KY governor praises Louisville after Walz tweet

Louisville coach Jeff Walz made his point and appeared to get his wish Saturday when Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin publicly congratulated the Cardinals for making the Elite Eight.

Bevin’s tweet of praise was made Saturday afternoon after he appeared to initially overlook the women’s team while shouting out the Kentucky men’s team for same accomplishment.

The topic came to light Saturday morning, when Walz called out Bevin with a seemingly sarcastic tweet where the coach told the governor he would “make sure to let my players know you said congrats” despite no such public declaration, finishing the tweet with a facepalm emoji.

Walz appeared to be responding to Bevin’s tweet from Friday night, when he congratulated the Wildcats after their win over Houston to reach the Elite Eight. The Louisville women also made a regional final when they beat Oregon State 61-44.

“I was just trying to be helpful,” Walz said at a news conference Saturday. “I mean, you know, it’s our second year in a row. We went to a Final Four last year, and I’m not sure he knew there was a women’s basketball team at Louisville or in the state. He was tweeting at Kentucky men for advancing, and I didn’t say anything last year, and that’s fine. But I thought, you know what, these young women are pretty impressive, and I think as our governor, if you’re going to tweet at a men’s basketball team at any school, you should at least have someone hopefully letting you know that, hey, there are women that play too, and you’ve got a pretty good program at Louisville that advanced to the Sweet 16.”

On Saturday, Bevin responded to a tweet from university president Neeli Bendapudi to send congratulations to the Cardinals.

The governor did not address Walz’s tweet. Bevin did tweet good luck to the Cardinals before last year’s Final Four and then called their loss “heartbreaking.”

Walz said he had seen Bevin’s belated commendation for this year’s tournament run.

“I saw today he did tweet our president, which was very nice of him, to congratulate us on getting to the Elite Eight,” Walz said.

Louisville, the No. 1 seed in the Albany Region, will face second-seeded UConn on Sunday (noon ET, ESPN) for a spot in the Final Four.

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