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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Mary Claire Cropper is still working on perfecting her Ls, but her love for Quentin Snider is fully developed.

I_medium U of L baseball held its annual media day yesterday and said the goal is still Omaha or bust.

I_medium Tom Izzo dropped the damn hammer on Dan Dakich last night.

"Before I go into anything, I've gotta tell you that I do a lot of work to somewhat control the Izzone. And if there's things not being said, I email them, I talk to them. I catch hell both ways if too much is being said, if not enough's being said. But I've gotta be honest with you. I was kind of getting upset at the chants of Dakich, until I got in the locker room and I asked, ‘What was that all about?' And somebody read me his tweets. It was social media.

"And if I would've known that before the game, I would've embarrassed myself almost as much as he embarrassed himself, and I would've led the chants. Because calling us whiners (Dakich later deleted the tweets) and that is kind of unprofessional of classy broadcasters. George Blaha and everybody else wouldn't even think to do something like that on TV. But saying our students couldn't get in there (Dakich later deleted a tweet telling a fan he couldn't get accepted to Michigan), and he's doing games for Michigan when his son (Wolverines guard Andrew Dakich) is there? That is a disappointment, and that is ridiculous.

"And I think it's funny because I've got no respect for him for that, and I'm gonna publicly say it. You can tweet it. You can read it. You can do whatever you want with it. But Twitter got him in trouble, and he earned it, and I'm surprised ESPN would let somebody say something like that, that works for 'em. That's off my chest now. Another one for Twitter.

"But Danny owes our fans and our students an apology, and I probably won't get it. But I've always gotten along with Dan, but as you know, it seems like this year, a lot of people have been mad at me. But I would've love to get in that Izzone and join those chants if I was on Twitter. Thank God I'm not. Thank God some of my friends are. So, there's the commercial today, and now we'll get back to the game."

Dakich responded by deleting the tweets in question and canceling his scheduled radio appearance on a Detroit sports station.

I_medium U of L baseball has released its full schedule of events for the team's 2017 home games.

I_medium ESPN's first FPI rankings for the 2017 football season have Louisville at No. 14.

I_medium Despite the obvious choice in front of him, the ACC pick'n kitten is going with NC State over North Carolina tonight.

I_medium A kid from Nelson County hit a pretty unreal game-winner last night. Also, let's step it up, Nelson County student section.

I_medium Here's Cory Alexander with a cool story (video) about the ACC Tournament and Dean Smith.

I_medium TJ Beisner's piece about his son is really worth your time.

I_medium Love Richard Pitino, but this made me laugh.

I_medium Virginia doesn't need Malcolm Brogdon or Austin Nichols to be a title contender, they just need Tony Bennett's system.

I_medium ESPN says Louisville has the second-best group of wide receivers in the ACC, trailing only Clemson.

Runner-up: Louisville Cardinals

The No. 2 spot is something of a toss-up. Pitt has some big-play threats in Jester Weah and Quadree Henderson. Miami has a host of young receivers in Ahmmon RichardsDionte Mullins and Jeff Thomas, but Richards is the only one with any real experience. Florida State, Duke and Syracuse could make a case, too, but we'll go with Louisville here because of the Cardinals' combination of upside and depth. Jaylen Smith had 600 yards and six TDs last year, Seth Dawkins and Traveon Samuel flashed promise, and Reggie Bonnafon blossomed as a red zone threat who could be much more with better consistency. Bobby Petrino has inked five blue-chip receivers in the last two classes, too. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have the league's best QB returning to make the receivers look a little better, too. One big issue for Louisville, though: Cut down on the drops in 2017 or this pick will look incredibly foolish.

I_medium Is Mark Gottfried done after this season at NC State? It certainly sounds like it.

I_medium Seth is riding for the Cards.

I_medium Louisville players invited to the NFL Combine:

Devonte Fields

Josh Harvey-Clemons

James Quick

Jamari Staples

Cole Hikutini

Colin Holba

Keith Kelsey

To see the full lists of all the players who received an invite, you can go here.

I_medium Slam has a piece this week on future Louisville point guard Dana Evans.

I_medium Jim Harbaugh keeps hiring the parents of his top recruits.

I_medium Louisville ranks No. 5 in ESPN's "strength of record" metric. Villanova, Gonzaga, Kansas and Baylor sit above them.

I_medium I've seen a couple of people who have posted they had to do this yesterday, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

I_medium The U of L men's tennis team just destroyed Illinois State yesterday.

I_medium We always talk about the "annual clunkers" and "strange January losses," but Louisville takes care of business against teams they are supposed to beat better than any other team in college basketball.

I_medium Athlon lists five U of L football newcomers to watch for next season.

I_medium Waggener High School four-star DT Tahj Rice has Louisville in his top four.

I_medium SB Nation puts Louisville at No. 3 in its list of the most likely NBA expansion cities.


Why Louisville? Louisville is the biggest city in basketball-crazed Kentucky. Most importantly, it's one of the bigger American cities without a Big Four pro sports team. This is an NBA sweet spot: It loves to have teams in mid-sized cities with no other pro sports. Look at Portland, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Sacramento, Orlando, and Salt Lake City. Most of those teams do brisk business, too. Louisville would fit the mold and bolster the NBA's already strong presence in the South. (Is Louisville the northern-most southern city?) Finally, Louisville has an NBA-ready arena — the KFC Yum! Center, host of the Louisville Cardinals.

Why not? Louisville is roughly the same size as Memphis and Oklahoma City, so the NBA would really be going all in to stick another team in that general region of the country in a truly mid-sized city. One would imagine there's a relative dearth of billionaires ready to purchase a team (likely necessitating a messy group project), there are relatively few major corporations to buy up arena suites, and the Yum! Center has already been subject to lease drama from the university. The Pacers could also object. Louisville is only about 100 miles away.

Suggested Team Names: The Kentucky Colonels were one of the ABA's most successful teams, and that team name is awesome. There might, however, be legal issues using the name now. The best other options tie to Louisville's favorite son, Muhammad Ali (the Louisville Lips probably won't work, but the Brawlers or Champs might), or its historic old gym (the Louisville Freedom).

I_medium They grow up so fast ...

I_medium Former U of L linebacker Preston Smith has been named the new head football coach at Seneca High School.

I_medium And finally, R&R is live at CC Powersports this afternoon from 3-6. Sports will be discussed.