- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz is upbeat about next season despite the disappointing end to the Cardinals’ surprising NCAA tournament run.

Walz views Tuesday night’s 93-60 shellacking against Connecticut as the start of bigger things to come.

The Cardinals (29-9) made their first title game appearance since 2009, pulling off the monumental upset of defending champion and top-seeded Baylor along the way. Walz is also encouraged by tournament wins over Tennessee and California.

Louisville made the run without three key players, including starting forward Shawnta’ Dyer. She was sidelined with a torn ACL in December. Senior Monique Reid departs but Louisville returns leading scorer Shoni Schimmel and point guard Bria Smith. The improvement of Jude Schimmel, Antonita Slaughter and Sara Hammond gives the Cardinals an experienced core next season.

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