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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Daniel Horne wants everyone to know that basketball is going to be fine and soccer is about to win a national title.

—Spread check (football): Louisville by 11.5.

—There have been a bulk of extremely misleading headlines about Rick Pitino’s “new” status following the release of the unsealed FBI indictment Wednesday night. If you read the full indictment, the reality is that nothing has really changed here.

Christian Dawkins says Pitino was involved in the efforts to pay Brian Bowen’s family ... well we already knew that. The only new info from last night is that Dawkins claims he asked Pitino to call Adidas executive Jim Gatto, and that Pitino agreed. The claimed agreement is something we didn’t explicitly know before, but it could have easily been assumed based on the emphasis the government placed on the fact that Pitino called Gatto three times right before Bowen’s commitment.

This is still very much a he said, he said deal between Pitino and Dawkins, and it’s likely going to remain that way until the FBI comes out with a taped conversation or something of the like.

None of it really matters at this point, I suppose, but we’re certainly going to keep hearing about it.

—U of L student-athletes combined for a record 86 percent graduation rate in the Graduation Success Rate Report released Wednesday by the NCAA. So that’s good.

—El Tigre!

—Speaking of Edgar, the New York Times has a good story on how he recovered fromthe gruesome leg injury he suffered in 2011 and what advice he has for Gordon Hayward.

—I have finished Stranger Things 2. Save for one strange and unnecessary episode, it gets two thumbs up from me. Sequel series are hard, and they did a terrific job. Dustin forever.

—It’s hard not to love Donovan Mitchell.

—Mid-Major Madness is back with its annual contest to see who can pick the most winners of college basketball’s early season tournament. Enter the Silver Sword 2017 here.

—The Associated Press submits a guide to the 2017-18 college basketball season.

—The Cardinal men won’t take to the court until Sunday, but the ladies are in action tomorrow night.

—The college hoops crew over at NBC lists 68 things they’re excited about seeing this season.

—The U of L women’s cross country is set for Friday’s NCAA regionals.

—Exactly 15 years ago, the Bluegrass Miracle went down in Lexington. It remains hilarious.

—Here’s a cool story from the Lexington Herald-Leader on Logan County High School football, which lost 42 straight games from 2012-16, but is undefeated this season.

—The likely punishment for the three UCLA basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China is 20 days of house arrest at the team hotel. That episode of “Ball in the Family” is going to be wild.

—My goal for this season is for Louisville, Arizona, USC and Miami to be the last teams standing so that we can call it the “F—k You Four.”

—Bleacher Report writes that Teddy Bridgewater could save the NFL. I’ll toss in Major League Soccer for good measure.

—The Sporting News lists eight teams that could cut down the nets in 2018. Louisville is not one of them.

—He’s behind Baker Mayfield and Will Grier at the moment.

—Louisville is No. 10 in the latest NCAA women’s swimming and diving rankings.

—The U of L field hockey team left for Michigan today. They’ll open their NCAA tournament run on Saturday against Northwestern. Here’s the full bracket.

—Jeff Walz inked three highly-ranked players from inside the state of Kentucky on Wednesday.

—Jeff Greer makes six predictions for the Louisville basketball season.

5. Louisville gets a No. 3 seed in the Big Dance: Matching its record from a season ago, Louisville goes 24-7 in the regular season and earns a solid No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Cards play their opening-weekend games in Nashville alongside archrival Kentucky, but the teams are in different regions.

6. The Cards make a run to the Elite Eight: Armed with three scoring wings, a veteran point guard and three athletic, lanky big guys, Louisville reaches the championship game of its NCAA Tournament region. The Cards shake off the renewed media focus on the FBI scandal that March brings, praising interim coach David Padgett for guiding them through a shaky period. But that's where their run ends, just short of the Final Four.

Bonus prediction: Louisville's 28 wins and strong NCAA Tournament performance earn Padgett the full-time head coaching job at Louisville, with the school removing the interim tag.

—U of L will get a visit this weekend from a former Tennessee WR commit.

—I would enjoy seeing a professional championship come to Louisville. Here’s hoping the guys in purple can get it done on Monday.

—College basketball preview stuff from me for anyone interested:

Top 100 players

11 predictions about the season

50 must-watch non-conference games

Preseason podcast

—And finally, Streaking the Lawn says Virginia being efficient in its own passing game is the key to stopping Lamar Jackson and Louisville.