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Wednesday evening Cardinal news and notes

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Kid nailed it.

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I_medium Spread check: Michigan State by 5.5.

I_medium SB Nation's Michigan State site, The Only Colors, previews tonight's game and foresees a 77-73 Spartan victory.

I_medium Congratulations to Trey Lewis, who is a nominee for the 2016 Allstate NABC Good Works Team, which recognizes excellence in community service.

I_medium CCBM Christmas tree season rolls on.

I_medium Former U of L quarterback Tyler Ferguson has enrolled at Western Kentucky.

I_medium Campus Insiders does not feel good about Louisville's chances tonight.

Players Who Matter

Valentine has emerged as one of college basketball's premier players. He's a legitimate triple-double threat just about every night with an average of 19.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. If he can get some spacing from Bryn Forbes' ability to shoot the three (50 percent), then the two of them can lead the attack offensively.

Pitino is going to turn to his two senior guards: Damion Lee and Trey Lewis. They're combining for 29.8 points, 9 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. Oh, and guess what, they're both shooting 36.4 percent from three on the season. The duo will have to come up big on all areas to help Louisville knock off Michigan State.

What's Going To Happen?

Until someone stops him, there's no reason to bet against Valentine. He's led the Spartans pretty fiercely so far, and all bets should be placed on him doing it again. Michigan State shares the basketball effortlessly at times, and the Louisville defense just won't keep up. The Spartans will contain the Cardinals offense and come out with an unblemished record.

Michigan State vs. Louisville Prediction

Robert Judin: Michigan State 89, Louisville 76

I_medium John L. Smith becoming the next head football coach at Kentucky State (which is being rumored) would be glorious.

UPDATE: The hiring is official ... and it's glorious

I_medium Jeff Greer's ask me anything feature is finally back and as entertaining as ever.

I_medium Let it be known.

I_medium The news keeps getting worse for Jeff Walz and the women's basketball team, as the latest news is that star freshman Asia Durr could miss the entire 2015-16 season.

I_medium Julius Hodge, who was once punched in the junk by Chris Paul, does not feel bad that 10 years later Paul has been sidelined by a groin injury.

I_medium Congratulations to Gary Barnidge, who has been named the Cleveland Browns 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year.

Barnidge will formally be presented the award by Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam on Sunday prior to the team's Week 13 game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium.

"We are proud to present Gary this award for his exceptional contributions on and off the field," said Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine. "While Gary is statistically having one of his most productive seasons, it is the result of the unwavering work ethic and team-first mentality that he has carried throughout his NFL career, which has significantly impacted the Browns, as well as Cleveland and communities across the world."

"Gary is extremely deserving of this honor for his consistent dedication to his teammates and the community," said Browns General Manager Ray Farmer. "He is always eager to do anything possible that benefits the people around him, which is evident by his professionalism and his efforts to improve other people's lives."

"It's an amazing feeling to be able to help others," Barnidge said after Pettine informed the team that he had been selected as the Browns 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year. "We as NFL players have the ability to reach so many kids by just saying, ‘Hey,' or spending time with them, and that's a huge aspect of being an NFL player. No matter what you do, you never know what that person is going through, and just a little gesture can change their day or their whole outlook on life. Through AFWB (American Football Without Barriers), we are also trying to help build the sport from the ground level up, not just by watching but by helping kids play and enjoy the sport that we enjoy playing so much."

Pretty solid year for Gary.

I_medium Also winning the award for his respective team, Eric Wood for the Buffalo Bills.

Wood is a strong advocate for many of the initiatives the Bills and the NFL support - including PLAY 60, Breast Cancer Awareness, Salute to Service. Each October, he has played a key role in the Bills' annual Billieve event to promote breast cancer awareness and assist in promotional efforts to support the cause. Eric also helped launch the Offensive Line Holiday Party - dinner and shopping for 30 teenage boys around the holiday season. In 2014 he launched "The Eric Wood Foundation" to provide seriously ill, special needs and physically challenged children throughout the Greater Buffalo area.

Great work, NFL Cards.

I_medium The folks over at Yum Brands are making a pretty cool effort to raise money for their Feed the World program, which provides a nutritious meal to thousands of children who live in poverty. They are trying to raise $250,000 upon which the Yum Foundation will match the donation, resulting in $500,000 worth of donations. As part of their fundraising campaign they have set up an online auction that is offering many items, but the most importantly are Yum suite passes or floor suites to the following games:

· UofL vs. Syracuse - Feb 17 - Yum Suite - Two sets of 2 tickets

· UofL vs. Georgia Tech - March 1 - Yum Suite - Two sets of 2 Tickets

· UofL vs. Florida State - January 20 - Floor Seats with Suite Passes - 2 tickets


To participate in the auction go to eBay.com/Yum or donate generally, people can visit YumFeedTheWorld.com .

I_medium Bobby Petrino's commit visit tour rolls on in California.

I_medium Your standard AP preview for tonight.

I_medium The helmets that the Navy football team is wearing this weekend against Army are fantastic.

I_medium Yes it is.

I_medium Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart says he understands fan frustration, but still stands behind Mark Stoops.

I_medium If you can't make it out to Cardinal Arena this weekend, the Louisville volleyball team's first and second round NCAA Tournament games will be broadcast on ESPN3.

I_medium Happy birthday, grandma.

I_medium The Big 10 and the ACC are all tied up at 4 heading into the final night of the Challenge (tonight).

Here's the schedule for Wednesday:

No. 24 Louisville at No. 3 Michigan State, 7:15 p.m., ESPN
Wisconsin at No. 14 Syracuse, 7:15 p.m., ESPN2
Penn State at Boston College, 7:15 p.m., ESPNU
Indiana at No. 7 Duke, 9:15 p.m., ESPN
Notre Dame at Illinois, 9:15 p.m., ESPN2
Florida State at Iowa, 9:15 p.m., ESPNU

The ACC has not won the event since 2008, but the two conferences have tied twice in the last six years.

I_medium ESPN's "The Daily Word" wonders if Louisville is ready for Denzel Valentine.

I_medium And finally, beat Michigan State.