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Tuesday evening Cardinal news and notes

Aron Norman is letting everyone in Mykonos, Greece know that Louisville has two huge basketball games this week.

I_medium Pitt has released its game notes for Louisville.

I_medium Bovada has Louisville and Clemson as its (his) co-8th choice to win the national title in 2017:

Odds to Win the 2018 CFP National Championship

Alabama                       4/1

Florida State                 7/1

Ohio State                    15/2

Michigan                       9/1

Oklahoma                     9/1

USC                             9/1

LSU                              12/1

Clemson                       16/1

Louisville                      16/1

Texas                           28/1

Auburn                          33/1

Florida                          33/1

Georgia                        33/1

Miami Florida                33/1

Oklahoma State             33/1

Penn State                    33/1

Virginia Tech                 33/1

Notre Dame                  40/1

Washington                   40/1

Kansas State                50/1

Tennessee                    50/1

UCLA                            50/1

West Virginia                 50/1

Wisconsin                     50/1

Oregon                         66/1

Texas A&M                   66/1

Boise State                   75/1

Michigan State              75/1

TCU                              75/1

Colorado                      100/1

Mississippi                   100/1

NC State                       100/1

Iowa                             150/1

Nebraska                      150/1

Utah                             150/1

Arizona                         250/1

Arizona State                250/1

Arkansas                      250/1

Baylor                           250/1

BYU                             250/1

California                      250/1

Houston                        250/1

Minnesota                     250/1

Mississippi State           250/1

North Carolina               250/1

Northwestern                 250/1

Pittsburgh                     250/1

South Carolina              250/1

Boston College             500/1

Cincinnati                      500/1

Duke                            500/1

Kentucky                      500/1

Maryland                       500/1

Missouri                        500/1

I_medium Greer has Louisville at No. 6 in his weekly ACC power rankings.

6. Louisville (13-3, 1-2): I see tiers to this league forming, and U of L is the last team in the top tier. The only team that, in my view, can join this group is Syracuse. The Cards fell behind in the early race with predictable losses to Virginia (their Kryptonite) and at Notre Dame, where Louisville never wins. There's still a path to 11 or 12 league wins for Louisville, and it starts with defensive effort and ball movement.

I_medium There are three games tonight featuring multiple top 15 teams, including Duke taking on Florida State in Tallahassee. Here's a quickie preview from your boy to get you ready for the night ahead.

I_medium This is the only part of last night's celebration that I'm ok with.

I_medium The World Cup is expanding to 48 teams in 2026, which seems dumb. There's no rule that says you HAVE to change the format of tournaments or competitions that people love just because they've existed in a certain form for an extended period of time.

I_medium ESPN's way-too-early power rankings for 2017 have Louisville at No. 4 behind Florida State, Clemson and Miami.

4. Louisville Cardinals

They have the Heisman winner, but how much else is left on the roster? Lamar Jackson is a star, but the late-season swoon showed he can't do it by himself. With so much talent departing from the defense, it'll be interesting to see how Louisville recovers and tries to build upon a successful 2016.

I_medium Campus Insiders gives an early look (video) at the ACC storylines for next season.

I_medium The 2016 ACC season featured the national champions, the Heisman Trophy winner, and more bowl wins than any other conference.

I_medium Bill Walton was on ESPN last night during the title game and was as lovably bizarre as ever. Here are the highlights.

I_medium Louisville is a four seed in the latest tournament projection from The Sporting News.

No. 4 seeds: Butler, Oregon, Louisville, Florida

Butler (14-2): Pomeroy/RPI: 15/7. vs. RPI top 25: 3-0. vs. RPI top 100: 7-0
Oregon (15-2): Pomeroy/RPI: 21/10. vs. RPI top 25: 1-1. vs. RPI top 100: 6-2
Louisville (13-3): Pomeroy/RPI: 10/9. vs. RPI top 25: 1-3. vs. RPI top 100: 4-3
Florida (12-3): Pomeroy/RPI: 14/3. vs. RPI top 25: 0-3. vs. RPI top 100: 7-3

Need to know: Butler has an odd resume. On one hand, they have super-impressive wins against Villanova, Arizona, Indiana and Cincinnati, but they've lost to Indiana State and St. John's, two teams with zero chance of earning an at-large bid. Those two losses are why they're not on the 2 or 3 line this week. Oregon has the two losses, but one (Baylor) came without star Dillon Brooks and the other (Georgetown) came in his first game back, when he played just a handful of minutes. The committee will factor that into its decision.

I_medium Jeff Greer chats it up with Quentin Snider's dad, Scott, in his latest podcast.

I_medium The Louisville baseball team has announced that it will play Northern Kentucky at Slugger Field on April 26. Tickets are only $5.

I_medium Steve Jones, like the rest of us, thought the anonymous criticism of Lamar Jackson by an ACC coach earlier this week was ridiculous.

The mention of Jackson feels a little out of place in a long story about Watson, but it's a provocative, candid quote about the Heisman winner, so you can't fault Thamel for working it in. As a reporter, I value honest, passionate quotes, and this was truly one. Kudos to Thamel for his reporting.

But no kudos to the coach, whoever he is. Jackson is a surprising and unwarranted target of his criticism.

It's extreme and borderline absurd for an opposing coach to have taken such a definitive stance on Jackson's future after he just pulled off one of the great seasons in ACC history and has at least one more year of college ball to go. It also feels unfair and unnecessary, even for a coach speaking freely under the protection of anonymity.

Jackson, who turned 20 on Saturday, will be only a third-year junior next season and has a lot of college football left to play to build his resume as an NFL draft pick.

It would behoove opposing coaches to not give Jackson any extra motivation to come back better in 2017, and Thamel's interview subject has probably succeeded in doing just that.

I_medium Brendan McKay and Kade McClure are both preseason All-Americans.

I_medium There is much rejoicing over at Shakin the Southland. Congratulations to those, guys and girls.

I_medium Leonard Hamilton has always had talent in Tallahassee, but now he's finally turning those future pros into wins.

I_medium Normal.

I_medium Allegiant is coming to Louisville, which is cool if you love cheap flights, but less cool if you enjoy flights where the fear of imminent death never creeps into his mind.

I_medium U of L's Andrea Cottrell has been named the ACC Swimmer of the Week.

I_medium Portugese broadcasters calling Aaron Rodgers' Hail Mary is pretty fantastic.

I_medium Registration for the second annual Bellarmine Run for Ryann, a 2.5 mi walk/run around Bellarmine University's campus starting at Knights Hall in memory of Bellarmine grad Ryann Tewell, is now open. Net proceeds benefit the Ryann Tewell Scholarship fund for a female transfer student.

I_medium For more information on the event as well as a link to register, go here.

I_medium And finally ...

Never forget.