The Norman Transcript


April 3, 2013

Cardinals are the fun team heading into the Final Four

OKLAHOMA CITY — If you’re an Oklahoma fan, you may have been rooting for Tennessee, because losing tends to feel a little better when the team that beat you keeps going and going and going.

If so, that’s unfortunate, because you should have been rooting for Louisville after Sunday night and not just because the Cardinals took down the juggernaut previously known as the Baylor Lady Bears.

Really, there are times when Shoni Schimmel’s dribbling the ball around the court that you’re thinking what’s missing is “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

There are other times you wonder if the Cardinals can really be for real, because their offense seems like something made up on the fly — the run and shoot? — and their defense often looks more like a chase scene than any zone or man-to-man.

Consider it all a long way of saying Louisville, after knocking off Tennessee 86-78 Tuesday night, is a team for the masses.

The Cardinals are not a No. 1-seed like Notre Dame or Connecticut, one half of the Final Four beginning Sunday in New Orleans. Nor are they a No. 2 like Cal.

They’re what passes for Cinderella this deep into the women’s tournament: a No. 4-seed that barely passes the eye test, yet brash enough to talk trash to Brittney Griner and Baylor, with a coach, Jeff Walz, funny enough to throw out one-liners in his press conferences, daring enough to go for home run passes off inbound plays under the opponent’s bucket and unassuming enough to dress like a sportswriter — slacks, oxford, rolled up sleeves, no tie, shoes and belt (if you were wondering).

And, not that unlike Sherri Coale’s Sooners, who were never supposed to reach the Sweet 16 but did so by finding a gear previously undiscovered, Louisville has, too, since arriving in Oklahoma City.

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