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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

It's officially CCBM tree topper season.

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I_medium Louisville has announced that its ACC men's basketball opener against Virginia on Dec. 28 will tip-off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.

I_medium The Comeback's Sean Keeley says people need to stop trying to convince themselves that Lamar Jackson isn't going to win the Heisman.

I_medium Steve Jones conducts the first of what will assuredly be several basketball vs. football discussions over the next month.

I also conducted my own poll during the show yesterday which produced a different result.

I_medium Jeff Greer gives us five numbers that Louisville basketball fans should know as they head into this week.

I_medium Looking for a handy bowl calendar to bookmark? We got you.

I_medium There's been a lot of talk about men's college basketball following the women's game's lead and moving to four quarters. Seth Davis says that would be a mistake.

I_medium If you missed the KEYONTA VERNON!!! magic live, the full Louisville-Grand Canyon game broadcast is available for consumption on YouTube.

I_medium Georgetown students aren't showing up to Georgetown basketball games because the Georgetown basketball team is bad.

I_medium The Big 12 is furious that Ohio State is in the playoff without having to play in its conference championship game.


I_medium Norman Chad, best known for his World Series of Poker announcing work, decided to fire some bullets at Rick Pitino today. Why? Anyone's guess.

I_medium Bryson Tiller reminding Carolina Cardinal that he can make his music dreams come true.

I_medium Right when South Carolina is actually looking legitimately good at basketball, they suspend their best player indefinitely.

I_medium In the most predictable postgame story of all-time Saturday, Rick Pitino was insanely impressed by the GCU crowd.

"This in college basketball in my 40-plus years was the toughest crowd I ever faced," Pitino said. "It was awesome. I don't know how -- I don't know a whole lot about Grand Canyon except for us doing Dan a favor coming out here. I probably would have lost my job if I had lost by doing people favors. But you have something really special here."

As you are likely aware, Louisville plays in the vaunted Atlantic Coast Conference -- one of the toughest leagues in the country. What about going to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face Duke and the Cameron Crazies? The Cardinals also play at in-state rival Kentucky at Rupp Arena every other season.

But Pitino claims those crowds don't measure up to Grand Canyon's.

"Whether we go to Duke, Kentucky... nothing was as tough as that environment tonight," Pitino said. "They orchestrated on a timeout with music and the band so you can't hear one word in the timeout. They have more students that come to one of our games. So I'm extremely grateful we won. And I'm really impressed with what you have here."

I_medium Lamar Jackson headlines ESPN's All-ACC team.

I_medium Tomahawk Nation examines why Dalvin Cook isn't a Heisman Trophy finalist.

I_medium The Louisville-Indiana game on New Year's Eve is part of a double-header, which means they could technically move it to 3 p.m. and flip the women's game to 12:30, but it sounds like that's not likely because of the television tie-in with CBS.

I_medium Citrus Bowl travel packages are now available.


I_medium A terrific season for the U of L men's soccer team ended Saturday night with a 2-0 loss to defending national champion Stanford in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

I_medium Pro Football Focus has both Lamar Jackson and Stacy Thomas on its All-America Team.

Quarterback: Lamar Jackson, Louisville

It was a close call in the end between Jackson and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, and were we looking at a quarterback's ability as a passer alone, Mayfield would be the easy choice. That doesn't cover the type of player Jackson is though, and his ability to extend plays and electrify crowds with his ability as a runner is something we haven't seen since Michael Vick's days at Virginia Tech. Jackson rushed for 1,793 yards, forcing 46 missed tackles and scoring 21 touchdowns, with a PFF rushing grade of 97.9. As a passer he was at his best when pressure didn't get to him, with 26 touchdowns and five interceptions on the 300 dropbacks where he was kept clean. A truly remarkable season as a dynamic playmaker, Jackson carried the Louisville offense for much of the year.

Linebackers: Reuben Foster, Alabama; Blair Brown, Ohio; Stacy Thomas, Louisville

On an Alabama defense that boasts superstars at every level, Foster has been one of the top players. 55 of his 69 tackles have resulted in a defensive stop, and he has graded very well against the run, in coverage and as a blitzer too. Foster's success is well documented, but just how well Ohio's Blair Brown has played this year has gone relatively unnoticed. He has registered 63 tackles resulting in a defensive stop in 2016, and like Foster has excelled in all three phases. You'd be forgiven for thinking that Lamar Jackson was the only player on the Lousiville roster, but linebacker Thomas had a PFF grade of 90.4 this year, earning his spot as a first-team All-American.

Jaire Alexander got a second team nod.

I_medium After today's commitment from Ben Hutch, Louisville's 2017 recruiting class now ranks 18th in the country according to Scout, and 21st according to Rivals. I would expect that to jump again in a week or so.

I_medium The dream of a thousand OC jokes officially dies.

I_medium Baylor has hired former Temple coach Matt Rhule to take over its dumpster fire of a program and provide all the writers in Waco with more punnable material than they could have ever imagined.

I_medium Campus Insiders breaks down the Lamar Jackson vs. Deshaun Watson "debate."

I_medium Tom Jurich is speaking out about the criticisms that the Yum Center lease is too beneficial to the University of Louisville.

University of Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich warned city leaders looking to restructure the KFC Yum! Center's deal, saying the school will stop playing at the downtown arena if it continues to feel unwanted.

"I can be honest with you, over on our campus we're very tired of all the rhetoric," Jurich said on "D&D Spill the Tea," a Saturday morning radio show on WLOU 1350 AM. "If they don't want us in there just tell us — we'll leave."

Jurich suggested the university could build its own arena on the Belknap campus where 22 silos once stood near Interstate 65 and host men's and women's basketball games there.

A spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer did not immediately respond to a phone call and email requesting comment Tuesday morning.

The comments were Jurich's first public statements since a measure was filed in Metro Council calling on the city's partners to do more financially to deal with the $690 million in outstanding construction bonds on the arena and days after some members said the Yum Center's lease agreement favors the university.


"The city's made a lot out of this deal, and look at what it has done to downtown," Jurich said. "Where did this new Omni Hotel come from? You think they'd have come down there without the Yum Center, I don't think they would."

When Bentley said that it would be disastrous if U of L abandoned the arena, Jurich interrupted: "Well, I think we should. I don't think we're wanted down there, so I think we should."

I_medium Lamar Jackson is Pro Football Focus' pick for the Heisman Trophy.


I_medium And the Valley Shook (SB Nation's LSU site) says LSU vs. Louisville has pretty much everything you could ask for in a non-playoff bowl game.

I_medium If Oklahoma got both Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook to New York, then I'm not sure why Lamar Jackson isn't making the trip with Mason King by his side this weekend. Thankfully, King and company have already started their campaign for 2017.

Speaks pretty loudly to me.

I_medium Gerald Christian has been moved from the Bills practice squad to the team's active roster.


I_medium Syracuse somehow managed to take a 52-50 loss to UConn Monday night. The Orange are making everyone remember that they probably should have been viewed as a team that didn't deserve to make the NCAA Tournament as much as they were a "Final Four team" heading into this season.

I_medium Angel was a big fan of Sunday's win.

I_medium Louie the Cardinal is heading to the Steamboat Mascot Stampede.

I_medium UAB recreated the Full House opening to announce its starting five, and it was pretty great.

I_medium Maybe my favorite non-Keonta Vernon video of the year.

She's so happy.

I_medium Western Kentucky recently revealed something horrifying about their legendary mascot, Big Red.

I_medium I'm a huge fan of celebrities autographing things completely unrelated to their respective field of work.

I_medium Single game tickets for Louisville's ACC hoops slate are now on sale.

I_medium Step one for Purdue fans should probably be learning how to pronounce "Brohm."

Those are bad.

I_medium U of L will be accepting toy donations at the KFC Yum Center before Louisville's Dec. 17 game against Eastern Kentucky.

I_medium The CBS affiliate in Atlanta names Lamar Jackson ACC Player of the Year.

I_medium ESPN's Mark Schlabach names Lamar as his Offensive Player of the Year.

I_medium And finally, keep an eye on this "L1c4Lit" movement throughout the week.

I'm not entirely sure what's going on, but it seems cool.