It’s not often a college basketball coach has breaking news at a Tipoff Luncheon, which is filled with fans and high hopes for a new season.
But University of Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz was able to deliver some good news to his team and the 800 fans in attendance at the Crown Plaza Hotel Airport for the kickoff event on Wednesday.
During his 10-minute speech about the season, Walz informed the crowd that U of L will host an NCAA Regional Tournament this season. The Cardinals will host a regional on March 29 and April 1 with the winner headed to the Final Four.
”Just huge,” Walz said of the news, noting the school hosted the first two rounds last season and also hosted the first two rounds in 2010 at Freedom Hall.
Louisville will be in the bracket that feeds into the regional semifinals and final at the KFC Yum! Center. U of L has to win two games in the tournament to play at home in the regional.
”Anytime you have the opportunity to play at home to go to the final four, that’s big, big news,” Walz said. “Now, we have to do our job and make it there.”
Walz told the crowd the team is working hard and “trying to make it back” to the Final Four again this season. The Cardinals lost to Connecticut in the NCAA title game last season in New Orleans.
”Our goal is not to win conference titles,” Walz said. “Our goal is to compete and win a national championship.”