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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Max lost his pants the moment Devin Hairston's single went up the middle, and he's got no plans to put them back on anytime soon.

I_medium The new Baseball America bracketology has Louisville as the No. 3 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

I_medium Justin Ferguson of Bleacher Report is the latest to peg Lamar Jackson as a breakout star for 2016.

A dark-horse Heisman candidate in some circles, Lamar Jackson has all the tools to be a major star in college football this fall.

Jackson had an up-and-down freshman season with the Louisville Cardinals, but when they finally turned him loose toward the end of the year, the results were outstanding. He had five different games in which he threw for at least 100 yards and rushed for 100 more, and his season finale against Texas A&M was a rare 200-and-200 performance.

The Florida native has plenty of speed to burn, and he's changed how pass-happy Bobby Petrino calls his offense in Louisville. Jackson needed to put a lot of work into his pass accuracy this offseason for the Cardinals, and he seems to have done just that, completing 24 of 29 passes for 519 yards in Louisville's recent spring game.

"A few of those (long passes) weren't really designed to go that deep," Petrino said, per Jody Demling of Scout. "A couple of them we were a little bit late on. But it did show that he can snap his wrist and throw it that deep."

With a more accurate and powerful arm, Jackson should stuff plenty of stat sheets this season for a Louisville team that returns a national-best18 starters, €”including 10 on the offensive side of the ball. The Cardinals have a tough schedule, but they should have confidence in their electrifying quarterback.

I_medium CBS has Sheldon Rankins (pick 12 to the Saints) as the only Cardinal who hears his name called in their latest mock draft. I'll still be more surprised than not if James Burgess doesn't get picked.

I_medium Matz loves the kids.

I_medium The SB Nation college football podcast discusses what the annual expectations should be for Louisville football.

I_medium CBS' Sam Vecenie has Chinanu Onuaku up to No. 29 on his NBA Draft big board.

I_medium Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician takes an early look at Louisville and whether or not Syracuse has a chance to beat the Cards in 2016.

Syracuse Game Date: September 9, the second straight Friday game to start the year

Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.

Odds of Orange Victory: 20 percent

Very Early Outlook:

On the bright side, it can't go worse than last year when a mistake-filled blowout ended with Eric Dungey's life getting risked for a "comeback attempt" that was never going to happen in a million years. Syracuse will be better on offense solely by way of Dino Babers's new offense. So at the very least, expect more points than the measly 17 from 2015. But defensively... this is where SU's chances rise and fall. Louisville's offense will be better as long as Jackson can stay upright. The Orange were victimized by backup Kyle Bolin last year, and he wasn't even mobile. This isn't to say we're getting torn apart when Louisville comes to the Dome. But with all the returning talent on both sides of the ball, the Cardinals do seem primed for a win over an SU team still figuring out its identity in week two.

I_medium Breno Giacomini and Harry Douglas both react to what they saw at the Louisville spring game on Saturday.

I_medium The Corey Ray MLB Draft hype continues to rise.

Here's a look at some of the prospects that scouts are talking about after week nine of the college baseball season, as well as who has them buzzing from around the nation at the high school level.

Corey Ray's Rising Stock

Corey Ray is the cream of the college position player crop. Kyle Lewis of Mercer is right there with him, but when it comes to who they can most safely project as a fixture in an everyday Major League lineup, scouts mostly turn to Corey Ray for that distinction. The Louisville star has done everything scouts have asked from, and has shown improvements in just about every facet of his game so far this spring. And scouts are fully taking notice, particularly in recent weeks.

I_medium Kentucky is the latest to offer New Albany star Romeo Langford. Duke and Kansas did the same on Monday.


Seriously, this is the love story of our era.

I_medium The Big Ten and Fox are nearing a new monster TV deal. The good news is there is that it'll free up more space on ESPN/ABC for ACC games, which means less nooners for the whole conference.

I_medium It's very hard to imagine local news without Melissa Swan.

One of the few public people in this city that you never hear a bad word about. A very happy retirement to her.

I_medium Kelsi Worrell, likely the most decorated athlete in the history of the University of Louisville, says her goodbye.

I_medium A Sheldon Rankins NFL Draft hype video from the ACC Digital Network.

I_medium ESPN wonders if Kentucky's 2014 football recruiting class is ever going to get over the hump. If "over the hump" is beating Southern Miss and maybe Vandy this year .... the answer's still no.

I_medium Two years later, Teddy Bridgewater is the best quarterback from the vaunted class of 2014.

I_medium Jude Schimmel has joined the training camp of the WNBA's Dallas Wings.

I_medium Suck it, Pitt.

I_medium Louisville recruiting is attempting to try and form a Georgia connection again.

I_medium Devonte Fields, Keith Kelsey, Jamari Staples and James Quick were named to the Community Trust Bank 2016 Kentucky Collegiate All Commonwealth Team, which is ... apparently something.

I_medium That look when you're 4-0 against your older brother.

I_medium Mel Kiper thinks the Chicago Bears should use their No. 11 pick on Sheldon Rankins.

I_medium Kentucky football finally goes bowling.

Congrats to them.

I_medium Jordan Davis is a Cardinal, could Tadarrius Patterson be next?

I_medium The Celtics were atrocious in a loss to the Hawks on Tuesday, but Terry Rozier scored 10 points and snagged four rebounds in his first NBA playoff experience.

I_medium And finally, rest in Peace to Pearl Washington, without question one of the defining figures of the original Big East.