Montrezl Harrell is returning to Louisville

The power forward decided Monday to return for his junior year, when he’ll serve as captain of the basketball team with senior Wayne Blackshire.

Last week, when Cardinal fans believed Harrell would enter the NBA draft, where he was predicted to be a late first-round choice, the expectations were that the year would be ugly. Now that Harrell is going to be wearing No. 24 again, people are thinking Final Four, and looking forward to a lot of this:

That’s 98 dunks in one year. That’s a record for one year. With 20 more, he’ll pass the Louisville career record of 156. Folks think he’ll get 100 next year.

This year’s three-point star: Shoni Schimmel

The University of Louisville’s basketball season is over. But here’s a last second highlight.

Way to go Shoni. Luke Hancock also participated in this. He got knocked out in the first round of the men’s competition.

Interesting though how Louisville’s basketball season ended. In both matches, the teams’ best players — Russ Smith and Shoni Schimmel — needed to make a three-pointer late in the game to give the team a chance at sending it into overtime. And in both games, they missed.

But neither of them should be blamed for the losses. Had their teammates made any contribution to the effort (I’m looking at you Stephan Van Trese and Bria Smith with a big fat 0 in the box score), I would be holed up this weekend in my apartment watching more games. Now, I’ll just look at reruns from last season. (Aaaaahhhhh. Baylor!  Ooooooohhhh. Michigan!)

Chane Behanan: Let no return go unstoned

What a dope (from the Courier-Journal):

Former Louisville basketball player Chane Behanan was cited for marijuana possession early this morning, according to the Louisville Metro Police.

Behanan, who was kicked off the team this season for what he later admitted was repeated drug use, was cited around 1 a.m. near 17th and Broadway, according to police.

It was not clear how much marijuana Behanan had on his person nor would police say whether he was intoxicated.

He’s going to play in Colorado. Pot is legal there. Why go to Louisville, where you’ve been busted before, when you can obey the law in Colorado? I guess I’m one of the Louisville fans who believe if this guy had his head together, we’d still be in the NCAA tournament.

Remember this?

That fight for the ball under the board against Michigan is one of the best examples of toughness in basketball.

I should be cheering another march to the Final Four now. Instead, I’m doing this:


Lost and found Cardinals: Women’s basketball lives

Tough loss in Hoosierville last night. The University of Louisville’s men’s basketball team lost to The University of Kentucky in a rough game that left both teams bruised and battered. We saw at least one broken ankle (Kentucky) and one broken nose (Louisville).

It’s the end of the Russ Smith/Luke Hancock era, which has seen two final fours and one National Championship.

Now that the season’s over, what’s a basketball fan to do?



Oh, right, the Shoni and Jude (and Antonita and Sara and Bria and Asia and Tia, and Megan) show is in town. More basketball at the Yum Center just down the road. And of course, I’ve got tickets!


The colonel doesn’t take sides …

Bjrqn9LCcAEQMg0.. he serves them.

Big basketball game tonight in Indianapolis. I’m on the road in a half hour.

I know a corporation isn’t going to pick sides in its home state, but really, you can’t NOT have a side when it comes to this rivalry.

The colonel strikes me as a Wildcats fan. Will probably see Ashley Judd there, most definitely not in the section I’m sitting in (I can’t afford the seats she’ll get).


Cards vs. Cats: The invasion of Hoosierville

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at KentuckyBig news in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (from Card Chronicle):

Louisville will play Kentucky on Friday for a spot in the Midwest Regional final.

Each one of us already knows every story we’re going to read this week. Kentucky beat Louisville in the Final Four two years ago, John Calipari is 5-1 against the Cards since coming to Lexington, U of L doesn’t seem to match up particularly well with UK, a fact Russ Smith admitted after the two teams played in December, the two fan bases don’t like each other, and on and on (and on and on and on).

Yes, and on and on …

This has been said before, but it’s worth repeating: The bracketeers with the NCAA completely screwed over the teams in the Midwest Region. The possible match-ups Louisville faces/faced in this bracket were:

A repeat of last year’s Elite Eight game against the Duke Blue Devils (which I won’t show because of the horrific Kevin Ware injury).

A repeat of last year’s Final Four game against the Wichita State Shockers:

A repeat of last year’s National Championship against the Michigan Wolverines:

This is a crime. John Calipari, the Kentucky coach, said his team’s win against Wichita State was the kind of game that gets you into the Final Four. He was right. Three of the four teams in the Midwest region this year were in last year’s Final Four.

Instead, what do we get?

The 2013 National Champion Cardinals against the 2012 National Champion Wildcats.

And this doesn’t even get us into the Elite Eight. We’re still in the Sweet 16.

Still, this is going to be a great game. It’s going to be held in Hoosierville. (That seems to be a logical translation of Indianapolis, right?) That’s a two-hour drive from Louisville and a three-hour drive from Lexington, a straight shot up I-65. So I’d advise everyone to stay off the Interstate between Louisville and Indianapolis on Friday, because every pickup, bus, RV and SUV in the Bluegrass State is going to be on that road, an unimaginable invasion of Red and Blue on our neighbor to the north.

And on a personal note, if you’re not interested in the game, please stay off the highway, because I’m flying into Louisville and driving up Lucas Oil Stadium, because I’ve got tickets to the Sweet 16.

C-A-R-D-S !!!!!

Shoni and Jude and Native American Appreciation Night in Louisville

I’m headed to the Yum Center tonight to watch the Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team (ranked No. 3 in the nation) take on the No. 1 UConn Huskies. This is a huge game that will determine rankings for the NCAA Women’s Tournament. No matter what happens, UConn will be a No. 1 seed in the regionals. And no matter what happens, Louisville, which won’t be knocked out in the early rounds, will be playing in the regional championships in Louisville.


Louisville coach Jeff Walz with guards (from left) Tia Gibbs, Jude Schimmel and Shoni Schimmel.

If Louisville wins, it will be the No. 1 seed in the regionals in Louisville, while UConn would likely be the No. 1 seed in Lincoln, Neb. If Louisville loses, UConn would get the No. 1 seed at Louisville, while the Cards would be the No. 2 seed.

So tonight’s a pretty important game.

Add to that it’s a special night for Louisville players Shoni and Jude Schimmel, sisters who grew up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in eastern Oregon:

The game is also Native American Appreciation Night, to honor some of Louisville’s most dedicated fans.

It’s Native American night because it’s Senior Night in Louisville and the last regular season home game Shoni, a senior, will play for the Cards. Jude’s a junior and will be back next year, but Shoni is a superstar in women’s basketball, and the sisters are treated as heroes among the Native population. If you’ve followed women’s college basketball at all this year, you know that members of tribes across the country have attended home and road games wherever the sisters play.

Here’s a clip from the documentary “Off the Rez” that shows how important the sisters are to the Indian community:

According to Indian Country Today, Shoni is:

… one of only a few Native American female basketball players in the college ranks, yet she says growing up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in eastern Oregon (Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla) provided her with the best possible basketball apprenticeship one could ask for. “There’s so many Native Americans that coulda-shoulda-woulda but didn’t do anything,” she said. “It’s almost sickening how much talent is (on the reservation),” she told the Courier-Journal.  “I am very proud of who I am and where I came from, but I wanted to be one of the ones that made it out. My job is to play basketball, and I love doing it.”

It’s a huge game for Native Americans. It’s a huge game for Louisville Women’s basketball, which lost in last years NCAA final to UConn. And it’s a huge game in women’s sports.

Of course, I’m going to go. I got my tickets months ago.

Sporting goods … and bads


I thought, for about five seconds, about getting a ticket to the Super Bowl. I could be in New York in four hours. I have a place I can stay at no charge. I used to live in New York and New Jersey.

Then I went to Stub Hub and saw the cheapest ticket was $900 in a really bad seat and thought, “I’m really not that big a fan of either team.” But if my son, the Seahawks fan, would have coughed up the dough for tickets for two, well, yeah, I would have been there, bad seat and all.

Anyway, I decided to save my money. We’re near the NCAA basketball tournament. I know how much those tickets run. And I know I can afford that. Of course, I have to be a pretty big fan of one of the teams to go.

Seattle: A city of law-abiding winners

These are Seattle fans, waiting for a traffic light to change so they could cross the street and celebrate their the Seahawks 2014 Super Bowl slaughter of the Denver Broncos.

These are Louisville fans, not caring what traffic lights are doing, as they celebrated the Cardinals 2013 NCAA Men’s basketball championship after beating the Michigan Wolverines.

In both cases, birds beat mammals.

But in this case, even as a Louisville resident, I have to admit Seattle looks like the more pleasant — and law abiding — place to be.