Spread check (Citrus Bowl): LSU by 3.5.
Since Kanye did us dirty, I've gone with the Keonta Vernon vine and Three 6 Mafia lyrics as my response to Kentucky fans on Twitter this year. Been pretty fun so far.
@davidldalton You a college chick, you a college chick. Keep twerking baby, might earn you a scholarship— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) December 20, 2016
North Carolina had the perfect weapon in Justin Jackson to exploit Kentucky's defense. Does Louisville have a similar weapon? They'll need Deng Adel, VJ King or Ray Spalding to step up significantly if they want to reap the benefits of said advantage.
Pumped to announce our collaboration with @lukeskywalka11! "3 to the Head" red ale will be on tap at the @kfc_yumcenter for the big game! pic.twitter.com/WAnSuqZGNo— Falls City Beer (@fallscitybeer) December 19, 2016
I will drink that.
Over 75 media members make their Louisville-Kentucky picks. It's still a minority, but I'm honestly a little surprised by the number of national media members who like the Cards.
Terrific news from Patrick McSweeney, the St. X student who suited up for Bellarmine last season.
After being up here in philly for 6 weeks, it feels good to be coming home tomorrow. And it feels even better to be coming home cancer free!— Patrick McSweeney (@pmacrocks) December 20, 2016
Louisville's trend of not signing (or not having room for) all the best name guys continued Monday night with the decommitment of offensive lineman Poutasi Poutasi.
Cole Hikutini and Keith Kelsey say that motivation won't be an issue for Louisville in the Citrus Bowl.
Hikutini said the No. 15 Cardinals (9-3) are excited to face the 20th-ranked Tigers (7-4) because it's a shot to finish the season on a winning note since losses to Houston and Kentucky left a "bitter taste in our mouth"
"I'd definitely say some guys have a chip on their shoulder after two losses," the tight end said. "I know the seniors don't want to go out with three losses. I know I definitely don't. We're bringing it just as much as we did (during the regular season), but we all have that in the back of our head that we want to finish with a win.
"We're definitely going to come out fired up."
Kelsey, a linebacker, said the Cards have had spirited practices this month while looking forward to facing a high-profile opponent like LSU.
For Kelsey, a native of Gainesville, there's also personal motivation to play well in his home state in his final game. He is expecting a big crowd of family and friends, including some who have never attended one of his games.
"We've been out here getting after it every day," Kelsey said. "Everybody's bonding, and we're just enjoying it with the right mindset. We're just grinding. ... Everybody is coming out here with a smile on their face."
The Louisville teens who made headlines for cutting abandoned West End yards during the summer have continued their generosity into the holiday season.
Regardless of how you feel about Notre Dame, this is quite awesome.
Grab some tissues.— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) December 20, 2016
A message from Matt Farrell's deployed brother turns into the most amazing surprise at the @NDmbb game
What a moment. pic.twitter.com/VMftOIYtbT
Collegiate Baseball has named Brendan McKay as its preseason Player of the Year for 2017.
Cindy Stowell's run on Jeopardy has now netted over $80,000 for charity.
Louisville poses a remarkably different challenge to Kentucky than North Carolina did.
When Kentucky walked off the floor with a 103-100 victory, it was the first time in 52 games that North Carolina hit the century mark and still lost.
Meanwhile, at Louisville, the days of a Pitino team pressing full-court to push the pace and throw up three-pointers are long gone. The U of L coach talked in the preseason of returning to a faster pace, but that hasn't happened. Louisville is averaging 78.5 points per game. The Cards are 32nd in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to Pomeroy.
On the flip side, the Cards are giving up just 59.4 points per game. In the Bahamas, Louisville held all three of its opponents to fewer than 70 points. Only Grand Canyon (a 79-70 loser to U of L) and Texas Southern (102-71 loser) have scored 70 points or more.
That'll be a challenge for this Kentucky team, which plays faster than any of Calipari's previous UK editions. On Dec. 3, UCLA ran with the Cats at Rupp and Kentucky failed the test, losing 97-92. Two weeks later, North Carolina ran with the Cats, and this time Kentucky learned from its previous experience.
We are in the midst of what could be the most fun season of college basketball in a decade.
Deshaun Watson says that he's the best college football player in the country. If only they had an award voted on by a large number of people across the country to determine that sort of thing.
De'Aaron Fox is fantastic, but there is hope for slowing him down Wednesday.
2. De'Aaron Fox's halfcourt scoring woes continue
I wrote a bit about this on Saturday after Kentucky's 103-100 win over North Carolina, but it's worth diving a bit deeper into the halfcourt scoring woes of De'Aaron Fox. The 6-foot-3 point guard has an effective field goal percentage of just 40.4 percent in non-transition offense this season, according to Hoop-Math.
The biggest problem is rather noticeable. Of Fox's 78 field goal attempts in the halfcourt, 32 of them (41.0 percent) have been 2-point jumpers. Not only are those shots the least desirable field goal attempts in basketball, but Fox struggles to make them. He's converted a meager 28.1 percent of his 2-point jumpers in the halfcourt this season, per Hoop-Math.
Jerry Palm's new Bracketology for CBS has Louisville as a No. 2 seed.
The ACC has a winning record against the SEC in football since the start of the 2014 season. People forget that.
Seriously, I'd rather toss 5 bucks in the Ohio than donate to this absurdity.
"I made a G today."— Card Shark (@Samboni_Machine) December 20, 2016
*Tupac voice* "But you made it in a sleazy way."
P.S. This is a stupid idea, you are a Louisville park. https://t.co/GXrxXPN0aH
Even though a bunch of not so awesome stuff happened, Sports Illustrated says 2016 was a fantastic year for sports.
Now you tell me who won— Good Time Charlie (@GoodTymeCharles) December 20, 2016
cc: @CardChronicle @JohnRamseyUofL pic.twitter.com/UlIUrcRznj
On his radio show last night, Rick Pitino reiterated that he has no plans to slow things down against Kentucky.
30th anniversary of Walk Like an Egyptian. This is a clear sign that Anas is going to go off tomorrow. https://t.co/KsNWCW1frK— Rachel (@snicklefritz35) December 20, 2016
Jay Bilas and Seth Greenberg share their Louisville-Kentucky thoughts with the C-J.
Bilas: "It's kind of a classic offense vs. defense game, where Kentucky is high-powered on offense. They play at a really high tempo. They can get the ball up the court quickly. They've got the best freshman guard tandem I've ever seen. They've got talent across the broad. They're not a perfect team but they're really good.
"And then Louisville's really good defensively They can and do press. They turn you over. They can protect the rim. They can block shots. They're a very good rebounding - and offensive rebounding - team. I hear a lot of people say you don't want to press Kentucky. I think you're going to see Louisville try to do a couple things to keep them off balance. Louisville's offense has to be good. They don't have to shoot an unbelievable percentage; they just can't turn it over and they have to take good shots."
ESPN re-ranks the 25 best college football players in the ACC, and Lamar Jackson at No. 1 is the only Cardinal who makes the cut.
Louisville and LSU might still be a couple weeks away from playing, but the Cards' long-snapper already beat the Tigers' long-snapper in a competition two years ago, so we've pretty much already won.
Louisville's loss to Kentucky took home the "Herbie Award" for biggest upset last night.
Here's Grayson Allen getting, um, "fouled." https://t.co/W6wTpugc6n— Steven (@akulawolf) December 20, 2016
U of L has added a new associate head coach for volleyball.
Business Insider wonders how much you'd be willing to pay for Louisville-Kentucky tickets. Probably not as much as UK's fringe.
Cole Bentley is already turning into a legend.
Louisville commit @ColeBentley44 still loves Santa. #L1C4 pic.twitter.com/QKB5n8FxPq— fred bentley II (@bentleypirate) December 19, 2016
North Oldham kickoff specialist Jackson Wine, the son of former U of L basketball player Robby Wine, has committed to Louisville. Wins is rated as the No. 1 kickoff specialist in the country.
Red v Blue is now available on YouTube in full if you want to get the rivalry juices flowing .... or just want to see me wearing a blazer.
U of L reviews the 2016 men's soccer season, which ended one win short of the College Cup.
ESPN examines how different college basketball would be if Rick Pitino never left Kentucky. I haven't read it but I can only assume that fires, famine and cannibalism are involved.
Larry Vaught says the numbers favor the Cards over the Cats by 3.