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Monday evening Cardinal news and notes

The snow is gone, but the dreams of a Louisville win over North Carolina are not.

I_medium Spread check: Louisville by 1.

I_medium It certainly sounds as though the Lamar Thomas to Kentucky news is legitimate, but it broke right when I was getting to the radio station for the show, so there's no time to say anything lengthy about it. Hopefully, we can do that tomorrow when (you would guess) more is known.

I_medium ESPN likes Carolina by 7 this evening.

No. 2 North Carolina at No. 16 Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky), 7 p.m., ESPN, Monday: Louisville figures to come out with a bit more urgency after being held to a season-low 47 points in Saturday's loss to Virginia. The good news for the Cardinals is that Carolina's defense isn't known for being stingy. The tough part, though, will be containing the Tar Heels' scoring power. Five players average double-digit scoring for the Heels, and a sixth, Isaiah Hicks, has averaged double digits in ACC play.

Prediction: North Carolina 79, Louisville 72

I_medium previews tonight's game.

I_medium Terry Rozier wants you to stay up.

I_medium I have a significant problem with the 2016 Derby Festival pin.

I_medium Wager Talk looks at tonight's game from a betting perspective.

I_medium We get three more years of Mark Emmert as NCAA president. 

I_medium It's been interesting to me to see today that the only ones relatively confident that North Carolina is going to lose this game seem to be North Carolina fans. Here's Tarheel Blog's game prediction.

Through the first eight games of ACC play, UNC has benefited from playing in highly winnable contests. The biggest potential bump in the road was the game at Syracuse. UNC handled business there then survived in Blacksburg on the way to an 8-0 ACC start for the first time since 2001. While UNC's schedule gets much tougher going forward, there is something to be said for winning the games you should. During a season of such volatility, doing that means breathing room in the ACC standings.

That breathing room will be threatened this week with UNC playing at Louisville tonight and at Notre Dame on Saturday night with ESPN's College GameDay in town. The conventional wisdom is UNC will split this week with KenPom calling for a three point loss tonight and three point win on Saturday. However the order of things matters greatly here. If UNC is destined for a split, which game they lose affects the standings in different ways.

If UNC beats Louisville but loses at Notre Dame, the Tar Heels will still enjoy a two game lead in the standings with eight games left. If the opposite occurs, the Tar Heels will be protecting just a one game lead over Louisville with the Cardinals claiming the tiebreaker if both teams end up with the same record. In that respect tonight's game would be the bigger fish to fry in terms of maintaining control of the top spot now and in the future.

There is also the possibility UNC wins tonight and again on Saturday. Should that occurs, the Tar Heels will have staked a three game lead with a three game home stand vs Pitt, Duke and Miami following a visit to Boston College. A win tonight puts UNC in the catbird seat for taking the regular season title. A loss draws the Tar Heels closer to the pack. Which one will it be?

Since nothing is ever easy, I think it will be this:

Louisville 78 UNC 73

I_medium Your standard AP preview.

I_medium The Louisville swimming team fell to Indiana on its senior night.

I_medium Podcast will be up shortly, but Rick Pitino said on the show today that if we beat North Carolina tonight he'll be forced to call in every day. So, go Cards.

I_medium Awesome.

I_medium The football team's 2016 slate is daunting.

I_medium Your full guide to college hoops on TV tonight.

I_medium Sports Illustrated looks closer at the Dez Fitzpatrick commitment.

I_medium Double awesome.

I_medium And finally, beat UNC.