We have reached that time of year in Louisville where it seems that there is not a lot of University of Louisville athletics to keep us entertained. Basketball season is over and most of the recruiting news pertains to 2017 recruits. To me, the recruiting news is not that exciting because kids have a whole year to change their mind. I get excited when they actually step onto campus. I also don’t get too excited about preseason rankings or mock drafts that are still a year away. Sure they are conversation pieces but I guess its great for radio. The football spring game is over and we won’t see them on the field for five months. Our recent NFL draft success has helped bring more excitement to the program but the draft is now over.
For many years, basketball and football were the two main sports people really cared about but there is starting to be a change in the culture of the fan base. There is so much more going on with Louisville athletics. I know that Lacrosse and softball will never draw 40,000 fans to a game and they will never be high revenue sports but they are worth watching or at least keeping up with their progress as programs. The baseball team has really started to gather quite a loyal fan base and proving that their recent trips to Omaha were not a fluke but rather a sign that Louisville baseball is becoming a perennial power. In my opinion it’s not a matter of if they can win a national championship, it’s a matter of when they will win a national championship. It might just be this year. They have come a long way since I attended U of L in the early 1990’s. I remember seeing a sign for baseball tryouts on a kiosk in the middle of campus.
If you haven’t been out to see the baseball team, you better get out there ASAP. They only have FOUR home games left this season (not including post season). They play a three game series vs. NC State on May 13th, 14th and 15th. The game on Sunday May 15th will be senior day and there will be a ceremony honoring our seniors. The final regular season game at Jim Patterson stadium this year will be vs Indiana at 6pm on May 17th.
The softball and Lacrosse teams have already ended their home schedule but their seasons are not over…..
The softball team has a three game series at Florida State this weekend before they start play in the ACC Championships beginning on Thursday May 12th. The softball team is currently 33 – 12 and 14 – 6 in ACC play and that is second best in the conference behind Florida State. Louisville can not catch Florida State for the conference championship even if they sweep all three games this weekend but they need to win at least one to remain in the runner-up position and be the second seed in the ACC tournament. Florida State is ranked 6th in the latest ESPN.com/USA softball rankings. Louisville is currently receiving votes and is just outside the top 25 at 31st. Louisville made an appearance in the top 25 earlier this season and with a couple wins vs Florida State this weekend, could move them back into the top 25 to end the regular season. They are really a fun team to watch and should be really good next season. They return their top two hitters in junior Maryssa Becker and freshman Megan Hensley. Oh, and they both are the top two pitchers on the team and have earned ACC honors as pitchers of the week.
The Lacrosse team was said to be a year away from being really good. Well Surprise surprise! They are good now. Currently ranked 9th, they finished the regular season with a 12 – 5 record. They did however lose three straight to end the regular season. Losing to 3rd ranked North Carolina, 18th ranked Virginia and 5th ranked Syracuse. The Card dropped their opening game in the ACC tournament to 7th ranked Notre Dame. Needless to say, ACC is by far the toughest lacrosse conference. “Louisville’s Kaylin Morissette and Cortnee Daley were named to the 2016 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Lacrosse Team, as voted upon by the league’s head coaches and announced on Wednesday. Morissette earned first team honors while Daley earned second team honors” (per gocards.com). The Cards are currently awaiting the NCAA selection process on May 8th to see who they will play in the NCAA tournament that takes place in Philadelphia at Talen Energy stadium on May 27th and 29th. Good Luck ladies!
While there is no basketball or football currently being played, there is still plenty of Louisville athletics to be excited about. There is also this little thing called the Kentucky Derby going on this weekend that a lot of people, including myself, are very much looking forward to. A few weeks ago I posted a Ky Derby 142 preview here on CSZ. Since then a lot has happened and some of my thoughts have changed. They will continue to change all the way up to post time.
I still feel Nyquist is the best horse in the field and deserves to be the favorite. I also think he will take the lead as they turn for home but I am not sure he can keep it all the way down the long Churchill stretch with 13 of the 20 horses this year being closers. The wild card horse in this race is Danzing Candy. He is the only speed horse in this race. He will be on the lead most of the race. If he sets slow fractions, it could make it harder for the closers. If he hits the half mile pole in :48 then the winner will be a horse that is closer to the lead. Most likely that could be, Nyquist, Gun Runner, Outwork, Mohaymen or Mor Spirit. If he hits the half in :46 then you will see all the closers come storming down the stretch as the front-runners fade away. Look for Exaggerator, Creator, MO Tom and Destin.
My top 5 currently are 1) Nyquist 2) Creator 3) Mor Spirit 4) Gun Runner 5) Exaggerator
My best long shots are Majesto at 30-1 and Suddenbreakingnews at 20-1
The horse that scares me the most is Destin. He hasn’t raced in 8 weeks and there is a little talk about him on the backside. Personally, I don’t like a horse that has been off for longer than 6 weeks before the Derby but Todd Pletcher is a Derby winning trainer and he knows better than me.
Good Luck to everyone. I hope you all bet responsibly and win some money.
- Don’t forget that Sunday May 8th (the day after Derby) is MOTHERS DAY. Call or visit yo momma. Send her flowers, take her out to eat and tell her you love her.
As Always, GO CARDS!