Thursday Morning Cardinal News And Notes

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Madison Green's one wish in life is to get Gorgui Dieng on the back of her bike. The two of them ripping down the Gene Snyder, flashing L's at the cop cars they pass while the officers inside just shake their heads and smile back.

Madison, Gorgui and a bike. A simple life, but a life worth longing - and fighting - for.

Just living, man. Just living.


All right, I think the two days of post-Syracuse reflection/scrutiny were necessary, but we're now a mere 48 hours away from DePaul Day II/DePaul Day Dos/DDay 2/DePaul Day: Episode II/DePaul Day: Full Throttle/2 DePaul 2 Day/DePaul Day Kick Back/I Still Know What You Did Last DePaul Day, and I'm quite certain that demands our full attention.

The game is in Chicago and is scheduled for a noon tip, so word's already circulating that the city of Louisville has called for extra police in anticipation of what Mayor Greg Fischer is reportedly referring to as "the biggest Friday night since Ice Cube's." He originally went with "Frightday Night," but Ellen Hensen squashed that pretty quickly.

Anyway, it's Louisville's first double dip with DePaul since the Cards were shocked in overtime at the Allstate Arena back in 2003 after having demolished the Blue Demons earlier in the season. I'm sorry, did I say were shocked? Because I meant won. I meant won by 52. And then they danced afterward.

Saturday will also mark the homecoming of one Wayne Blackshear, who played his high school ball at Chicago's Morgan Park, the same school which can lay claim to American hero and 1994 Goodwill Games gold medalist Dean Portman.

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If I don't get some quality "D2"-themed photoshops at some point over the next two days, I swear I'm going to take away Friday Irrelevance.

Chicago's also the home of a number of highly-rated recruits who will almost certainly be checked in on by Rick Pitino. Among that group is Jabari Parker, considered by many to be the best player in the class of 2013. He plays for the same Mac Irvin Fire AAU program that produced Blackshear.

We don't need a miracle to save it this go-round; DePaul Day is back. Light 106.9 should be making the switch to all DD music around noon.

It appears the dream of adding Boise State to the Big East in 2012 and having them come to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium isn't quite dead yet.

As for the proposed idea of Syracuse and Rutgers playing each other twice next year, it's not an option.

A Missouri designer has produced concept renderings of new "contact" helmets for every BCS team in the country. Here' s what Louisville's looks like:

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That's actually quite bad ass.

The nationally-ranked Louisville baseball team will open its season on Friday morning against Minnesota in a game played in Clearwater, Fla. The Cards are looking to bounce back from a disappointing season in which they failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time under Dan McDonnell. You can check out the full team preview from U of L right here.

I think this is going to be a monster season for Louisville. The major issue last season was getting used to the game's new bats, and now that awkward adjustment period is over. The Cards probably have the two best pitchers in the Big East and Stewart Ijames definitely has the potential to be the league's MVP.

It should be a really fun year at Jim Patterson. Plus, cheap beer and hot dogs. Can't beat it.

Congratulations to Greg Brohm on being named the first head coach at the new Thomas Nelson High School. The school will be located in Nelson County, just outside of Bardstown.

Today's world hero:

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There are no words for this type of accomplishment, this level of brilliance.

The Cards are up to a four seed in the new CBS Bracketology.

Speaking of brackets and such, get ready to hear shot after shot taken at Louisville's lack of quality wins over the next couple of weeks. The teams competing for seeds 3-7 are so cluttered this year, that the "who have you beaten" talk is going to be even more prevalent this year than most. If U of L takes care of business in its next few games it's only going to push the Cards that much further into the 3/4 seed discussion, which will result in the aforementioned plethora of "omg, they're awful" comments.

I'm just telling you. It's going to get annoying. Don't listen. Make funny photoshops for people like me who lack the ability instead.

Local band The Louisville Crashers have released a U of L theme song, which you can listen to while watching this video unfortunately paired with highlights from the Syracuse game.


Student Section Batman: still red hot.

Song's probably going to get ripped on because it's the Internet and everything besides Gorgui Dieng gets ripped on, but it's pretty obvious that the group has some talent. I definitely could have gone with a Fat Wayne reference though. Probably would have rhymed it with "pain," but that's just me. I understand that you're not really looking for notes, so I'm not going to insist or anything. It would help though.

Eric Crawford has a solid extended follow-up to his Wednesday column on officiating.

That man deserves more hype. Agree or disagree with his central opinion, the vast majority of stuff he churns out is better than the vast majority of stuff floating around and smacking you in the face on the Internet.

It pains me to admit that I haven't touched a print edition of the local paper in a few years now, but Crawford's online content and the press conference and postgame videos have maintained the C-J's website's status as an invaluable resource.

Yes.

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I like to picture Wayne in this scenario as King Curtis, the infamous bacon kid from a few years back. "No, I want my milk. I gotta tell you something: milk, is good for me."

Love Curtis. Love Wayne.

Kentucky had a practice televised on ESPNU Wednesday afternoon. I can only imagine that the ratings would have been much higher had UK fans spent that period of time actually watching the Wildcats practice on ESPNU instead of telling Louisville fans that the Wildcats were practicing on ESPNU.

KF: "Cal wuz great. Probably had harr ratins than any Loserville game this year."

P: "Actually, it's going on right now. The fact that you weren't aware leads me to believe you didn't actually watch a second."

KF: **Flashes three goggles**

The website Awful Announcing criticized UK's decision to have a pair of locals (Buzz Baker and Matt Jones) serve as the commentators for the practice in a post on Wednesday. Far more important than that, however, was the first line of the first comment underneath said post.

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Gotta Dictionary.com that ish, man.

Speaking of which, check out this winner who decided to make a statement at the Yum Center on Monday:

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"Oh boy, am I gunna turn some heads and shake some sh-t up tonight."

Apparently he was on the main concourse flashing the hoodie at everyone he saw after game. Because that's smart.

I just don't understand. You don't have to wear Louisville stuff, but just wear white. I know plenty of Cardinal fans who have attended non-Louisville games at Rupp, and none of them have felt the need to shove their allegiance in the face of everyone in the building. It doesn't have to define you every hour of the day.

Appreciate the money, attendance boost and stereotype perpetuation though.

Kevin Ware returned to practice on Wednesday after being out for two days with the flu. He was not on Louisville's bench during the loss to Syracuse.

Ah, we meet again old friend.

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This rivalry has the shelf-life of Hogan/Savage. I made you hot, Vitale.

Also, Bruno Mars? I really wish the person who sent me this could have at least cropped Bruno out because it completely calls into question the validity of everything that precedes him.

Catch a grenade = definitely dead

Throw yourself from a plane = totes dead

Jump in front of a train = couldn't be more dead

Bullet straight through the brain = obviously dead

Throw my hand on a blade = I mean, yeah, oww, but hey look, the rest of me is totally fine. And this flesh wound on my hand is actually probably going to heal in time as well, so long as I seek and am provided with the proper medical attention. I love you.

Probably could have stuck with just the four examples in the hook, Bruno.

We're not going to take an extensive look at the Syracuse game because the only things that haven't been covered at this point are the silly things, and I've already shifted into straight DePaul Day mode, AKA I'm typing this from a hammock in Puerto Vallarta. Also, how awful is the word "silly?" Try using it when attempting to sound funny, sexy or educated and see how far that gets you. Unless you're around a baby, in which case stop trying to hit on that baby, you're going to get in trouble.

Anyway, four light (only slightly better) thoughts on the game:

1. The Chris Smith go-ahead 3-pointer is my new leader for biggest personal overreaction of the season. Russ Smith game-tying 4-point play against Kentucky, I think you'll find the No. 2 spot nearly as luxurious.

2. Louisville still has not lost a home game I've attended since the UK game on New Year's Eve, 2010. Only games in the Yum I've missed this year are DePaul, Western Kentucky, Georgetown, Notre Dame and Syracuse.

3. The previous winning streak started when I brought back my U of L dress socks. I did not wear them on Monday. I've already taken my 60-lashings (slap ruler), so you don't have to worry about it.

4. If you think that's the end of the story for Santa Strong, you could not be more wrong. I have a strong grasp of what the goods are and the man's got the goods.

The Louisville women's team escaped with an overtime victory at Pittsburgh on Tuesday to improve to 8-5 in league play. The Panthers are 0-12 in the Big East.

Major Waynes (I use "Wayne" in place of any term of endearment now) to the U of L softball team, which opened its season with five wins in Miami last weekend. The Cardinals defeated Michigan State, Illinois, UAB, FIU and UMass by a combined score of 23-10.

Cincinnati writer John Erardi has a good piece on Chane Behanan, who's already being referred to as "the one that got away" for UC.

Jim Calhoun is going to be out at least another week for UConn. The Huskies spanked DePaul (so cute) on Wednesday.

And finally, Louisville's RPI now sits at 23 with a strength of schedule of 27. The RPIs of the Cards' final five opponents are 1 (Syracuse), 60 (South Florida), 78 (Pittsburgh), 93 (Cincinnati) and 181 (DePaul).

The tail end of the schedule's not exactly doing us any favors this year. Big East Tournament is going to be monumental.

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