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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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It feels strange saying "Rutherford got Chron'd," but yeah, it would appear as though Rutherford has been Chron'd.

I_medium After a terribly disappointing 1-4 start, the Louisville women may have gotten the boost they needed Thursday night with an 85-78 road win over No. 19 Michigan State. Asia Durr (who apparently won't be missing the rest of the season) and Mariya Moore scored 20 points apiece to lead the Cards in what was easily their most impressive performance of the young season.

I_medium Chinanu Onuaku checks in at pick No. 32 in latest 2016 mock NBA Draft from Draft Express.

I_medium You know you've had a rough Thursday when it ends with Steve Urkel dumping all over you.

I_medium Grand Canyon topped Central Michigan 75-72 Thursday night and will carry a 6-0 record into the KFC Yum Center for Saturday's game against Louisville. The Antelopes are one of just 18 unbeaten teams remaining in college basketball.

I_medium Luke Winn has Louisville at No. 18 and Michigan State at No. 1 in his always must-read power rankings.

I_medium Chris Johnson of Sports Illustrated says that a Louisville team loaded with unfamiliar faces is already proving its doubters wrong.

"I just think we're just ignored. There's so much talk about other things, they didn't really focus in on basketball, but that's O.K.," he said, per the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Maybe Pitino had a point. The Cardinals were 5-0 and had won their games by an average of 33.6 points. They feature two talented transfers in Damion Lee andTrey Lewis, as well as a recruiting class including three top-50 prospects. Louisville had lost a number of key contributors, including its top four scorers, from the team that won 27 games and reached the Elite Eight last season, but the early returns were positive. So perhaps the Cardinals did deserve more consideration. The only problem was they hadn't played anyone of note.

Wednesday, when Louisville took on Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., as part of the Big Ten/ACC challenge. For the Cardinals, this was a prime opportunity to prove their perfect record was more than merely a product of inferior competition by notching a signature victory over a Final Four threat. For the Spartans, it was a chance to continue a sensational opening to the season that included wins over No. 4Kansas, Mountain West contenderBoise State and a Providence team featuring player of the year candidate Kris Dunn.

Louisville fell short, but it can leave the Breslin Center feeling good about where it stands. The Cardinals gave Michigan State everything it could handle on its home floor, opening up a double-digit lead in the first half and pushing the Spartans down the stretch before they held on for a 71-67 win.

I_medium Michigan State is No. 1, but Louisville is still somehow only No. 25 in Gary Parrish's latest Top 25 (and one).

I_medium CBS plays "buy, sell or hold" on the remaining 19 unbeaten teams in college basketball, a group which includes Louisville's next opponent, Grand Canyon.

I_medium Kevin Houchins has one more season of collegiate eligibility left, but it appears he'll be using it elsewhere.

I_medium It's looking more and more like the most likely landing spot for Louisville in the postseason is the Music City Bowl. Of course the same could have been said at this time a year ago, and then the Cards had the proverbial rug pulled out from underneath them at the last second.

I_medium Ever wondered what Peyton Siva draining a jumper over Preston Knowles in a professional game would look like? You don't have to anymore.

I_medium Louisville currently leads Kentucky in The Healing Place Challenge.

I_medium This was incredible, but it just made not landing a guy named Prince Ali (who committed to UCLA on the same day as my wedding) even more of a bitter pill to swallow.

I_medium Four monster football recruits, including a U.S. Army All-American who's currently committed to Georgia, will be visiting U of L this weekend.

I_medium 2016 Australian guard Dejan Vasiljevic says his planned visit to Louisville next week has been postponed.

I_medium A young Baylor basketball fan punched his friend in the nads on national television last night. It was hilarious.

I_medium I hesitate to post a Rothstein tweet here, but this #content is worth sharing.

I_medium Your ACC dunks of the week have arrived.

I_medium Awful news from up North, where Pitt running back James Conner announced this afternoon that he has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. By everyone's account, Conner is a terrific young man, so here's hoping he conquers this latest hurdle.

I_medium Improved communication is one of the next big steps in the evolution of the Louisville basketball team, and Trey Lewis and Damion Lee know that it's at least partly on them to make it happen.

"As a young team, we're going to have mental breakdowns in the end," said Lewis, a graduate transfer and team captain. "Our job, as leaders of the team, is to correct this. We're going to grow from this.

"In clutch situations, we have to come together and be tuned into the game."

...

"Physically we're there. We were in the game," said Damion Lee. "But I just think, mentally, we made too many mistakes and broke down toward the end of the game. ... I would just say (it was) not focusing in on the game plan, not staying on the top side of the guy when he's coming off the screen, or knowing when guys are cutting through, or knowing when we're switching and how we're handling ball screens."

Those little things add up to the two or three mistakes that cost games. Louisville's players understand that, and that's why they were adamant that Wednesday's experience would be helpful in the long run.

"We needed to go through something like this," Lewis said. "We needed to hit the road and play a team of this caliber."

I_medium I know there are some other MST3K fans out there, so how are we feeling about these new voices? I don't like it.

I_medium If you missed the news, former Georgia head coach Mark Richt is the new front man at The U.

I_medium The Corey Ray preseason hype continues.

Great last name, Blake.

I_medium Eric Crawford talks about Tom Izzo's postgame comments on Wednesday, but says he would have liked to have heard from Rick Pitino.

I_medium Shakin' the Southland (Clemson) thinks that Louisville's weird geographical location could result in it winding up in the Sun Bowl.

I_medium Seth Davis of SI tabs Louisville as one of the teams not currently ranked in the top 15 that has a legitimate shot to finish their season at the Final Four.

1. UConn (unranked). Raise your hand if you're tired of me pimping ... er, pumping UConn. Frankly, I was shocked to see the Huskies drop completely out of the AP poll this week. They lost by close margins on a neutral court to two teams (Syracuse and Gonzaga) ranked in the top 15. And as I wrote last week, the Huskies brought their C game at best.

2. Louisville (AP rank: 24). I've waited to rank the Cardinals until I saw them play quality competition. After a pillow-soft early schedule, they were finally forced to play at Michigan State Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. They passed the eye test with room to spare before falling, 71-67, thanks to a combined 44 points from the transferred backcourt of Trey Lewis and Damion Lee. Keep in mind the Cards were playing without 6'7" freshman Deng Adel, who had been averaging 17 minutes per game but who missed the game because of a strained MCL. Adel should be back in a couple of weeks, but even in losing the Cardinals showed they are going to be better than a lot of people thought.

I_medium The U of L volleyball team begins its NCAA Tournament run tonight at 7 p.m. against Belmont. If you can't make it out to Cardinal Arena, the match can be viewed live on ESPN3.

I_medium Might have to make this my new profile pic.

I_medium If you're wanting to see five-star U of L signee V.J. King play with your own eyes but can't make it out to Fairdale for the King of the Bluegrass tournament in a couple of weeks, you're in luck. WBKI has announced that they will be airing King's first game on Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. on their station. The actual game tips off at 4, so the broadcast won't be live, but you'll still get to see what King can do.

I_medium And finally, Ramsey & Rutherford is live from the Liquor Barn in Springhurst this afternoon from 3-6. Listen as we discuss the most likely bowl location for Louisville football, the wide-openness of the college basketball landscape, and whether or not John can make it through the full three hours without blacking out. All the magic can be heard right here.