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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

"I just got here, and you're telling me WHAT is going on with Louisville basketball?" --TJ Steltenkamp

I_medium Spread check: Louisville by 7.5.

I_medium lists five things to watch for tonight inside the Yum Center.

I_medium Pat Forde lists Louisville as a potential job opening for the 2016 offseason.

Louisville (18). Rick Pitino's future has been the subject of great conjecture ever since October, when the escort scandal engulfed his program in scrutiny, controversy and an NCAA investigation. He's coaching as well as ever and still has the support of many in the community, but this situation could be difficult to endure for him and the administration. Pitino may well face a suspension for multiple games next season, and a coaching change may further mitigate further NCAA punishment - in addition to the self-imposed postseason ban, which blindsided Pitino earlier this month. After 15 seasons it might be time for a reset. How good is the job: Among the best in the country. No expenses spared, no better facilities. Who might get the call: Athletic director Tom Jurich's fall-back guy if Pitino did not come in 2001 was a little-known guy at Hofstra named Jay Wright. He's turned out OK. But that was before he became an institution in Philadelphia.

I_medium The man, the myth, the legend, Seedy K pays tribute to the 1986 champions.

I_medium U of L star righthander Kyle Funkhouser is playing with added purpose heading into what he knows for certain will be his final collegiate season.

I_medium Everything hurts so much.

I_medium Chane Behanan is an all-star in Mexico.

I_medium A Louisville transplant and big Cards fan who is currently working as a teacher in Memphis is attempting to raise money for an end of the school year field trip. If you're interested in helping out, you can do so here.

I_medium Louisville baseball's list of home game promotions is now available.

I_medium U of L Professor Ricky Jones makes his case against the NCAA.

I_medium Eric Crawford tackles all the U of L basketball madness from Tuesday.

I_medium Jeff Greer talks with a former NCAA enforcement officer who says that Louisville's self-imposed ban probably isn't a good sign for the program's future.

A former NCAA enforcement staffer said the University of Louisville self-imposing a postseason ban on its men's basketball team is a sign that "something serious is going to go down" once the NCAA completes its investigation and doles out punishment to the school.

In an interview with The Courier-Journal on Tuesday, the ex-staffer laid out the common reasoning behind self-imposing postseason bans and explained how the NCAA views institutions that sanction themselves while the investigation is still ongoing.

Louisville's decision to announce the ban before private investigator Chuck Smrt or the NCAA's infractions committee finalize their initial reports is a major move for the institution to make.

"If they had a good defense, or if it was an iffy thing, or if they thought they could resolve things before the committee, they wouldn't be doing it," said the former NCAA staffer, who did not wish to be identified in order to speak openly about the organization's operations.

"They must be pretty confident that something serious is going to go down and they want to get a jump on it. Think about the damage (a postseason ban) does to the kids. Everybody writes about it, talks about it all the time. Fans are upset. The team is hurt. Institutions that impose this know something serious went wrong."


I_medium Your standard AP preview for tonight's game is here.

I_medium Athlon lists Lamar Jackson as a quarterback on the rise for 2016.

Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Since Bobby Petrino's return to Louisville in 2014, the quarterback position has been somewhat of a revolving door for the Cardinals. Three players earned a start in 2014 and the same held true in 2015. But the carousel ended late in 2015, as Jackson emerged as the team's clear No. 1 against Kentucky and in the Music City Bowl win over Texas A&M. Jackson completed 12 of 26 throws for 227 yards and two scores and added 226 yards (second most by a quarterback in FBS bowl history) and two touchdowns on the ground in Louisville's 27-21 victory over the Aggies. The dynamic freshman fell just 40 yards short of 1,000 on the ground and posted one 300-yard passing performance (307 - Florida State). Jackson is still developing as a passer, but his rushing ability and overall talent will be tough for ACC defenses to contain in 2016.

I_medium Emmonnie Henderson, the dual-sport Louisville women's basketball player currently chasing the Olympics, is expected to stick with track and field and leave basketball behind going forward.

I_medium It'll be a Pink Out tomorrow night at the Yum Center.

I_medium The Highchair Emcee refuses to let his preschool brethren stay down for the rest of this season.

I_medium Defending ACC champion baseball Louisville and defending College World Series champion Virginia are understandably being pegged as the teams to beat in the conference in 2016.

I_medium President Ramsey's chief of staff says the Tuesday night report that the President is having talks about retirement is "totally false."

I_medium College hoops on TV tonight:

No. 15 Dayton at Saint Joseph's, 6 p.m., CBS Sports

No. 4 Iowa at Penn State, 6:30 p.m., BTN

Syracuse at No. 18 Louisville, 7 p.m., ESPN

No. 1 Villanova at Temple, 7 p.m., ESPN2

Auburn at Arkansas, 7 p.m., SEC Network

UCF at Memphis, 7 p.m., ESPNU

Boston College at Clemson, 7 p.m., ESPN3

Stony Brook at Albany, 7 p.m., ESPN3

No. 21 Providence at No. 8 Xavier, 7 p.m., FS1

Omaha at IUPUI, 7 p.m., ESPN3

DePaul at St. John's, 8 p.m., CBS Sports

Bradley at Southern Illinois, 8 p.m., ESPN3

Indiana State at Illinois State, 8 p.m., ESPN3

Northern Iowa at Loyola (CHI), 8 p.m., ESPN3

Nebraska at No. 22 Indiana, 8:30 p.m., BTN

Colorado State at Utah State, 9 p.m., ESPN3

Alabama at LSU, 9 p.m., SEC Network

No. 20 Duke at No. 5 North Carolina, 8 p.m., ESPN

No. 3 Oklahoma at Texas Tech, 9 p.m., ESPNU

Arizona State at No. 12 Arizona, 9 p.m., ESPN2

Virginia Tech at No. 11 Miami (Fla.), 9 p.m., ESPN3

Georgia Tech at Florida State, 9 p.m., ESPN3

Seton Hall at Georgetown, 9 p.m., FS1

Evansville at Drake, 9 p.m., ESPN3

Houston at Tulane, 9:30 p.m., ESPN News

Boise State at New Mexico, 10 p.m., CBS Sports

UC Irvine at Cal State Fullerton, 10 p.m., ESPN3

Colorado at USC, 11 p.m., ESPNU

I_medium And finally, beat Syracuse.