Thursday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

Carl Kuhl has all of London excited about the possibility of Louisville joining the ACC a year ahead of schedule.

So I woke up this morning to an email from the Paul Rogers, saying he was excited about Teddy wearing the mask and the Russ "Shots" video, and that he wanted to pass along something I might be interested in. That something was the radio call from the famous ending of the 2005 C-USA championship game against Memphis.

Basically, it's the best early Christmas present I've ever received.

You can listen for yourself by clicking here: Louisville/Memphis '05 title game

Even though I've seen the CBS call (and you've seen the CBS call) about 1,000 times, this was the first time I'd laid ears on the radio call. Very cool, especially with the Cards headed back to that court for the first time since that fateful afternoon nearly eight years ago.

Big time thanks to the living legend himself for passing it along.

Russ Smith spent a good chunk of his Thursday on the front page of SI.com.

Russi_medium

Of course he did.

Aside from the Gorgui Dieng news, Rick Pitino's radio show was fairly uneventful Wednesday night. The only other item of interest was that Wayne Blackshear suffers from asthma, and it gets really bad when the weather turns cold in the winter.

We're basically the same person.

ESPN's Mark Schlabach isn't giving the Cards much of a chance against Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Why to watch: The Gators came within one victory of playing for an SEC championship and potentially a BCS national title. The Cardinals are coached by former Gators defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, who helped UF win two BCS national championships.

Who to watch: Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater showed his toughness by playing with a broken left wrist on his nonthrowing hand in the Cardinals' 20-17 victory at Rutgers on Nov. 29, which punched their ticket to the Sugar Bowl. Bridgewater completed 69 percent of his passes this season for 3,452 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Motivation for Louisville: The Cardinals can earn a lot of respect for the beleaguered Big East by upsetting a top team from the SEC.

Motivation for Florida: The Gators won 11 games in coach Will Muschamp's second season and might be able to finish No. 2 in the final polls with another victory.

Pick: Florida 42, Louisville 17

Guess there's no point in making the trip then.

You can catch a portion of the audio from Russ Smith's Wednesday night segment on "Inside College Basketball" right here.

This is not the way we utilize the library during finals week, Big Blue Nation.

Rutherford_medium

No doubt in my mind that this person spent their late August/early September jumping in baby pools.

DePaul went on the road and blew out previously 8-1 Arizona State to extend the Big East's winning streak to 20 games last night. Craziest 12/12/12 ever.

Adrian Bushell discusses ending his college career by playing against the program where his college career started.


Hey Vance! Let's go watch it, 'cause I gotta go leave and go to this graduation.

I sort of shrugged it off when the thought was tossed around initially, but after this past week's events, you can make an extremely strong argument that getting Louisville into the ACC is Tom Jurich's crowning achievement.

We already knew what football life was going to be like in the Big East post-2013, but look at the basketball side of things now. Connecticut, a program which has won three national titles over the past three years, is essentially a man without a country. Same thing for a Cincinnati program that also ranks somewhere in the sport's all-time top 20.

It's bad enough watching this happen as a fan of sports in general, but I can't even imagine being a diehard supporter of one of the programs being left behind right now.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner is stressing the importance of communication heading into Saturday's showdown with Louisville.

Louisville (8-1), with standout guards Peyton Siva (10.9 ppg, 5.7 apg) and Russ Smith (20.3 ppg), is adept at scoring off screens and pick-and-rolls, making it vital that Memphis communicate well defensively Saturday afternoon in what's expected to be a raucous environment at FedExForum.

It will be just as important to do so on the offensive end against a Cardinals team that's averaging 12.4 steals, the second-most in the Big East.

"Communication is always important in games, but in big games it's more important because the arena's sold out," senior forward D.J. Stephens said. "For us, we've struggled in the past with communicating. This year, so far, we've done a lot better job of communicating on the floor and it's showing."

A quick congratulations to all the new U of L graduates who received their diplomas earlier tonight.

It sounds like one guy in particular enjoyed his moment in the spotlight.

He's a showman. No question about it.

Heather Dinich and Andrea Adelson preview the Sugar Bowl in video form.

Class of 2014 quarterback Reggie Bonnafon from Louisville Trinity stated on Twitter last night that he plans on making his college decision very soon. U of L has long been considered a heavy favorite to land the services of Bonnafon, who also played wide receiver last season as three-year starter Travis Wright wrapped up his career with the Shamrocks.

In related news, Louisville will be receiving a Friday visit from JuCo quarterback Brett Nelson of Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, CA. Nelson was offered a scholarship by Charlie Strong earlier this week.


Nelson has two years of eligibility remaining and would be eligible to play next season.

Team Chipotle.

Yahoo labels Louisville as one of the "winners" if the seven Big East Catholic schools do ultimately wind up laving the league.

Winner: Louisville and Notre Dame

Any chance Notre Dame and Louisville would have to endure the full 27-month waiting period before formally joining the ACC probably vanishes if the seven Catholic schools opt to break away from the Big East. In fact, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey told ESPN he believes the Irish and Cardinals should now be able to join the ACC as soon as the 2013-14 school year, one year ahead of schedule. That's good for both Louisville and Notre Dame because it allows both to launch their new era rather than waiting around in limbo an extra year or two.

After seeing what our 2013 home football schedule currently looks like, the thought of a move to the ACC a year early gets me sexually aroused. Wouldn't mind having Duke come to town after their backup quarterback's big talk last month either.

The UConn Blog is taking the news about as well as you would imagine. They're still hopeful that the Zombie Big East will retain its BCS bid, though.

Bill Connelly says Louisville vs. Florida may as well be Teddy Bridgewater against the world.

It takes a full 60 minutes to beat Florida, no matter how iffy the Gators look at times. Florida scored the final 13 points against Bowling Green and Texas A&M, the final 14 points against LSU, Missouri and UL-Lafayette, and the final 24 points against Tennessee, and the Gators exploded for 24 fourth-quarter points against Florida State.

If Louisville can slow down the run, force punts, avoid turnovers and avoid a tilted field in the field position battle, the Cardinals will give themselves a chance, just like so many of the above teams did. But their poor defense and lack of more than a decent run game will make those "ifs" longshots at best.

Bridgewater is fantastic, and Louisville is on a lovely upward trajectory, but this team probably isn't ready to become a BCS bowl champion just yet. Florida, on the other hand, very much is.

The Hungry Pelican knows what's up.

Hingryp_medium

'Tis the season for Gator.

G--dammit, I have got to stop doing that.

The other possibility for the picture follow-up was an edited rendition of "Time of the Season" by the Zombies. "Eating Gator" was going to be inserted at some point in the lyrics. It really wasn't going anywhere.

A look at the gambling storylines for the Sugar Bowl from Doc's Sports Service, which also thinks Louisville has no chance of actually winning the game.

More information on Richard Benjamin, the Tampa Bay WR who attempted to commit to Louisville earlier this week. Apparently the staff wants him to visit first, which he'll do this weekend.

"They want to see me there and meet with Coach [Charlie] Strong before making everything official," Benjamin explained. "I think it will work out; it's where I want to be."

The Colorado women's basketball team is extremely excited for the opportunity to face No. 8 Louisville.

The Austin Daily Statesman says the Sugar Bowl is the ninth-best bowl of this year. But guess what? They also think Florida wins big.

No. 9: Sugar

4-Florida (11-1) vs. 22-Louisville (10-2), Jan. 2

Oh, Florida-Oklahoma would have been so much juicier. Coach Boom and his nasty Gator defense are looking for somebody to blow up, but the lightly regarded Big East rep simply doesn't have enough meat on its bones.

And finally, Saturday's game is an awfully big deal down in Memphis.

There are several ways to measure the magnitude of a college basketball game. First, will the outcome echo through the rest of the season and resonate with the NCAA Tournament Committee come March?

Check. The Saturday, Dec. 15, game at FedExForum between No. 6 Louisville and the Memphis Tigers will have much bearing on the rest of the Tigers' season.

Next, is there history behind the game? Does it matter to fans at a base level? Are there stories to be told and embellished? Is it a real rivalry?

Check, check, check and check.

"Everywhere we go now it's about Louisville - ‘Beat Louisville,'" the Tigers' Adonis Thomas said.

"I understand what this game means to Tiger Nation," Coach Josh Pastner said.

Get ready for a bar fight. Can't wait...Memphis State.

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