Sara Hammond went to bed Sunday night thinking about the momentous upset that her team had just scored.
She awoke Monday to the sports world talking about it.
The Louisville forward left on the TV in her Oklahoma City hotel room all night, and when she woke, it was still on ESPN. She and her teammates were on SportsCenter.
“I was kind of reliving it all over again,” she said.
On a day when everyone was buzzing about Louisville’s shocking victory over Baylor, the Cardinals were soaking it all in. The locker room visit from Thunder players. The text messages. The shared jubilation with the Louisville men making the Final Four. The Twitter hubbub.
Yes, Louisville has a game Tuesday night against Tennessee for a trip to the Final Four.
Yet it was oh so refreshing to hear Louisville coach Jeff Walz 's instructions to his team.
“Embrace it,” he said. “It can arguably be called the greatest upset it women’s college basketball.”
No. 16 seed Harvard beating No. 1 seed Stanford in 1998 and an up-and-coming Duke team beating the three-time defending champion Tennessee in 1999 are the only other ones in the discussion. Regardless of where Louisville-Baylor lands in the upset rankings, it created a crazy 24 hours for the Cardinals.
Monique Reid, who hit the game-winning free throws with only seconds left, heard from every member of her family.
Feisty guard Shoni Schimmel received about 60 text messages.
“I don’t have Twitter,” Schimmel said, “and I don’t really have Instagram.”
Twitter was still buzzing about it Monday morning. Proud Baylor alum Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy winner and Washington Redskins quarterback, gave props Sunday night to Louisville’s scorching three-point shooting but took exception to their defense on Baylor superstar Brittney Griner.
“For every 3 they made, they threw 6 elbows, 5 straight lefts, 4 right hooks, 3 roundhouse kicks, 2 jumping knees & 1 superman punch at B. Griner’s abdominals,” he tweeted. “Aiming for her face but couldn’t reach.”
Former Louisville player Angel McCoughtry responded Monday.
“(Basketball) is a physical sport,” she tweeted.
She said players have got to do what they have to do.
Then, RGIII responded that if he and McCoughtry played one-on-one, he'd elbow her, too.
Then, McCoughtry fired back.
“The harder the better,” she tweeted. “Blood sweat and tears.”
Walz thought the entire exchange was great.
“I just want to give Angel McCoughtry a little shoutout,” the coach said. “You’ve got a young lady who is without question the best player that’s ever played for us ... and she’s sitting there standing up for her program.
“That means a lot to me because she still believes in what we’re doing.”
Even Thunder players Kevin Durant, Reggie Jackson and Hasheem Thabeet wanted to be a part. They were at the arena for the games Sunday, and afterward, they made a surprise visit to the Louisville locker room.
“It was a great game, great to see the ladies compete like that,” Thabeet said. “It was interesting to see the emotion on both sides and how delicate the balance is between winning and losing.”
The Louisville players had a more simplistic reaction to the locker room scene.
“Meeting Kevin Durant,” Hammond said, her eyes growing wide, “was a big special moment for us.”
Walz wanted his gals to remember all of the special moments that came after beating Baylor. He went against conventional coaching practice and told them instead to enjoy the spoils of their victory.
The short answer — “Life’s too short.”
The longer answer has to do with what Walz and his players saw Sunday before their game. They were watching the Louisville men’s game when guard Kevin Ware suffered a broken leg.
In a gruesome instant, his life was changed.
“I mean, why tell the kids not to enjoy it?” Walz said. “Now, we’re going to be focused to come out here and play (Tuesday) night, but again, we just had the biggest upset in women’s college basketball ever. Why wouldn’t I want my kids to enjoy that?”
Hard to argue with that.
Sunday was the greatest day of basketball in Louisville history. With the women’s monumental upset and the men’s Final Four berth, it’s likely the greatest hoops day for any school ever. Since the women’s tournament has long awarded its Final Four seeds on Mondays and Tuesdays, it’s rare for a school to have two colossal victories on the same day. Even when schools send both teams to the Final Four, they punch their tickets on different days.
When Oklahoma had both teams in the Final Four in 2002, for example, the men advanced on a Saturday, the women on a Monday.
Never has a school had a day like Louisville did Sunday.
The Cardinals embraced the ride.
As well they should.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.