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Christmas Eve Cardinal News And Notes

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The Frederick family's Elf on the Shelf might be the only one I've ever liked.

I_medium Campus Insiders previews Louisville-Kentucky in video form.

I_medium Round two.

I_medium ESPN's Seth Greenberg says that if Louisville doesn't beat Kentucky, nobody is going to.

I_medium Sorry about last night, coach.

I_medium Rick Pitino says the common thought on how to beat Kentucky may not be accurate.

"I don't think you beat Kentucky with three-point shooting," Pitino said. "Everybody thinks you beat Kentucky with three-point shooting. That's a factor; any game you want to shoot the three. But they win because they control the backboard and they're an awesome defensive team. They'd be the tallest team in the NBA."

Pitino says rebounding, or lack of it, is what led to Kentucky's 74-69 victory in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis last season.

"We stayed toe-to-toe with them last year and at the end of the game, they just kicked our butts on the glass," Pitino said. "We definitely lost because of offensive rebounding. They just pounded us at the end of the game on the glass."

I_medium U of L drops two spots to No. 6 in the latest set of power rankings from ESPN.

I_medium The Philadelphia Daily News says that Louisville-Kentucky is the rare must-see regular season college basketball game.

And there is the small matter of the disdain the fan bases of schools, separated by 75 miles of mostly I-64, have for each other. Each loves its hoops. UK is averaging a nation's best (22,944) this season at Rupp Arena. Louisville is third (20,968) at KFC. They just hate each other.

Pitino was king at UK until he abdicated for Boston and then returned to the commonwealth, but at that "other school," where he became the first coach to win national titles at two schools. Cal came with the promise of making Kentucky bigger than ever. He has delivered, with more on the way.

When asked how good Kentucky was, Kansas coach Bill Self said: "They were a joke against us. We were awful. I guess they were a joke [Saturday]. How does that happen? You do that when you're playing Division II schools."

Saturday won't decide the 2015 national title, but it will decide the championship of Kentucky, which, down there, might be bigger anyway.

I_medium A look at the Christmas wish lists for each of the top 10 teams in college basketball.

I_medium Cardinal Christmases are the best.

I_medium Your ACC hoops roundup from Tuesday night.

I_medium Campus Insiders previews the Belk Bowl.

I_medium All you need to know from last night's game.

"I'd rather not talk about tonight's game, but I will say this: David Levitch was unbelievable," U of L coach Rick Pitino said in a brief post-game press conference.

I_medium D-Lev's performance last night also earned him black jersey status from one holiday baker.

I_medium Jay Bilas breaks down (Insider) the keys to Louisville vs. Kentucky.

I_medium Bilas also answered some questions about the game for the Courier-Journal.

I_medium I don't think this is the real Santa Claus.

I_medium This guy isn't either, but he seems like he's probably a lot of fun at parties.

I_medium Kentucky's Tyler Ulis and Andrew Harrison have been cool with splitting time at the point so far.

I_medium Pat Narduzzi, who was a name heard often during Louisville's brief coaching "search" last January, has landed the head gig at Pitt.

I_medium How to upgrade a co-worker's UK items of flair without defacing or ruining them:

I_medium Vavel serves up five reasons why Louisville-Kentucky will be the best college basketball game of the season.

I_medium We will be doing a "Where We're Watching" post on the morning of the Kentucky game, so please email me and all viewing locations between now and then if you'd like your spot to be included.

I_medium And finally, a very merry Christmas Eve to all of Card Chronicle. I hope everyone gets to spend some quality time with family or doing something else you enjoy.

Relax and be merry for the next 40 hours or so, because after that, it's going to get real.