monday.
Zone-playing Syracuse draws a three-bombing team like Creighton.
And sure enough, Creighton came in and shot 36 threes (making 11), Syracuse shot just 31% from the field and there you have an upset.
For Syracuse, the loss forces them to wait another year to win their first NCAA tournament game.
For more on Creighton, check out their dance card. For more reaction from Syracuse fans, visit SB Nation's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For more on the Oklahoma City bracket, visit our storystream.
Baylor obviously has one major star who everyone knows will be drafted (hint: she's tall), but what about their other seniors? Today we look at the draft chances of those other four players as well as other prospects to watch in the Oklahoma City bracket.
A little birdy told me that Creighton's not half-bad.
What does Florida State have to offer?
Nothing rhymes with orange, but can anything get in its way? (Yes.)
I'll lay off the puns for this one.
What's in the cards for Louisville.
All eyes are on Kevi Luper- but should they be?
It wasn't ALL Cynthia Cooper after all.
Who are you if you beat the best team in the conference?
Hear these Tigers roar.
Watch out for the big girl.
Some familiar faces come around again.
These Flames have been burning bright for a long time.
I'm sure they're very nice people, but I wouldn't want to face them in an elimination game.
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