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Tuesday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

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Tonight's game might be in Louisville, but Joseph Meyer is still letting the folks in Columbus know what's up.

I_medium Spread Check: Louisville by 8.5.

I_medium Louisville native D'Angelo Russell says he's had this game circled on his calendar for a while now.

I_medium So have Louisville fans, apparently.

I_medium Russell also told the Columbus Dispatch that playing against the Cardinals inside the Yum Center will be "a dream come true."

I_medium Your preview of tonight's game from the Associated Press.

I_medium Heh.

I_medium Online dating profiles in Kentucky feature one word more than any other. That word isn't "love" or "food" or "running," it's "basketball." As you might have guessed, the Bluegrass State is the only one in the country where this is the case.

I_medium Grantland's Michael Bauman says that Montrezl Harrell is the "BestCoolest" player in college basketball this season.

Finding out that Montrezl Harrell has a jump shot is like the moment inJurassic Park when you discover that the velociraptors can open doors. He's attempted 10 3-pointers (hitting 30 percent) through five games this year, after trying only three in his first two collegiate seasons combined. That maturation is the last piece of the puzzle for what makes Harrell the BestCoolest.

The NBA's collusive and anticompetitive decision to impose an age limit forces players like Duke's Jahlil Okafor, who should be playing pro ball, to make a one-year stop in college, and the best college players are almost always going to be guys like that. But college sports are at their best and most useful when athletes use the experience to grow. Okafor and his peers have nothing to gain by playing college basketball, while Harrell, over two-plus years, has matured from an energy guy to an outstanding defender and rebounder to, potentially, a complete two-way power forward who plays with finesse, relentless energy, unfair athleticism, and great style. Many of the players who are objectively better than Harrell are wasting their time in college, while Harrell's game has improved dramatically and continues to do so. That's always cool to see.

So while there are probably college basketball players you'd rather have on your team, there's absolutely no player I'd rather watch.

I_medium The U of L coaching staff watched class of 2015 PG recruit Traci Carter, and afterward both he and coach Pervis Ellison (yep) talked about it.

I_medium Adam Himmelsbach tells the story of the defining image from the 2014 Battle for the Governor's Cup.

I_medium ESPN's Matt Fortuna says Louisville proved it belongs in its first year in the ACC.

Petrino, Jurich said, has been among the biggest revelations. The former Louisville coach returned to town with plenty of well-documented baggage after Charlie Strong's departure for Texas, looking to hold the ship together as the program took a step up into another conference. 

Jurich admitted his biggest initial worry was what the locker room's response would be after watching the beloved Strong leave. He insists now that he has never seen players take to a new coach the way this group has to Petrino. 

"He had ultimate respect from Day 1," Jurich said. "He's a business-like coach, but he also really cares about these kids a lot, and they know it's genuine. Bobby's not a good actor, and I think they really saw that. From Day 1, it's been amazing. To put my finger on, I can't put my finger on it. It's incredible. He owns that locker room." 

"He's learned through adversity, he's had a lot of success, he's learned with success," Jurich later added. "But I think the thing that he's done better than anything, he's really matured. He's really matured into a phenomenal head coach. And I think before when he was here - no fault of his own, no fault of his own - everybody in the world was after him, wanted him. And I think it was always that next carrot, that next carrot. At a young age, he's offered all those big jobs, offered the Oakland Raiders, I saw the contract. He had everything. But I think now he really wants to settle down, and he's building the program. He's really focused on the program. And that's all I've asked him to do. Build a program, the team will come. And he's doing that."

I_medium Elite recruits Thon Maker, Terance Ferguson and Matur Maker will all be attending tonight's game.

I_medium Vote Gerod Holliman for the Impact Performance of the Week here.

I_medium ESPN's Andrea Adelson separates fact from spin when comparing the ACC and the SEC.

Fact: The ACC has more wins against Power 5 teams in 2014 than any other Power 5 conference, including four against teams ranked in the top 10 when they played. 

Spin: But five of those wins came against teams with six or fewer wins.

Fact: Florida State has won 28 straight games. 

Spin: But just look at the Seminoles. They have played too many close games to be the No. 1 team in the country.

Fact: The ACC has 11 bowl-eligible teams for the second straight season. 

Spin: That just shows parity is alive and well in the ACC! You know what is truly impressive? Having 12 bowl-eligible teams, just like the SEC.

No other Power 5 conference is held to such a ridiculous double standard. The ACC is about to post a winning record against the SEC for the first time since 2003, but the knee-jerk reaction is to continue to discredit the strides this league has made over the past two seasons. 

Florida State beat Auburn in the BCS National Championship this past January, but that might as well have been 100 years ago. Despite closing an unbeaten regular season in 2014, Florida State is not the No. 1 team in the country to the AP voters, coaches or College Football Playoff selection committee. According to AP college football reporter Ralph Russo, Florida State is the first team since 1993 to be unbeaten this late in the season and not be ranked No. 1 in the AP poll.

I_medium Louisville is No. 4 in this week's ACC power rankings from ESPN.

I_medium Plenty more of this stuff has been floating around today...

I_medium DePaul got some votes in this week's polls after beating Stanford. Gary Parrish isn't thrilled about it.

I_medium If you're looking for some stocking stuffers, be sure to check out the latest U of L bluray deal from Lord Kayoss.

I_medium Your CCBM tree of the day:

I_medium Four-star running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn says he would rate his Louisville visit a 10 out of 10.

I_medium Bobby Petrino checks in at No. 5 in the ACC.com's final coach of the year rankings.

I_medium Loved seeing this on Saturday:

I_medium SB Nation's BT Powerhouse previews tonight's tilt.

I_medium The two OSU writers for Cleveland.com both like the Cards in a tight one tonight.

I_medium Mark Ennis and I will be on ESPN 680 tonight from 6-8 recapping all the Battle for the Governor's Cup madness as well as previewing tonight's big game.

I_medium And finally, beat Ohio State.