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    While the University of Louisville’s football team prepares for its big game at Notre Dame next Saturday, the school’s basketball teams tip off their seasons this weekend.

    Obviously Friday night’s father vs. son made-for-TV matchup of Rick Pitino’s Cardinals taking on Richard Pitino’s Minnesota Golden Gophers in Puerto Rico is the headliner, but don’t forget that Jeff Walz’s women’s team opens its season a couple of hours before UofL and UM meet on ESPN.

    The Lady Cards will take on IUPUI at 5:05 p.m. Friday afternoon at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum in Indianapolis.

    Louisville lost three starters - most notably program-best point guard Shoni Schimmel - from last season’s 33-5 squad that advanced to the Elite Eight, but expectations are still high. UofL is ranked 11th in the USA Today preseason poll and 12th in The Associated Press preseason Top 25.

    Leading the Cards this season will be 6-2 senior forward Sara Hammond (10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season), 5-10 senior guard Bria Smith (7.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and 5-6 senior guard Jude Schimmel (5.6 ppg, 3.5 apg). That trio will be helped by the return of redshirt seniors Sheronne Vails, a 6-4 center, and Shawnta’ Dyer, a 6-1 forward, from injuries, as well as the inclusion of five freshmen. Leading the first-years are a pair of McDonald’s All-Americans - 6-2 forward Myisha Hines-Allen and 6-0 forward Mariya Moore.

    The Cards, who earlier this week signed the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class for next season, make their home debut Sunday, when they host UT-Martin at 2 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center.

    Here’s a look at what else there is to follow, and/or watch, in UofL sports this weekend:

    • The men’s and women’s cross country teams host the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship on Friday afternoon at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. The women’s 6,000-meter race, which will featured 40 teams, will begin at noon while the men’s 10K race, which is slated to have 37 teams, will follow at 1 p.m.

    • The volleyball team (14-11, 6-7) plays its final ACC road matches of the season this weekend. The Cards play at Clemson at 7 p.m. Friday night, then play at Wake Forest at 7 p.m. Saturday night.

    • The


      men’s soccer team (9-6-3, 4-2-1), which boasts ACC Freshman of the Year Tim


      , takes on No. 1 Syracuse (15-2-1, 5-2-1) at 8 p.m. Friday night in the ACC Tournament semifinals in Cary, N.C.

    • The


      field hockey team (15-5) takes on No 8 Stanford (18-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in


      , Conn.

    • The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, which are ranked ninth and


      respectively, will compete in a double-dual meet against host Tennessee and Auburn at 3 p.m. Saturday in Knoxville,



    • The women’s rowing team will compete in the


      Romp on Saturday in Charlottesville,



    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Women’s Basketball Facebook Page

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