It's no surprise that the Louisville women were a 24-point underdog to Baylor in Las Vegas casinos, according to gambling expert R.J. Bell of Pregame.com. Considered a lock for the Final Four -- and prohibitive favorites to win a second straight championship--All-American Brittney Griner, the second-highest scoring player in NCAA history, and her Lady Bears got bounced 82-81, though, by fifth-seeded Louisville in the NCAA regional semifinal.
Leading the charge for the U of L was, again, All-Everything point guard Shoni Schimmel. She drained five three-pointers and hit from everywhere else closer to the hoop, finishing with a team-high 22 points. Shoni's sister and super sixth-woman, Jude Schimmel, added six points, five rebounds and three assists, tied for tops on the team. The Schimmel sisters are from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon.
Umatilla Tribe's Schimmel Sisters Shine as Louisville Upsets Powerhouse Baylor
By Levi Rickert
Indian country was proud Sunday evening as the two Schimmel sisters, tribal members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, helped their collegiate women's basketball team, the Louisville Cardinals, defeat the defending national champion Baylor in a stunning 82-81 upset.
Point guard Shoni Schimmel, junior, was the Cardinal's leading scorer as she scored 22 points in 30 minutes of play before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Her younger sister, Jude, played 28 minutes and scored 6 points, five rebounds and three assists.
They played before a national television audience on ESPN2 in the NCAA women's regional tournament in the Sweet Sixteen. Baylor went into Sunday's games with 32 straight victories and boasted what many consider to be the greatest women's basketball player of all time in Brittney Grinner, which made Louisville's victory that much more dramatic.
Schimmel Shocks the World!
By Brent Cahwee
What makes this victory so unique isn't the fact that women's college basketball hasn't ever seen women's teams go undefeated before or teams with less than a handful of losses over a few years, UConn, Tennessee. What makes this victory so special is who it was against as well. The All Everything athlete known as Brittany Griner, who has projected women's basketball into mainstream sports coverage like no other athlete before her. At a towering 6' 8" inches tall, Griner commands respect in preparation so much that teams have thrown every possible offense and defense to neutralize her presence only to come up with the same results as teams before them, a loss. Over the past two seasons the Bears have a combined 74-2 record that includes a perfect season last year but remember, this is "March Madness", it's what the NCAA brands their tournament that I am sure they coined to represent the men's college basketball game. Upsets just don't happen in women's basketball, we see the same 4 to 5 programs in the women's championship game year in and year out that has frankly put the women's tournament on snooze control.
Schimmel, a junior guard who comes from the Umatilla reservation in Oregon, has had a well documented basketball career that started on the reservation and now has taken her to the biggest stage of college basketball. She has even had a documentary made about her career to this point called "Off the Rez," that has won a few awards and it was even shown at the prestigious Tribeca Film festival in New York back in 2011. When I watching this game and watched Shoni handle the ball like a Bob Cousy and launch three point shots from the range that only the likes of NBA three point specialist shoot from I was sitting there thinking to myself that this isn't shocking at all
Final Four! Shoni Schimmel Surges, Louisville Knocks Off Tennessee and Advances to the Semifinals
The Cardinals became only the second No. 5 seed to reach the national semifinals, joining Southwest Missouri State's 2001 team that featured guard Jackie Stiles, the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history. (It should be highlighted that the U of L knocked off Baylor, featuring Brittney Griner, second to only Stiles all-time in NCAA scoring, this year to advance to the Elite Eight.) Only seven teams outside of the top four seeds have ever made it to the Final Four since the NCAA tournament started in 1982.