The first day of April was not any kinder to Louisville basketball than the end of March was.
Four days after the U of L men's team fell to Kentucky in the Sweet 16, the women's team saw its season come to an equally cruel end, falling to Maryland on their home floor in the Elite 8.
It was a tale of two halves for the Cards, who led 36-32 at halftime, but went ice cold after the break and suddenly found themselves behind by 12. Shoni Schimmel, who finished with a game-high 31 points, then led a furious rally that pulled the Cards to within three with 3.5 seconds left. A perfectly designed play allowed Schimmel to get a clean look at a three to send the game to overtime, but her final shot as a Cardinal found the back iron, and Maryland celebrated a 76-73 upset.
All-American Alyssa Thomas scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Terps, who advanced to their first Final Four since winning the national championship in 2006.
Credit the crowd on a remarkable performance, and a tip of the cap to the seniors, especially No. 23, on a remarkable run. In the past couple of years, casual observers have become lifelong fans and season-ticket holders, and this group deserves all the credit for that.
For now, we must come to terms with the realization that there will be no more Louisville basketball played for seven months. There have been better five day stretches.