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Friday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

Laura and Kristen Rao going all red (almost) everything in preparation for the big game.

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I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Spread Check: Louisville by 4.5

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News says that any rivalry talk tonight should take a backseat to the fact that there's a spot in the Elite 8 on the line.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium You can now add "quoted in The New Republic" to the list of accomplishments for a week that already included "Twitter feud with Marc Summers."

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium These are my parents at work today:



This is exactly how the Kennedys would have behaved if John had gone into sports blogging instead of politics.

The rest of the "how I spent my day" section:



Win or lose, we still have more fun than anybody.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Mark Coomes of Insider Louisville says that win or lose, the Cards and Cats can both call their seasons a success. I'd just as soon win, though.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium USA Today lays out 10 reasons why Louisville versus Kentucky will be awesome.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium The only one of the 70 media members who guessed the exact score of the first game correctly is going with Kentucky again, this time by eight.

I'll go with UK 76, UofL 68.

The Cats won this matchup in December when they were a much worse team. The Cardinals' leading rebounder from that game is no longer enrolled in school, and Julius Randle didn't attempt a shot in the second half.

UK has a major size advantage at nearly every position. The rebounding margin shouldn't be close, and Louisville's guards shouldn't be able to pressure the bigger and stronger Harrisons as they do so well against others.

Add in that the Cats are suddenly playing their best basketball of the season, and they should have all the confidence in the world taking the court in Indianapolis.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Sports Illustrated's Brian Hamilton says this could be a Sweet 16 game for the ages.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Oddsmakers continue to say that going with Kentucky is the correct play.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Nantz could not be more in the zone right now.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium ESPN's Myron Medcalf says Friday night's showdown just kind of crept up on everyone.

There's an aura of bewilderment hovering over the entire Louisville-Kentucky encounter at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Friday, too.

How did we get here?

Of all the seasons when this could have happened, this wasn't supposed to be the one. Everything that unfolded in the weeks leading up to the NCAA tourney made this pairing improbable, it seemed.

This is not 2012, when both teams willed themselves into the Final Four. This postseason affair -- another installment of the fiery rivalry -- wasn't orchestrated by destiny as much as by chance.

It just happened. Rabbit in the hat. Poof.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Russ Smith says matching the energy of a young Kentucky team will be key.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Someone posted this earlier in the week, but I enjoy watching the clip and acting like the green team is Louisville.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Slam Magazine takes a look at the Red V Blue documentary.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Drama between Rick Pitino and John Calipari has not become one of this week's storylines.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Less cool: Doron Lamb or Marc Summers?

Leaning Summers...

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium The Crunch Zone takes a look at a bunch of press items and memorabilia from the original Dream Game.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Fobes labels this evening's event "Bluegrass Amageddon."

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium A breakdown of how Louisville basketball makes twice as much money as Kentucky.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium Friday night's game should feature a matchup of heavily contrasting styles.

I_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium And finally, beat Kentucky.