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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Bekah Russ is wearing this exact outfit until the Cards play Kentucky on the 21st.

I_medium The Stanford Daily previews Saturday's Elite 8 match at Louisville.

I_medium Jeff Walz was on one last night after his team's loss to Maryland.

I_medium Temple basketball coach Fran Dunphy is pretty awesome.

I_medium A highly-touted offensive tackle will visit Louisville.

I_medium Syracuse and Connecticut are playing a non-conference game on Monday, which has Jay Bilas (and everyone else) remembering the six overtime game from The Garden.

"They all pale in comparison to the six-overtime game," said Bilas, who will be with play-by-play man Dave O'Brien for ESPN when the Huskies and Orange meet at Madison Square Garden on Monday. "That's the Mount Everest of those games. It was just a normal fistfight until [Eric] Devendorf's shot was waved off, then suddenly a switch was flipped and it went from intense to something magical."

Bilas, of course, refers to the Big East Tournament of 2009, when UConn and Syracuse fought for six overtimes, a total of three hours, 46 minutes. Syracuse eventually prevailed 127-117 after Devendorf's three-point shot at the end of regulation was disallowed, sending the game to into OT, and into history.

"But more than any specific game or moment, I remember a feeling," Bilas said. "When you walked in, the air was heavier. You'd feel like you were walking into a heavyweight fight.

"It wasn't that the games were going to be artistic, or shots were going to be raining in from everywhere. But you knew it was going to be intense, it was going to be physical, the coaches were going to be intense. You'd need three Green Berets to referee."

UConn and Syracuse have played 92 times, the Huskies winning 37, Syracuse 55. The rivalry predated the Big East — the first game was in 1956 — and has endured beyond the breakup of the conference. The teams played in The Bahamas in 2015 with Syracuse winning that one. Now it will continue in a series of nonconference matchups. They are scheduled to meet next year at the Garden in the Jimmy V Classic. But UConn-Syracuse represents the best of the heyday of the Big East. UConn and Syracuse last played as league rivals at the XL Center in 2013, a Huskies upset.

"It's not the same," Bilas said. "The Big East is still good, but it's not the same. The ACC is not the same. It's just a bummer they're not in the Big East anymore."

I_medium Could the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft be coming from team that missed the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year? If it's Markelle Fultz, then probably.

I_medium A world traveler magazine lists Louisville as one of the 18 most underrated cities in the United States.

I_medium The NCAA has announced a new advisory panel for Division-I men's basketball, and it includes Jay Bilas.

The committee also will have regular communication with the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee and will review student-athlete health and safety, sportsmanship and integrity, game operations and presentation, technology, and statistical trends. The group will develop strategic principles in these areas, subject to the approval of the Men's Basketball Oversight Committee.

Judy Rose, the director of athletics at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Paul Brazeau, the senior associate commissioner for men's basketball operations for the Atlantic Coast Conference, are members of the oversight committee who will serve as liaisons to the competition committee.

"This is an important substructure of the Men's Basketball Oversight Committee, as this group will be charged with reviewing several key aspects of the game," said Dan Guerrero, the director of athletics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and chair of the oversight committee. "The competition committee will focus on strategies to maintain the popularity and relevance of the sport and keep the game playable for our student-athletes and watchable for our fans. We are confident this group is going to make significant contributions to the betterment of college basketball."

The first student-athlete to serve on the competition committee will be Nicholas Norton, a junior guard at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Norton, whose father, Randy, is the women's basketball coach at UAB, was his team's Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2015-16, is president of the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and serves as the chair of Conference USA's Health and Safety Committee.

The head coaches appointed to the committee are Ernie Kent of Washington State University and Bob McKillop of Davidson College. Kent has served as a head coach for three different Division I schools (St. Mary's, Oregon and Washington State), winning five conference championships and advancing to six NCAA tournaments. A former basketball student-athlete who also has broadcast experience, Kent is active with USA Basketball and is a board member with the National Association of Basketball Coaches. McKillop, who ranks in the top 25 in coaching victories among active Division I head coaches and has guided Davidson to 14 postseason tournaments in his 27 years at the school, is a 10-time conference coach of the year and was the 2008 NABC national coach of the year. A former basketball student-athlete, McKillop is a former head coach with USA Basketball and now serves on that organization's competition committee.

I'm not sure what, if anything, this will ultimately accomplish, but I like the effort.

I_medium SB Nation's Richard Johnson is hoping that DeShaun Watson, Baker Mayfield and Jake Browning have big weekends (or at least one of them does) so that the Heisman Trophy ceremony will be at least somewhat dramatic. I respect his stance, and disagree with it.

I_medium Montrezl Harrell killed a Tar Heel last night. He's dead.

I_medium Adding to the misery of last weekend was Josh Bellamy having perhaps the worst drop of the NFL season.

I_medium CBS says that if the College Football Playoff does expand, it could wind up putting conference championship games at risk.

I_medium Louisville is No. 14 in Luke Winn's latest power rankings for Sports Illustrated.



RECORD: 6-€”1

Louisville is defying the notion that you need efficient point guard play to be in the top 25. Junior Quentin Snider is likely to improve, but thus far he's shooting 28.9% on twos, 27.5% on threes and 69.0% from the free-throw line. He stays on the floor for 30-plus minutes per game, though, because the Cardinals don't have a great plan B at the point—and because Snider is part of a defense that grinds most opponents to dust. If any NBA fans tuned into the first half of Purdue-Louisville on Wednesday to get a sampling of college basketball, I worry that they may never come back. The Boilermakers managed just 19 points in 35 possessions against the Cardinals' switching D. It was not pretty.

Next up: 12/3 at Grand Canyon, 12/7 vs. Southern Illinois

I_medium Ken Pomeroy appeared on the Five Thirty Eight podcast earlier this week and dropped some knowledge on a number of different topics, including the fact that in the history of college basketball, free-throw percentages have never been better than they are right now. That was a shock to someone like me, who was told by my dad that there were a total of 12 missed free-throws in the sport between the years of 1940 and 1975.

I_medium These ladies are awesome.

I_medium They are awfully excited out West about Saturday night.

Quality, high-end opponents against ASU, Arizona, and Grand Canyon Univ. on the basketball court. THIS is what fans want to see. If you are a "hoop-a-holic" then Saturday between 3:30-9pm, our State will be taking on some of the best in the nation.

Arizona v Gonzaga 3:30pm Staples Center, Los Angeles on ESPN

Arizona State hosting UNLV 6pm on Pac-12 Network

Grand Canyon University hosting(not a misprint) Louisville 7pm on CW6TV

The Grand Canyon matchup is the one that is the biggest. No one outside of the program is expecting the ‘Lopes to win, but the simple fact that Rick Pitino is bringing his team to Phoenix in early December to play on the GCU campus is something that should be celebrated by fans of basketball.

Looking at the basketball landscape locally, the growth of GCU basketball has in my opinion, pushed Arizona State to play a more competitive schedule. The Sun Devils are playing perhaps their toughest non-conference schedule in the 23 years that I've been in the Valley. They went to the Bahamas to play #1 Kentucky, have UNLV, #15 Purdue, San Diego State, New Mexico State(won the WAC last year), and #10 Creighton all in the next two weeks.

I_medium A reminder that you've only got a few hours left to enter the final pick 'em contest of the year.

I_medium It's sounding more and more like Jeff Brohm is headed to Purdue, which would certainly bring some added intrigue to next year's season-opener.

I_medium Damion Lee is averaging 18.0 ppg for the Maine Red Claws and dropped 22 in his most recent outing.

I_medium And finally, R&R is live at the Liquor Barn in Middletown from 3-6 today. We'll talk with Ken Lolla, preview the weekend of U of L sports, and hopefully get sidetracked by more Christmas special talk. The ESPN Louisville toy van will also be there, so if you want to help with our "Cram the Van" effort, you'll have that opportunity.