By Daniel Rankin

Tonight, the No. 1 seeded Louisville Cardinals continue their journey to the national championship in the Sweet 16 by facing the No. 4 seeded Tennessee Volunteers at 4 pm on ESPN 2.

The  energy was vibrant from the very beginning, even on travel day. The team is clearly excited for the next round of games but is very confident too, as one player said, “take care of business.”

After handling UAlbany and Gonzaga in the tournament’s first two rounds, the team has a lot to be confident about. Hailey Van Lith seems to have hit her stride at the right moment breaking 20 points in each game.

Emily Engstler, one of the highest-rated players in the country, has continued her strong performances with a double-double in round one and fell just short of an astonishing triple-double against Gonzaga. Engstler also holds a tournament-leading seven steals.

Tennessee, one of Women’s Basketball’s most historical programs, is currently 25-8 on the season with impressive wins over Belmont and Buffalo.

To advance to the Elite 8, the Cards will need to keep up their elite defense against the Volunteers. So far, Louisville holds a tournament-leading 28 steals, with Engstler contributing and also tournament-leading seven.

The crowd should be energetic tonight; Coach Walz told a crowd at a Louisville Alumni event that the arena sold 8,000 Louisville tickets. Many supporters made the long drive from Louisville to Kansas to see the Cards in their fifth straight Sweet 16. Should the Cardinals advance to the Elite 8, they’ll face the Michigan and South Dakota matchup winner on Monday, March 28.

The Final Four will be located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 1-3.

Stay tuned here for more coverage as we recap and preview upcoming tournament games!

Photo by Daniel Rankin // The Louisville Cardinal