Louisville Lady Cards Earning Their Respect

Russ PayneContributor IApril 6, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. - APRIL 5: Angel McCoughtry #35 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates blocking a shot against the Oklahoma Sooners during the NCAA Women's Final Four Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on April 5, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Here we are in Detr....ooops I mean St Louis. The lady Cardinals, playing for a National Championship, despite a lack of respect from CBS and ESPN commentators like Doris Burke. Making comments about Louisville being "the lesser team" during last night's heart thumping comeback against Courtney Paris and her Oklahoma Sooners.

Coming into last night's game, all we heard about was the Paris twins, and Courtney's statement about paying back her scholarship money if they didn't win a National Championship. The talk of a potential matchup of the Sooners against UConn. It was as if Louisville was here to just give Oklahoma a warm up game.

The Lady Cards were getting the same respect the mens team got before they won the Big East Tournament and Regular Season Championship. None. They came in with a Huge chip on their shoulder, and determination fitting of a "Cinderella" dressed in Red n Black, led by an Angel and a coach with a stuttering problem.

The game started out as if the Lady Cards were scared to death to even be in the Final Four, missing their first nine shots. Falling behind 16-2. Doris Burke already talking about the UConn-Oklahoma matchup on Tuesday. It was evident no one had done their homework about the Cards Angel McCoughtry. Or Coach Jeff Walz.

Doris Burke continued her onslaught of talking as if the Louisville team wasn't even there. The only respect she gave the Cards was the fact that Oklahoma should have already put the Cards away, especially with all their talent. The "lesser" team in talent was still hanging around.

Even after Angel and girls came back and took a four point lead late in the second half, all you heard was the horrible foul trouble the Cards were in, and how the game would be over if even one of those girls fouled out.

But the Lady Cards showed they had a lot more resolve than the guys did. This group of Rodney Dangerfields, led by All-American Angel McCoughtry and Coach Walz, held Oklahoma to 26% shooting in the 2nd half, while shooting over 50% themselves. They literally ran Courtney Paris so much that she was caught at half court by Doris Burke on an exchange of possession. About the only accolades Ms Burke gave the Cards during their courageous comeback.

So the Big East did in the Women's Tournament, what many thought would happen in the mens: Two Big East teams battling for a National Championship. UConn, the Goliath and over whelming favorite, against Angel and the Rodney Dangerfield's of women's college basketball.

It is UConn's Championship to lose. They have dominated the Cards in two previous meetings.

Perhaps just once on Tuesday night, Doris Burke and some of the media types can acknowledge that this Louisville team deserves to be playing for a National Championship beacuse of their talent. Because of Coach Walz, who has led this team with excellent game plans and an open love-hate relationship with his talented players.

All the Lady Cards ask for a little respect. Tuesday night will be your last chance to give them at least that.