Louisville women face UConn for title
NEW ORLEANS (AP)
It's a great time to be a Louisville Cardinal.
The Louisville women's team watched the men's 82-76 victory over Michigan in their hotel lobby Monday night with hundreds of fans.
If the women can pull off the monumental upset and beat Connecticut on Tuesday night, the school will become the second to win both national championships in the same season.
UConn accomplished the feat in 2004.
Once the final buzzer sounded, the fans stood and chanted ''One more game'' as members of the band played the school's fight song.
The women were treated like rock stars by their adoring fans. Shoni Schimmel and the team entered the hotel lobby before the men's game tipped off to a standing ovation. The players took pictures and signed autographs for the crowd.
''It's great to watch this game with them,'' Cardinals fan Sarah Davies said. ''We're all here supporting our team and we know they'll bring home another title.''
Fans waved signs with a picture of a glass sneaker and the words ''Cinderella Story'' on it.
The school's pep squad led the fans in a C-A-R-D-S cheer and everyone stood for the national anthem, including coach Jeff Walz. He always sings along whenever he hears the anthem before games.
While most coaches may stress the night before a title game, Walz was relaxed and happy to let his team share in the great moment for the school with the fans.
''We got a lobby full of people cheering on the men's team who are excited for our game,'' Walz said. ''I expect a bus load or two to come down from Atlanta. It's a great time to be a Cardinal.''
Walz said that men's coach Rick Pitino texted him to say that he'd try to make the women's game Tuesday night.
Former New York Liberty star Kym Hampton was in the lobby Monday night.
The Louisville native will be singing the national anthem before the women's championship game Tuesday. She offered words of encouragement to the team to pull off the upset.
''I said it has to be in the Cards,'' Hampton said. ''That's why we're all here. The men, the women, me.''