Louisville looks to complete the rare sweep in winning a championship in both men’s and women’s basketball. They will have to beat UConn in order to do so, and that won’t be easy after the Huskies demolished Notre Dame in the Final Four on Sunday.
LBS spoke with Lisa Leslie, who is a board member for the Capital One Cup, on Tuesday to get her thoughts on the title game. We also asked her about the future of Skylar Diggins and more. The winner of the Louisville-UConn game will get 60 points toward winning the Capital One Cup. Right now Leslie is leaning toward picking UConn.
“If I went with my gut feeling, I’d say UConn will win it,” said Leslie. “If I went with my heart and hopes, I would want Louisville to have a big upset. I think that would be a great story. I think it’s great for women’s basketball and men’s basketball that two teams from the same school could win a championship in the same year. And you always love the underdog. But I’m not hating on on UConn; I’m really happy about Breanna Stewart and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, two up-and-coming players.”
Leslie admitted seeing Louisville knock off Baylor and Tennessee and reach the championship game has been surprising, though, she was warned about them.
“I’ve been very surprised, but I have to add my husband did tell me about Louisville early in the season. He got a chance to watch them play, told me how tall they were, how active they were, and how their defensive pressure was a strong side. I wasn’t surprised by the time I got to the tournament and got to see them.
“My brackets were completely ruined [by the Cardinals]. I don’t know how many people other than Louisville fans picked Louisville to get to the finals. I was definitely surprised that they took Baylor out, but I thought their game plan was brilliant. To be physical, to really take it at Brittney Griner, that’s what you have to do.
“I’m just hoping that they will be able to force some turnovers for UConn and be effective with their defense. But it’s going to be a tough challenge because UConn’s in great shape. They’re used to handling pressure from guards, they’re very physical in post play, so I’m interested to see how they respond tonight.”
Which player does Leslie expect to have the biggest impact in the championship game?