Quick morning reads

Well, it's official. The No. 1 team in the country will waltz into Freedom Hall Saturday night a perfect 16-0.

Though it was far from their best effort of the season, Pittsburgh disposed of South Florida in a respectable 75-62 fashion. DeJuan Blair led the way with 13 points and 18 rebounds, while Sam Young added a quiet 14 points.

It needs to be Saturday in like four hours.

The Louisville women's team also took on the mighty Bulls from Tampa, and cruised to their 12th straight win, 76-60. Junior reserve Brandie Radde hit five three-pointers and scored 19 points, both career highs, while Angel McCoughtry added 17 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals.

The Louisville baseball team has been tabbed as the No. 11 team in the country by National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll voters. The Cards are also No. 8 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll and No. 20 in the Ping! Baseball rankings.

U of L has launched a new website to offer fans "a wealth of information" about the new downtown arena.

UofLarenaseats.com became live this week, providing a source for basketball fans to acquire the latest information on the transition from Freedom Hall to the new arena. Information on this new web address has been sent via postcard to all current U of L season ticket holders.

"There's great interest in this landmark move from Freedom Hall to the new arena," said Gary Friedman, Associate Athletics Director for Development. "This web site provides another tool to communicate with our fans on the process of purchasing seats in this wonderful new facility. We welcome comments and questions from all of our fans."

The site is specifically designed to share information with fans on the transition details involved in moving to the new arena. UofLarenaseats.com includes a question and answer section, facts and figures on the arena, a live web cam of the construction site, seating diagrams, donation levels, timelines and other material.

I hate, hate, hate mock NCAA Tournament brackets, but I'm strangely and uncontrollably drawn to them. Having said that, CBS Sportsline has Louisville as a two seed in the South, playing its first two games of the tournament in Dayton.

Want to hear Bill Raftery talk about Louisville? Click here

From U of L on the '83 team being honored at halftime of Saturday's game:

The University of Louisville will honor its 1983 NCAA Final Four team at halftime of the Cardinals' Jan. 17 game against Pittsburgh. Prior to the game, members of the team will be available for autographs in Freedom Hall from 430-5:30 p.m.

A commemorative poster will be available as an insert in Saturday's game program.

The 1982-83 Cardinals posted a 32-4 record, won the Metro Conference title with a perfect 12-0 mark, and won its last 16 straight games before falling to Houston in the NCAA national semifinals. That game, which featured U of L's "Doctors of Dunk" against the Cougars' "Phi Slamma Jamma," is the highest rated college basketball game other than a national title game.

Four of the five members of the starting five from that team and at least five additional team members are expected to attend the event, in addition to Hall of Fame Coach Denny Crum. Guard Milt Wagner, leading scorer on that team and the Cards' No. 5 all-time scorer (1,836 pts.), will be unable to attend as he currently serves as an assistant coach at UTEP. UTEP plays at East Carolina on Jan. 17.

Should be pretty cool.

And finally, some good news from the gridiron where ESPN's Todd McShay said on the radio yesterday that Hunter Cantwell has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the East-West Shrine Game practices. Apparently Cantwell's release has been much more compact than it was during the season, which is great for him but kind of makes me feel even worse about things.

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