espnW: Louisville

Titles time, anyone?

March, 28, 2014
Mar 28
Rick Pitino, Jeff WalzAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesLouisville basketball coaches Rick Pitino and Jeff Walz both led their teams to the national championship game in 2013.

We're down to 12 teams in the men's bracket and 16 teams in the women's bracket, and four schools -- Connecticut, Tennessee, Kentucky and Louisville -- still have both their men's and women's teams alive and well amid the March Madness. There have been only 10 times in the history of the NCAA tournaments that both men's and women's programs from the same school have advanced all the way to the Final Four in the same year. Here we look back at those schools and how they fared:

Louisville, 2013: Both Cardinals teams made it all the way to the championship game. The men won the national championship with an 82-76 win over Michigan, but the women lost to Connecticut 93-60.

Connecticut, 2011: The men won their third national title in program history by holding off Butler 53-41 in the final, but the women were ousted in the semifinals by then-Big East rival and national runner-up Notre Dame 72-63.

Connecticut, 2009: The women won their sixth national title with a 76-54 rout over Louisville in the final. The men, however, fell to Michigan State 82-73 in the semifinals.

LSU, 2006: Neither team advanced to the final. The men fell to runner-up UCLA 59-45 and the women were ousted by runner-up Duke 64-45.

Michigan State, 2005: The women made it to the final but fell short, losing to Baylor 84-62. The men lost in the semifinals to eventual champion North Carolina, 87-71.

Connecticut, 2004: Connecticut became the only school to celebrate men's and women's basketball national championships in the same year. Led by Most Outstanding Player Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, the men beat Georgia Tech 82-73 in the final. Led by Diana Taurasi, the women topped rival Tennessee 70-61 to claim their third consecutive national championship.

Texas, 2003: Neither Longhorns squad advanced to the final and both lost to the eventual national champion. The men fell to Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony 94-84 in the semis, and the women were edged by Connecticut 71-69.

Oklahoma, 2002: The women advanced to the national championship game, but fell to UConn 82-70. The men were ousted in the semifinals by national runner-up Indiana, 73-64.

Duke, 1999: Both teams came up one win short of a national title. The men fell to Connecticut 77-74 in the national championship game, and the women lost to Purdue, 62-45, in the final.

Georgia, 1983: Both programs' runs came to an end in the national semifinals. The men lost 67-60 to Jim Valvano's NC State, the eventual national champions. The women fell to eventual champion USC and Cheryl Miller, 87-51.

Conference Call

December, 27, 2013
UConn MascotCal Sport MediaJonathan the Husky looks pretty excited about the upcoming women's basketball schedule.

This weekend largely marks the end of the nonconference portion of the women’s basketball season. And while matchups like UConn-Stanford, UConn-Duke and Tennessee-Stanford were a great way to tip off the season, here are our elite eight conference games before March that we can’t wait to see.

Jan. 5: Maryland at North Carolina, ESPNU
Jan. 27: Notre Dame at Maryland, ESPN2
Feb. 2: Notre Dame at Duke, ESPN
Feb. 2: Stanford at Cal, ESPN2
Feb. 9: Louisville at UConn, ESPN
Feb. 10: North Carolina at Duke, ESPN2
Feb. 16: Kentucky at Tennessee, ESPN
Feb. 23: Duke at Notre Dame, ESPN

But if you just can’t get enough of the nonconference showdowns, there are two more next month that are perfectly acceptable to start popping the popcorn for.

Jan. 13: UConn at Baylor, ESPN2
Jan. 20: Notre Dame at Tennessee, ESPN2

Numbers add up to tall order for Cards

April, 9, 2013
Antonita Slaughter
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsAntonita Slaughter has helped spark Louisvilles run by making 17 3-pointers so far in the tournament. The all-time record is 20.
They’ve been overcoming long odds all tournament long, and the numbers don’t look so good once again for fifth-seeded Louisville heading into Tuesday night’s national championship game against Connecticut. The Cardinals are 1-12 all-time against the Huskies, including 12 losses in a row. Their last meeting, in January, resulted in a 72-58 loss. Furthermore, Connecticut is 7-0 all-time in championship games, and no team seeded fourth or lower has ever won the women’s title.

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Jeff Walz's sister was the first to star

April, 8, 2013
Jeff Walz
AP Photo/Dave MartinOne of the brightest stars Jeff Walz has ever coached is his sister, Jaime, who was the national high school player of the year in 1995-96.
Jeff Walz has led his Louisville women’s basketball team to the national championship game on Tuesday against Connecticut, but he’s not the only member of his family to grab headlines in the Bluegrass State and beyond. Walz’s younger sister, Jaime Richey, was the Gatorade girls’ basketball national player of the year in 1995-96 after scoring 4,948 career points for Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.). She then went on to star at Western Kentucky and helped lead the Hilltoppers to three NCAA tournament appearances. One of Walz's first coaching jobs was for Jaime's AAU team. Richey is currently the girls’ basketball coach at Highlands and is in New Orleans cheering her brother on.

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More magic in the Cards?

April, 3, 2013
Louisville Women's Basketball
AP Photo/Sue OgrockiShoni Schimmel and the Cardinals became only the second No. 5 seed to reach the women's national semifinals.
Louisville will be looking for a little deja vu in the Bayou. The last time the women’s Final Four was held in New Orleans, the UConn women won the national championship and Connecticut became the first – and only -- Division I school to have its men’s and women’s basketball teams win the NCAA basketball titles in the same year. After beating Tennessee 86-78 on Tuesday night, the Cardinals joined the Louisville men’s team in the Final Four, marking the 10th time one school has had both its teams advance to the national semifinals. Next up for the women is a Sunday showdown against Cal. As for the men, they take on Wichita State in Atlanta on Saturday.

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Louisville rides the 3 train to upset

April, 1, 2013
AP Photo/Alonzo AdamsAntonita Slaughter scored all 21 of her points against Baylor on 3-point attempts, going 7 of 9 from behind the arc.
Louisville’s stunner over No. 1 Baylor on Sunday night featured some, well, stunning statistics. The fifth-seeded Cardinals’ long-range shooting is at the top of the list. Of their 82 total points, 48 of them were scored on 3-pointers. The Cardinals, in fact, were more accurate from beyond the arc than they were from within the arc. They connected on 64 percent of their 3-point attempts (16 of 25) but just 35 percent of their 2-point attempts (11 of 31). The two biggest points of the game, though, came from the free-throw line, where the Cardinals shot 75 percent (12 of 16) in their 82-81 Sweet 16 win.

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