LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville’s inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference saw a nation-best eight schools reach the NCAA Tournament. The league schedule promises to provide tough tests, and the Cardinals’ slate beyond ACC play is not going to be much easier.
The University of Louisville women’s basketball program announced on Wednesday its non-league schedule that features 10 teams that reached postseason play, with six that registered at least 20 wins, and a matchup with 2014 NCAA Tournament second-round opponent USF.
“Our nonconference schedule is going to challenge us,” head coach Jeff Walz said. “We have a young team, and we’re going to be tested early. However, I have seen this group’s competitiveness and work ethic in practice, and I believe we’ll be ready.”
“Opening with Cal at home and playing USF later in the season – both teams that were great tests last year – are just a couple of matchups at the KFC Yum! Center that our fans are going to really enjoy. Facing Western Kentucky and playing in that early-season tournament, which is set up similar to postseason play, should also help us prepare for another exciting year in the ACC.”
Those interested in season tickets at the KFC Yum! Center can complete a season-ticket application now. Season tickets include reserved, lower-level seats for all home games at the World’s Most Spectacular Arena, plus exclusive season-ticket holder benefits.
The Cardinals, who boast four letterwinners from last year’s team that reached the NCAA Sweet 16 and the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, begin the 2015-16 campaign with California at home on Nov. 15. The programs have faced each other in consecutive seasons, including the 2013 Final Four, with Louisville winning both contests. Last year, the Cardinals traveled to Cal and won 70-57.
Louisville then makes the trip Bowling Green, Ky., face to in-state foe Western Kentucky for a Nov. 21 matchup, facing former Louisville assistant and current Hilltoppers’ head coach Michelle Clark-Heard.
After a five-day layoff, the Cardinals begin play in the Gulf Coast Showcase from Nov. 27-29 in Estero, Fla. All eight teams in the field reached postseason play, including four – Dayton, Louisville, LSU, and Stanford – that made it to the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals face Marist in the first-round game, with a contest against LSU or Purdue awaiting on Nov. 28.
On Dec. 3, Louisville will participate in its second Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Cardinals beat Iowa last season and take on Michigan State in East Lansing, marking the third meeting between the schools.
Following a home game against Valparaiso on Dec. 5, the Cardinals make the trek east for the 51st contest against Kentucky on Dec. 10.
Louisville hits the road for a two-game swing, playing at Tennessee Tech on Dec. 18 and then facing the College of Charleston on Dec. 20 in Charleston, S.C. The Cardinals are 3-1 against Tennessee Tech and face Charleston for the first time in series history.
The Cardinals wrap up their nonconference schedule at home against UT-Martin, a team that won 22 games and reached the WNIT, on Dec. 28 and USF on Feb. 15. The Bulls posted a 27-8 mark last season and captured AAC Tournament runner-up honors after falling to top-ranked Connecticut.
For the latest information on Louisville women’s basketball, log on to GoCards.com, or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team’s Twitter account at www.twitter.com/UofLWBB or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UofLWBB.