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Oklahoma City Women's Regional: Louisville's upset of Baylor caught the attention of plenty of people

It's happened before. Even in the women's game. The giant fell. But hardly anybody paid attention — before now.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Staff Writer skuzydym@opubco.com Published: April 1, 2013
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photo - Louisville's Antonita Slaughter (4) celebrates a three-point shot during college basketball game between Baylor University and Louisville at the Oklahoma City Regional for the NCAA women's college basketball tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 31, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Louisville's Antonita Slaughter (4) celebrates a three-point shot during college basketball game between Baylor University and Louisville at the Oklahoma City Regional for the NCAA women's college basketball tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 31, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

“So hopefully, (I'm) going to be able to get three or four of them because I know the three that actually texted me all have daughters that I'm like, ‘Guys, you're going to have to go watch them play one day, so you might want to start joining now.'”

Converting college basketball fans to the women's side is one of Walz's goals. He's done it in Louisville — where the team averaged, he said, about 3,300 fans per home game when he took over as head coach six years ago.

“Now, we're at close to 10,000,” Walz said.

After their Sunday victory, the Cardinals players saw photos of their impact on Instagram. Junior Antonita Slaughter said one of the photos was of a Louisville city bus that was stopped because so many people were surrounding it as they celebrated.

It was more than just people in Louisville watching, though. ESPN2's broadcast of the Baylor-Lousiville game earned the highest rating (0.9) of a Regional semifinal game since March 28, 2010 when it was Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame (1.0) and Kentucky vs. Nebraska. (0.9)

This time, when the giant fell, Walz said he hoped people were watching.

“At the end there, it could have gone either way,” Walz said. “But I think win or lose, ... it was still going to be a great day for women's basketball just because of the excitement that we threw into it.”


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