There is entirely too much going on for this post to possibly cover, so please excuse the massive amounts of items that will be overlooked tonight.
Spread check: Louisville by 10.5.
A gigantic start to a gigantic week of Louisville sports is underway with the Louisville baseball team team taking on Kentucky in a battle of top 10 national powers. It's the first time the rivals have met with each owning a top 10 ranking since 2002.
As I'm typing this, the Cards and Cats are tied at 3 in the 6th inning.
The scene shifts to women's basketball at 9 p.m., when the Cards will look to topple second-seeded Tennessee and earn a trip to the Final Four. The Volunteers are a 2- point favorite.
We'll have an open thread up before the tip.
Kevin Ware is back home, and his first stop was the Yum Center practice facility.
For those heading down to Atlanta on Friday, Louisville's own My Morning Jacket will be playing a free concert at 7 p.m. They'll be followed by Zac Brown Band at 9 p.m.
Here's the full list of Final Four weekend events.
Kevin Ware is still the apple of his mom's eye...and Card Chronicle's eye.
I've started to respond to every question I don't want to answer with "I'm fine, just win the game." I imagine using it next as I'm pantsless and being turned away from the Georgia Dome on Saturday night.
Speaking of which, if anyone has any solid leads on tickets or the best route to go in order to obtain them, I'm not going to ignore you. Any and all efforts thus far have been a worse experience than three off-campus hours in Lexington.
Matt Norlander of CBS has some interesting facts and figures about the Georgia Dome and this year's Final Four.
New things with the court this year: 1) It's bigger in general. The dimensions are now 70 x 140 feet, whereas they used to be 60 x 120. 2) The basketball stanchions/supports are connected to 3,000-pound anchors that are below the court. That's never been done before. They're sturdier and a bit further removed from the baselines. It's a safety improvement all around.
Some more bullet points regarding the logistics of the event.
- There are 74,600 "viewable seats," which is actually about what the Mercedes-Benz Superdome held last year, though I have to say the Georgia Dome feels much, much more intimate than the Superdome or Cowboys Stadium.
- The video board is octagonal in design and when combined with all the audio equipment tethered about 150 feet up from the court, weighs approximately 155,000 pounds. It is 70 feet in diameter, or nearly the length of the distance between the rims.
- The NCAA will lay down 120,000 square feet of carpet inside the stadium.
- There are 18,218 temporary seats being added.
- The court is 29 inches off the ground.
Please go watch U of L's postgame press conference after the Duke win and check out Gorgui politely push in his chair as well as Russ' and Peyton's when the players are dismissed. It happens around the 18-minute mark.
Pretty cool: an old newspaper article on U of L's 1980 national championship.
One of my favorite pics in a while.
For anyone looking to pass along any well wishes to Kevin Ware, here's the address:
It was just a little less than two years ago when Louisville fans were freaking out because the Cards had just lost to Morehead State, assistant coach Tim Fuller had bolted for Missouri and prized recruits Rodney Purvis and Negus Webster-Chan had decommitted. Well, within last 24 hours, both Purvis and Webster-Chan have announced that they intend to transfer from NC State and Missouri, respectively.
Louisville, in case you were wondering, has gotten along quite nicely since April, 2011.
Remember the crazy fog from a few days ago? Well check it out covering the U of L football practice field that morning.
Eric Crawford sides with the rest of the thinking world in believing that Russ Smith deserved better than a third team nod from the associated Press.
Easily the most bizarre (and awful) thing I've seen written about the Kevin Ware situation yet.
If you were in the crowd for the Duke game on Sunday, GigaPan has one of those interactive images that allows you to zoom in and check yourself out. See if you can find the ultra-focused bad ass in 126.
Earl Clark: Coolest man alive.
I'm pretty sure there's an S missing on his hat, but somehow that only makes it cooler. Don't ask me to explain why, it just does.
Congratulations to Will Stein, who is now a graduate assistant with the U of L football team. Good move by the staff.
Adam Himmelsbach's story on Ware reveals just how much Luke's instinctive actions meant to him in that moment.
The past 24 hours, Ware said, were mostly a blur. When he suffered the injury in the first half of the Duke game, planting awkwardly on his right leg as it snapped like a toothpick, he thought he had just sprained his ankle.
Then he saw the look of horror in Cardinals coach Rick Pitino's eyes. Then he looked at his leg and saw the chunk of bone that had punctured his skin. Then he immediately went into shock. Ware Sr., watching from New York, said he thought he was going to have a heart attack in his home.
Ware Jr. remembered Louisville forward Luke Hancock coming over and comforting him. He remembered Hancock saying a prayer, a powerful moment in a suddenly silent arena.
"And that made me just go into Kevin mode," Ware said. "I just told Luke, 'I'm good. Just win this game.' I just kept repeating that. I got louder and louder and Russ was there and I'm pulling their jerseys, trying to get in their face like, 'Ya'll got to win this game.' When they took me off the court, I heard so many cheers, and I'm like 'When I'm out of surgery, there's gonna be some good news."
Ware relayed this story to his father on Monday morning. He told him how he was just concerned about his teammates.
"That probably was the moment that really broke me," Ware Sr. said. "Like, 'Wow, my kid is my hero.'"
The loss of Kevin Ware hurts Louisville even more now that they're going up against a Wichita State team whose biggest asset is its bench.
Nate Silver says that Louisville now has a 55.0 percent chance to win the national championship.
His employers at the New York Times, however, are picking Wichita State to cut down the nets.
Coolest thing Hardees has cooked up since ever.
USA Today looks at how Ware's absence is going to hurt the Cardinals on the court.
Imagine what Mike Rice would be able to do and still keep his job if he was actually winning.
I have no idea how any rational parent could send their child to play for that man after seeing this.
Pay no attention to the nonsense, Louisville will take care of Kevin Ware.
From bankers to dentists, professionals from all over Louisville are having a hard time not getting their CCBM on..that sounds wrong.
I'm just assuming that kid's dead now.
Former U of L assistant Reggie Theus is back in college basketball as the new head coach at Cal State Northridge.
Some notable numbers from U of L's shocking upset of Baylor.
Through the regional finals, this NCAA Tournament has been the most watched in 19 years. The first broadcast window on Sunday (2:19-4:28 PM, ET), in which Michigan topped Florida, earned a 5.7/15, up 14% from a 5.0/11 in 2012. The second broadcast window (4:55-7:34 PM, ET) which featured Louisville beating Duke, registered an 8.8/19, up 24% from a 7.1/14 in 2012 (North Carolina vs. Kansas).
This was actually sent to me Saturday night.
Gorgui Dieng has helped his NBA Draft stock immensely during Louisville's NCAA Tournament run.
And finally, go Cards, beat Kentucky, Tennessee and Wichita State.