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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Really looking forward to the weekend, you guys.

—Bye week spread check: I’ve secretly enjoyed this week by 2.

—Yahoo’s Jeff Eisenberg lists the 25 best non-conference games of the upcoming college hoops season. Louisville has three of the top 12.

3. Louisville at Kentucky, Dec. 29

Comment: For the first time in almost a decade, college basketball’s most intense non-conference rivalry won’t pit John Calipari against Rick Pitino. Louisville interim coach David Padgett will try to hold together what looked like a top-12 caliber team before scandal struck and forced university administrators to jettison Pitino and two of his assistants in early October.

...

11. Louisville at Purdue, Nov. 28

Comment: Watch out for Purdue even without All-American forward Caleb Swanigan. The Boilermakers return enough talent to potentially emerge as the biggest threat to Michigan State in the Big Ten. This home game against Louisville will provide a good early indicator whether Isaac Haas, Vince Edwards and Carson Edwards can collectively make up for Swanigan’s departure.

12. Seton Hall vs. Louisville, Dec. 3

Comment: This is Seton Hall’s best chance before Big East play to prove itself as an elite team. All-American candidate Angel Delgado and three other senior starters return from a team that has reached the NCAA tournament the past two years. If Khadeen Carrington makes a smooth transition to point guard and some outside shooters emerge, the Pirates are capable of challenging Villanova in the Big East.

—Mark Story of the Lexington Herald-Leader says that mystery is all over the place when it comes to college basketball in the state of Kentucky in 2017-18.

—Reece Gaines shares his thoughts on the current state of Louisville basketball.

—The 10th-ranked U of L field hockey team advanced to the ACC tournament semifinals for the first time with a 3-2 win over No. 11 Syracuse on Thursday. Next up is No. 2 Duke Friday at 2:30 at Trager Stadium.

—Really enjoyed this story on Louisville City FC’s 4-year-old super fan. The boys in purple host the Eastern Conference Final tomorrow night at 7:30 at Slugger Field.

—A behind the scenes look at Asia Durr’s experience at ESPN on Thursday.

—The sixth-ranked U of L men’s soccer team opens postseason play on Sunday when it will host Virginia in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. Kickoff inside Lynn Stadium is at 1 p.m.

—Louisville has hired North Carolina’s top public higher education financial leader to serve as its chief financial officer. Finally a move I can get behind. Now let’s hire UNC’s everybody else.

—Louisville Metro Councilman Brandon Coan was nice enough to have me on his podcast this month to discuss a number of different things related to the central role of sports in our community. You can listen to that conversation below.

—Georgia Tech announced Thursday night that hoops starters have been suspended from regular season competition for NCAA rules violations. The school determined that Jackson and Okogie “accepted preferential treatment in the form of apparel, meals and transportation.”

This is a big deal for Tech, which plays UCLA on opening night in what had previously looked like a game where they might be able to make an early national statement.

—KEONTA VERNON.

—The C-J gives us a guide of what to watch in college football during Louisville’s bye week.

—Florida’s Chris Chiozza (the guy who hit the buzzer-beater in the Sweet 16 last year) hurt his shoulder in the Gators’ exhibition win over Jacksonville Thursday night.

—I’m pretty shocked we aren’t first here.

—Cam Smith of USA Today says that just because Louisville can reinstate Brian Bowen doesn’t mean that they should or that they will. Well .... yeah.

—Please stop with the “draft Lamar as a WR” noise.

—Mike Krzyzewski says it’s time for college basketball to undergo a major overhaul.

—Yet another week to be a proud Louisvillian.

—The Crunch Zone has coverage of U of L women’s basketball media day.

—Ballin’

—Old Gold & Black reviews Wake Forest’s win over Louisville.

—Kevin Keatts is already making some big time plays at NC State.

—Happy Breeder’s Cup Friday, kids. Let’s forget about Louisville sports and lose some money.

—And finally, R&R wraps up the week from 3-6 today on 790-KRD. We’ll talk Brian Bowen, Louisville’s bowl situation and the madness that the next seven days might hold for the college basketball world.