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Dance Card: Louisville, Big East at-large

What's in the cards for Louisville.


Who? The Cardinals of Louisville.

What? The cardinal is the state bird, so Louisville called dibs on it. Some documentation calls him Louie, but I'm not sure if that's accurate or not.

Where? Louisville, Kentucky, where they do hand transplants.

When? March 24th, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Why? You win 14 games in the Big East, you should be in the NCAA tournament.

How? They were an at-large selection.

Surprise? Predicted to finish third in the conference, they finished fourth on tiebreakers with Syracuse and St. John's.

RPI: 21

SOS: 41

Record: 24-8 (14-2 Big East)

Good wins: Texas A&M.

Bad losses: Nothing too bad. At Syracuse hurts because of the tiebreaker.

Who's running this show? Jeff Walz, since 2007. A strong recruiter.

Extra, Extra! The Courier-Journal. But some of the best Louisville women's sports coverage you'll find comes from the merry band of miscreants at Cardinal Couple. They're on top of all things women's sports there, and even the scurrilous rumors that men play sports too.

Streaky, fiery, show-stopping junior guard Shoni Schimmel leads the way for the Cardinals with 13.8 points and over three assists per game. Bruising sophomore forward Sara Hammond backs her up with 10.7 points and 6.6 rebounds, along with hard-nosed defense. Schimmel can be inconsistent, and she can be rattled. What can they get from senior post Monique Reid, who's been beset by injury all year? Can Antonita Slaughter or Bria Smith step up in the tournament if their team needs them? Both are capable of going off.

I think it's going to depend on where Schimmel's head is. Having the first two rounds at home helps.