Louisville’s Shoni Schimmel hit five 3-pointers en route to 22 points, but more importantly was in the face of Brittney Griner (pictured) as the 5-seed Cardinals gave Baylor only their second loss in 76 games. If the Cardinals can now beat two 2-seeds in a row (Tuesday at 9:10 p.m. ET against Tennessee and Sunday against Cal) they will be the lowest seed to make the women’s title game. If Tennessee or UConn win the title, then the status quo will have won out with those two schools owning exactly half (16 of 32) of all women’s titles.
Schimmel (18.7 points per game, 4.7 assists, 4.3 steals) has been awesome for two years, but the Cardinals were just 11-5 in the Big East and were 0-5 against ranked teams. In a women’s game that has had great Ambassador’s in UConn and Tennessee, but sufferred from the lack of hope for almost any team to beat them or Baylor the last couple of years, a 5-seed in the title game would be a huge breakthrough for hope for programs throughout the country.
The lack of hope for almost every school in the country to contend may have been best illustrated by Louisville’s 2009 team, which featured the best player in the country in Andel McCoughtry and another WNBA draftee in Candyce Bingham. That team was so good that it won 26 games and lost by only three points on the road to Nevada. That made them three points from going 27-0 against teams not called UConn. As great as they were, they went up against UConn three times and lost by 28 in the regular season, 39 in the Big East championship and 22 in the national championship. When the best team in a sport can beat the second best team in a sport by more than 20 points three times in a row, it is very hard to convince any other program they can ever compete.
The following is how the rest of the Final Four willl look, depending on Louisville’s game tonight as well as the Duke-Notre Dame game earlier in the evening.
Women’s Final Four
At New Orleans
(2) California vs. winner of 9:10 p.m. game in Oklahoma City between (5) Louisville and (2) Tennessee
(1) UConn vs. winner of 7:05 p.m. game in Norfolk between winner of (2) Duke and (1) Notre Dame
For the results of the entire women’s bracket, see the UPI listing here.