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Monday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Cat Gallagher, her father and a noted college football player are all extremely ready to watch the Louisville basketball team play in the NCAA Tournament again.

Damn it feels good to be back.

I_medium I always wait until Wednesday night to fill out my officially official bracket, but they made me do one this morning for work so here it is. I reserve the right to have a change of heart over the course of the next 60 hours.

I_medium Mangok in the Middle.

I_medium The 50 March Madness players you need to know, a list which includes Donovan Mitchell.

I_medium Speaking of Donovan, his one-handed alley-oop in the second Syracuse game was named the No. 5 play of the college basketball regular season by ESPN last night. I don't have any proof, I was just watching. I wouldn't lie to you on this.

I_medium Illinois State head coach Dan Muller is not thrilled with the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee's philosophy regarding at-large teams.

I_medium In addition to its No. 1 ranking from Baseball America, Louisville baseball is also Perfect Game's new No. 1 team.

I_medium UMass basketball fired Derek Kellogg last week, and now he and some former staffers are being sued for some allegedly shady stuff they tried to keep under wraps.

I_medium Fans from the states of Kentucky and Kansas have spent the most time pre-planning trips to Phoenix for the Final Four.

I_medium This is a pretty stellar cover.

I_medium Jeff Greer has a nine-step guide to making your picks in the Midwest Region.

I_medium There is a 50 percent increase in vasectomies during March Madness, which I guess is one way to enjoy a shitload of college basketball guilt free.

I_medium I love Mike Brey and think Notre Dame is going to its third straight Elite 8, but this is a good tweet.

I_medium There are a number of high-profile job openings in college basketball right now, and this is the time of the year where mid-major coaches can cash in on something like that. Included in that group is former Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts.

I_medium Congrats to the Bellarmine Knights, who rolled into the Midwest Regional finals with a pair of wins over the weekend.They'll play Findlay Tuesday night at 7 inside Knights Hall with a trip to the Elite 8 on the line.

I_medium ESPN ranks every NCAA tournament team from 1-68, and has Louisville at No. 11.

11. Louisville Cardinals
Quiz time. Quick: When did Louisville last fail to show up for the Sweet 16? (No, last season's postseason ban doesn't count.) Ding, ding, ding: 2010. This, not coincidentally, was the last time Rick Pitino didn't preside over one of the nation's most soul-crushing defenses. The Cardinals ranked in the top five in adjusted defensive efficiency every season from 2011 to 2016. They won 17 games in five NCAA tournaments (plus, you know, a national title) in that span. What of these Cardinals, then? Louisville ranks No. 6 defensively per KenPom.com -- all good, right? Look closer: Since Feb. 1, Pitino's team has allowed 1.08 points per trip. Virginia Tech scored 90 in the Yum! Center in mid-February; Wake Forest scored 88 on the Cards on March 1. Donovan Mitchell is a brilliant high-volume scorer. Pitino is a peerless tactician. But if the Cardinals can't correct this uncharacteristic generosity, and fast, the Sweet 16 might be their ceiling.

That's not .... entirely correct (Louisville lost to Morehead in the first round in 2011), but it's cool.

I_medium CBS also ranks every tournament team, and has Louisville at No. 9.

I_medium The NIT pitting Jim Boeheim and Syracuse against UNC Greensboro was probably the best thing that happened on Selection Sunday.

I_medium The Big Ten got bad seeds yesterday because the Big Ten is bad.

I_medium I don't know who needs to swallow their pride in order for it to happen, but we need Turner and Gus Johnson to come to some sort of tournament-only contract agreement.

I_medium Early session tickets for Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse are ... not cheap.

I_medium Evan Daniels does not have Donovan Mitchell among his top 20 prospects for the 2017 NBA Draft.

I_medium This shouldn't come as much surprise, but March Madness Cinderella schools tend to see an increase in applications the year following their run.

I_medium Dave Bliss should not have a job.

I_medium Terry Rozier made the Celtics' top play on Sunday.

I_medium Pat Forde gives an overview of the tournament in his latest Forde Yard Dash.

I_medium Mid-Major Madness ranks the entire field based on spoonerisms, and Statz Mockman allows Louisville to crack the top 11.

I_medium Darrell Griffith says that a new, larger "Griff's" is coming to downtown.

I_medium Congratulations to U of L golf product Adam Hadwin on his first PGA Tour win. Now he's probably going to have to delay his Honeymoon so that he can play in The Masters.

I_medium Sports Illustrated breaks down every region, and mentions Louisville only once in passing when discussing the Midwest. SI has Kansas knocking off Oregon in the Elite 8.

I_medium Nate Silver has Louisville as the second-favorite to come out of the Midwest.

I_medium Join our 93.9 The Ville bracket challenge and you could win a  ... what's the word I'm looking for here ... shit ton of cool prizes.

I_medium The New York Post has a great article on Bill Raftery, who will be calling Louisville's first and (hopefully) second round games this weekend.

I_medium History for the Pitinos.

I_medium Hero Sports explains why Louisville will be playing longer than Kentucky in the tournament.

I_medium This is pretty crazy.

I_medium This is both pretty crazy and very cool.

I_medium Louisville and Mississippi State are the leaders for a three-star wide receiver.

I_medium Gorgui Dieng recalls his favorite March memories for the Minnesota Timberwolves' official website.

I_medium And finally, R&R will be live from The Tavern on 4th Street today, where we have all sorts of cool stuff planned for anybody who wants to come by.

If you can't make it, you can listen to the show here.