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Friday evening Cardinal news and notes

Ella Mae Spalding is in that spot perfectly in between being disappointed by Thursday's loss and excited for Sunday's bracket reveal.

I_medium If you're wanting Louisville to be a No. 2 seed on Sunday, I think you're rooting for North Carolina to win the ACC Tournament and Oregon to win the Pac-12 Tournament. Also, one would think that Butler and Purdue getting picked off in the first game of their conference tournaments would all but guarantee that the Cards will be playing their first two games of the dance in Indianapolis.

Having said all that, you never know what the hell the committee's going to do.

I_medium Louisville is No. 10 in Gary Parrish's daily rankings for CBS.

I_medium Cool?

I_medium DePaul's athletic director says the school's new $540 million arena that will house a basketball team which drew under 1,000 fans three times this season is all about helping out the city of Chicago.

I_medium After being a part of nine big wins, Markelle Fultz has made the stunning announcement that he won't be returning to Washington for his sophomore season.

Seriously, the likely No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft led his school's basketball team to three fewer wins than the school's football team won. Don't tell me Lorenzo Romar can't do incredible things.

I_medium Jeff Greer says it's time for Rick Pitino to forget about what happened against Baylor in the Bahamas and get back to pressing.

One thing is clear after that experience: Pitino needs to put his theory to bed if Louisville (24-8) wants to do better in the Big Dance. He has to evict the Battle 4 Atlantis from his psyche and trust his team's depth.

Now, U of L wasn't perfect in pressing Duke, which scored 14 fast-break points. Jayson Tatum's ability to carve through a defense at full speed and unleash his athleticism is one of the primary reasons why he is projected to be the fourth pick in this summer's NBA draft by And the Blue Devils' shot-making prowess is a major factor in their offense being rated 10th in the nation in efficiency.

But the Cards did get some disruption when they pressed, and their frenetic pressure in the final minute forced a Duke meltdown that led to a turnover and a foul that made it a three-point game.

They might not have forced many turnovers (eight in 70 possessions), but that's not always the purpose of Louisville's pressure. The length of players like Ray Spalding, Deng Adel, Anas Mahmoud and even Donovan Mitchell can make opponents think twice about making advance passes up the floor. That second-thinking slows an opponent down, and if the press is doing its job, opponents don't get into their sets until the shot clock is down to 15 seconds or so.

Louisville owns one of the best field-goal and shot-blocking defenses in college basketball. If an opponent only has time to run through one play before moving to its late-clock offense, U of L's length and shot-contesting ability makes it awfully tough to score against them. Louisville's opponents average some of the longest offensive possessions (18.5 seconds) in the country, according to Ken Pomeroy's analytics site.

Louisville is a three seed in the latest Bracketology

I_medium The Sporting News ranks college basketball's title contenders and says North Carolina is the team to beat.

I_medium I don't like this young man.

I_medium This is also an "unfortunate whistle" as Rick Pitino says.

I_medium Louisville is still holding on as a the final No. 2 seed in the Bracket Matrix aggregate.

I_medium Just as the case was in 2015, Louisville is the only top four seed not playing in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament.

I_medium Tickets for the Louisville-Kentucky baseball game at Jim Patterson are now on sale.

I_medium This is so great.

I thought Penny barking in the background of radio spots was bad.

I_medium Bobby Knight says he hopes that the Indiana administrators who had him fired are all dead. That's because Bobby Knight is a huge asshole.

I_medium Congrats to the future Cardinal.

I_medium The Louisville lacrosse team will host Duke in its ACC opener on Saturday.

I_medium TBG, our man on the ground in Brooklyn, had a great talk with Quentin Snider's dad and Russ Smith's dad at Big Russ' Barber Shop earlier today. Check it out:

I_medium Quick personal update that also affects you: After working through the night yesterday, the raw manuscript for my book has officially been submitted, which should free up some time for me to have a bit more content on the site for the rest of the month. Sorry for that.

I_medium The Providence Friar remains terrifying.

I_medium The U of L women's soccer team will travel to Costa Rica over spring break.

I_medium Louisville baseball opens ACC play today at 4 against Pitt. They also took the Panthers colors. Solid pregame assertion of dominance.

I_medium Dan McDonnell's team, in case you were wondering, is very, very good.

I_medium I guess everyone has a bracket contest now.

I_medium The ACC Digital Network says the worst seat at the ACC Tournament is still a great seat. Not sure I agree.

I_medium No team is having a crazier Championship Week than Michigan, which will face Richard Pitino's Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals tomorrow.

I_medium Lamar Jackson believes Louisville can be a national title contender in 2017.

Louisville finished 9-4 but with three disappointing losses to close out the season including a 29-9 loss to LSU in the Citrus Bowl. Jackson thinks his team can build off their strong start -€” they were 9-1 at one point last year -€” and his team can be a national championship contender, "Lord willing."

"We started off strong. I thought we had a chance to go all the way and win it and things didn't go as planned as the end of the season. We're going to try and build on that," Jackson told Metro. The Louisville quarterback spoke at the Maxwell Football Club's press conference for their annual award gala, held at the Tropicana.

"We're more mature, we're an older team now. It's our team now."

It won't be easy however. The ACC is often slagged on as being inferior to the SEC and the Big Ten but Jackson sees that changing.

"The ACC team (Clemson) won the national championship last year," Jackson said. "We're stepping up."

I_medium Louisville currently sits at No. 6 in the updated RPI rankings. If you're into that sort of thing.

I_medium And finally, an updated look at Louisville's tournament resume and the chances of the Cards being a two seed on Sunday.