With the network issues, the Headquarters losing power and some unexpected familial obligations, it's been a bit of a testy week around these parts. Ordinarily I'd be nearing a breaking point, but national championship.
That's all you have to say anymore.
Anyway, thanks to all of you for your patience this week. It's been very much appreciated.
Today is a huge one in the world of U of L spring sports, as the Louisville baseball team looks to win its 14th straight game and keep alive its shot at an outright Big East regular season title, and the Cardinal softball team begins its quest for its first trip to the NCAA Tournament Super Regionals.
The scenario for the baseball team is pretty simple: Beat Pitt today and tomorrow and you're the Big East champion and top seed for the league tournament next week. Win one of two and you share the title, but earn the top seed by way of the head-to-head tiebreaker. Lose both and you get nothing.
First pitch tonight at Jim Patterson is scheduled for 6 p.m. We should drink dollar beers about it together.
As far as the ladies of the diamond are concerned, Louisville will be looking for its first regional title starting with tonight's opening round game against IPFW at Ulmer Stadium. Here's the schedule for Friday and for the rest of the weekend:
Friday, May 17
Game 1 - UAB vs. UCLA - 5 p.m.
Game 2 - IPFW vs. Louisville - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 18
Game 3 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 - 2:00 p.m.
Game 4 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 4:30 p.m.
Game 5 - Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 19
Game 6 - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 - 1 p.m.
Game 7 - (If necessary) - 3:30 p.m.
You'll be able to buy single session tickets for five bucks at the stadium.
Best of luck to both squads tonight and for the rest of the weekend.
Pat Forde has a lengthy piece examining the unreal amount of mail Kevin Ware has received since his injury on the last day of March.
There were more motivational books than the Library of Congress can keep up with.
Someone billing himself as a "jump rope expert" sent a box full of jump ropes. Why send just one when you can send a dozen?
"It's been ... interesting," said Stephanie Davis, the Louisville basketball secretary and the point person for handling the overwhelming - and ongoing - flood of correspondence for Ware.
When the sophomore guard suffered a gruesome right leg fracture in the Midwest Regional final March 31 against Duke, it struck a sympathetic chord with America. When he handled the trauma with poise and resolve, lying on the court and urging his teammates to not worry about him and win the game, it struck a respectful chord with America. And Americans desperately wanted to communicate those strong feelings to Ware.
"It makes you feel really good," Ware said. "People care about you. I wasn't thinking I'd have all this support. It's got me in good spirits."
With all of the maniacal stuff that's happened over the past couple of months, it's always great to read something like this that reminds you that people, for the most part, are well-meaning.
Louisville is still a No. 1 seed in Joe Lunardi's unofficial "post-Andrew Wiggins" Bracketology. The Cards are the top dog in the South and are opening up against Charleston Southern. Fire up the Saah Nimley scouting reports.
Also, if Arizona is a No. 1 seed in 11 months I'll make you breakfast for a year. But nothing oniony. That smell does not agree with me in the morning.
I asked Jim Boeheim why Rick Pitino wasn't at ACC meetings. "He's still waiting for his horse to finish in the Derby"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 16, 2013
To his credit, Boeheim's always been an expert at picking winners.
Jason King and Dana O'Neill tackle what will be college basketball's top debate throughout the summer: Louisville or Kentucky?
CBS' college hoops people are talking about breakout players for the 2013-14 season, and both Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish have Trez on the mind. Then again, who doesn'tl?
Montrezl Harrell, 6-8, F, Louisville -- Came off the bench last season, but will likely become a starter and fill the void left by the departure of Gorgui Dieng. Harrell is long, athletic, can block shots and run the floor. He's not polished offensive, but what he does is get the ball off the glass (on both ends) and finish in transition.
Last season: 5.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 16.2 mpg
Montrezl Harrell, 6-8, F, Louisville -- Louisville was so good and deep this past season that Harrell only averaged 16.2 minutes per game. But there were flashes of brilliance from this 6-foot-8 athlete, and he'll have an opportunity to develop into an All Big East-caliber player next season now that Gorgui Dieng is off to the NBA.
Last season: 5.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 16.2 mpg
I think Kendrick Lamar is drastically underestimating the level of sting that a swimming pool full of liquor is going to deliver to a person's eyes. You thought chlorine was bad? Shew. Pray you've invested in some goggles, my man.
Gorgui Dieng didn't participate in any of the on-court activities on day one of the NBA Draft combine in Chicago, but it should come as little surprise that he still managed to impress the folks there.
Gorgui Dieng is the smartest kid here. Just had a very inspiring conversation with him about his future, agent choice and life at Louisville— Chad Sanders (@Chad_Sand) May 17, 2013
Roundball Daily thinks San Antonio might be a nice fit for Gorgs.
Charlie Strong is in the building at the ACC spring meetings.
Given everything the Louisville program has accomplished over the past year, the Cardinals are joining their league at the right time.
When asked what it has been like watching virtually every program on campus have success this year, including his own, Strong said, "Our athletic director, Tom Jurich, is amazing. Just to watch how he's been able to be the mastermind behind all the success in the program, with football, basketball, soccer, our baseball team, our softball team. It's good we're having the success. Now for us to take a step into another conference at least we bring some credibility with us."
Tomorrow's headline: "Strong steals Al Golden's dessert, stares at him while eating it."
There's only one doctor in this town trained to treat (Are you really gonna do this? You know you don't have to do this. The picture's funny enough on its own. Just post it and move on...please.) national championship fever (What is wrong with you?)
Scout has released its final Top 100 for the basketball class of 2013, and Louisville's Terry Rozier checks in at No. 15. Hargrave Military teammate Anton Gill is No. 48, while Akoy Agau failed to crack the rankings.
Most adorable $300 million arena plan EVER.
I'm going to Chicago next month for a wedding and I can't sleep because I'm so excited about wearing my Fear the D shirt to a Cubs game the day before. Summer of Rutherford.
Now your initial inclination might be to claim July as the rightful owner of this title because of its common association with the "dead of summer" and all that, but I think the "Christmas in July" phenomenon squashes that notion pretty quickly. In fact, it actually makes July the most Christmas month of the summer. May also has the upper (or lower) hand on April and August because of the pair's heightened proximity to the holiday itself. This leaves June. While an argument can certainly be made, I say June's tight association with July and its indirect, but strong, ties to December 25 makes it slightly more Christmas than May.
These are the types of thoughts that occupied my mind during just about every class I ever sat through. I didn't get very good grades.
Bud Elliott of SB Nation examines Louisville's hot recruiting start.
Now we see that the recruiting results weren't unrealized, they were just delayed. The Cardinals are yet to land a four-star commitment, but several of their 13 (yes, 13 as of May 15) commitments have a strong chance to get a bump in the ratings. And Louisville has never been a team under Charlie Strong that waits to offer a recruit because the recruiting services are slow to grade his true ability. The Cardinals trust their evaluations.
Three members of the U of L women's basketball team are currently in Colorado competing for spots on the USA Basketball Women's World University Games team.
I bought a new phone this week for the sole purpose of being able to tweet "LET'S GO RIGHT NOW" from inside arenas and stadiums, and as a result I'm also attempting to do things on Instagram now. Feel free to follow me at "RenStevensFan247." Kidding, it's "CardChronicle."
Hornsey, it must be noted, ranked 27th in the country last season in yards per punt.
Notice that there are no links in this blurb. That's called maturity, folks. Pre-championship Mike wouldn't have been able to make it to word four without slipping in a Brick Roll.
Beer snobs and beer snob haters: debate.
John Swofford's quick and thorough behind the scenes work just may have been what saved the ACC.
My fiancé is currently working on raising money to go on a mission trip to Costa Rica. She is a talented artist and we came up with away to combine the two. She did a really cool national championship piece and we were going to sell them with all proceeds going to fund the mission trip. We were hoping that if someone wanted one they would make a donation of $60 or more, and then she would make one for them. You can have them email me at email@example.com if they would like one, and we will handle it from there.
The ACC is still actively looking into the possibility of moving its basketball tournament to Madison Square Garden. And I'm still actively pursuing the possibility of an all-AAC wardrobe between this July and next June.
It looks like Rakeem Buckles is going to follow Richard Pitino to Minnesota, even if it means he has to sit out another season.
Former Cardinals Tiger Jones and Mario Urrutia both currently rank in the Arena Football League's top five in receiving.
Rick Pitino is doing pretty much everything I'd do if I just won a national championship, and that makes me incredibly proud. Also, having the national championship trophy make a guest appearance at your 21st birthday is just about as good as it gets. I got asked to leave a Dayton Arby's at 3:30 in the afternoon when I turned 21, so I would know.
And finally, U of L's official 2013 championship print has been unveiled.