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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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I love this picture. Congrats on your recent success, IU, but you have still been Chron'd extremely hard.

I_medium Spread check: Louisville by 7.5 (opening line)

I_medium The first Bracketology of 2016 from Sports Illustrated has Louisville as a No. 5 seed potentially playing Cincinnati in the first round, which could be okay, I guess.

I_medium If you enjoy listening to 93.9 The Ville on your phone but don't have unlimited data (but do have unlimited calling), you can now live stream the station simply by calling 605-477-9680. Pretty cool.

I_medium Rick Pitino says that both Damion Lee and Trey Lewis have been "apologetic" about what happened at Clemson on Sunday.

"Damion and Trey both realized their mistakes," Pitino said. "They were very apologetic for how they played. ... They learned a valuable lesson."

It was the first ACC loss for Louisville (13-3, 2-1 ACC), which fell to No. 21 in Monday's updated Associated Press poll and hosts No. 20 Pittsburgh at 9 p.m. Thursday. The Cardinals started last week with a home win over Wake Forest before Thursday's victory at NC State. Pitino wrote in a blog post on Monday morning that U of L let an opportunity slip away with Clemson playing in front of a small crowd.

"Our team members were all disappointed that we came away with a loss," he said. "(But) in this tough conference, winning one out of two on the road is not all that bad."

Something that bothered Pitino after the game and came up again on Monday was Louisville's lack of ball movement and poor shot selection. U of L was 0-for-13 on challenged shots against Clemson, and the Cards committed 17 turnovers in a slower-paced game.

U of L had not made those kinds of mistakes in previous games, even in losses. The Cards' assist-to-field goal numbers aren't great, but they have been moving the ball, taking good shots and limiting turnovers. That's how they rose to No. 18 in the Ken Pomeroy offensive efficiency rankings.

"I think it had a lot to do with Clemson's defense," Pitino said. "They got after us really hard and we reacted poorly."

I_medium Teddy Bridgewater says that he needs to be more aggressive in 2016.

I_medium Even though it sounds like most people in Vegas believe he's a long shot to land the job, former U of L assistant Reggie Theus is still being listed as one of the 10 top candidates to be the next head basketball coach at UNLV.

I_medium One NFL Draft scout calls James Burgess' interception of Deshaun Watson one of the most unreal plays he's ever seen from a linebacker.

I_medium Interesting announcement from the NCAA regarding (in part) a potential change on how college basketball players are allowed to go about the pre-NBA Draft process.

Another proposal to be considered by the Council will make the process of declaring for the NBA draft more flexible for students competing in NCAA men's basketball. The proposal moves back the date by which students must declare for the draft and allows them to declare more than once in a college career. The declaration date is now the day before the first day of the spring National Letter of Intent signing period; the new date would be 10 days after the NBA combine. The most recent NBA combine was held May 13-17, 2015. Additionally, if the proposal were adopted, students could try out with different NBA teams and still return to school.

These proposals will be considered outside the regular legislative cycle for Division I because of the desire to provide as much notice as possible to men's basketball student-athletes for the basketball draft proposal and to conferences for the football championship proposal. While the Council will review other legislation, votes will not be cast on those other measures until April.

I_medium HBO will be debuting a new reality series, "Gonzaga: The March to Madness" on Feb. 16. Might have picked the wrong season.

I_medium Richard Pitino's Minnesota team has been struggling mightily this season, but Pitino says he's not looking for a "magic trick" to fix things.

I_medium The JCPS PR account might be my new favorite Twitter follow.

More of this might be the only good thing about future snows.

I_medium USA Today's final ranking of all 128 FBS teams has Louisville at No. 38. Kentucky, for those interested, checks in at No. 83.

I_medium U of L PG target David Sloan (class of 2017) talks about the latest developments in his recruitment.

I_medium "Well that's typical."

I_medium Sports Illustrated's first bubble watch of 2016 says it would take a "calamitous decline" for Louisville not to make the NCAA Tournament.

I_medium The passing of former Butler center Andrew Smith after a two-year battle with cancer is just heartbreaking. Smith was only 25. None of us are here for all that long, and the only thing we can do is try and be happy with the time we're given.

I_medium A third college baseball publication, Perfect Game, has Louisville at No. 2 in its preseason top 25 for 2016. One of you all needs to go ahead, take the plunge and put the Cards at No. 1.

I_medium Some good news for Louisville and the rest of the ACC with Jayron Kearse announcing that he's off to the NFL Draft, but some not so good news with this announcement from running back Wayne Gallman:

I_medium Rick Pitino was among those who shared his memories of Ken "Jersey Red" Ford, an interesting character who passed away this week.

I_medium ESPN names Lamar Jackson as the offensive MVP of the ACC's bowl season.

I_medium I know that CBS vs. ESPN is the primary culprit here, but this is still surprising:

Expect those numbers to come back down to earth a little bit with the hoops championship game being on TBS this year.

I_medium Trevon Young's road to recovery from the hip injury he suffered in the Music City Bowl is going to be a lengthy one.

I_medium There are going to be even more new security measures at the KFC Yum Center from this point on. Ladies, make sure those bags are under 4x14x6 unless you want to have a bad time.

I_medium ESPN makes some bold predictions for the ACC in 2016.

4. The best defense in the ACC belongs to Louisville

That so many potential NFL prospects chose to return for 2016 is big news for the Cardinals, who had one of the more underrated units in the country in 2015. Louisville was 14th in the nation in defensive efficiency last season, and that group should be even more dangerous in 2016.

...

6. Four quarterbacks will rush for at least 1,000 yards

Watson showed how dangerous an offense can be with a mobile quarterback, and Lamar Jackson upended two straight SEC opponents by doing the same at the end of 2015. Add in Thomas Sirk at Duke, Justin Thomas at Georgia Tech, Kendall Hinton at Wake Forest and Trubisky at North Carolina, and there are ample options for others to join the 1,000-yard club this season.

I_medium Saturday Blitz says Lamar Jackson is the next Deshaun Watson.

I_medium The Louisville football and basketball teams both had impressive fall semesters in the classroom.

I_medium Louisville has extended a scholarship offer to a massive offensive tackle.

I_medium And finally, on today's Ramsey & Rutherford we'll talk about tomorrow night's suddenly huge game against Pittsburgh, why everyone's NCAA Tournament bracket is going to be even worse than usual this year, and John will serve up a brief overview of 19th century Russian politics and society. You can be a hero and listen to all three hours live, right here.