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Saturday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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In March, we party with Nantz.

I_medium Spread check: Louisville by 2.5.

I_medium I'm live blogging today's tournament action for SB Nation here.

I_medium It's comforting to know that Donovan Mitchell and Deng Adel handle the tournament the same way we do.

The sophomore stars of Louisville's basketball team knew it was going to be a day unlike anything they'd experienced before: U of L, after sitting out last postseason in the wake of an NCAA investigation, was playing in the NCAA Tournament, and it was going to be Adel and Mitchell's first game on the sport's biggest stage.

"I woke up and just screamed, 'Gameday!'" Adel said, "and Donovan was like, 'Yeah!' We just got hyped for a good 20 seconds. We got mad excited."

The world needs this Deng and Don reality show.

I_medium The No. 1 Louisville baseball team beat Boston College 6-0 on Friday to move to 17-0 on the season. That matches the 1957 Cardinals for the best start in school history. The Cards and Eagles will meet again at Jim Patterson Stadium on Saturday.

I_medium A 41 share is absurd.

I_medium Here's a nice recap of all the Midwest Region action from the first two days.

I_medium Killing the March game.

I_medium NC State wasted no time in hiring former Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts on Friday. Details of his contract can be found here. Congrats to Coach Keatts.

I_medium Rick Pitino was effusive in his praise of Michigan on Saturday.

"We're playing the Golden State Warriors on Sunday,'' Pitino said Friday afternoon, moments after his Louisville team, as expected, was too big and too tough for Jacksonville State in a 78-63 NCAA Tournament first-round victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

No, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson will not be hoisting 'em up in the second-round matchup featuring Louisville and Michigan. Pitino, though, was onto something after Michigan went bonkers from behind the 3-point line in the opener, hitting 16 of 29 (and 11 of 15 in the second half) to get past Oklahoma State 92-91.

"I've never seen shooting like that since I've been a coach,'' said Pitino, laying on the hyperbole just a bit thick. "It looks like it's going in the moment it leaves the hands, so it's going to be a tough task for us.''

I_medium Remember Katie Ledecky? The swimmer who dominated the rest of the world at the Olympics over the summer? Well U of L swimmer Mallory Comerford chased her down in the 200 freestyle last night and the two tied for the national championship in the event.

I_medium One down.

I_medium Our apologies to Tracy Wilfson for being falsely identified as a spy on Saturday.

I_medium CBS ranks Louisville-Michigan as the third best game of Sunday, which is at least one spot too low.

3. No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 7 Michigan (Midwest). Incredible Michigan story, but more to the point, that offense going against Louisville's defense. What a tremendous way to start off Sunday.  The Wolverines' amazing offense scored 1.58 points per possession in the second half of their win over Oklahoma State on Friday. An incredible game. UM had 16 3-pointers and got by against a like-minded team. Now, the opposite. Louisville is among the best in defense in college basketball. This game is a rematch of the 2013 national championship; Louisville won that game. Michigan's Derrick Walton Jr. is going to have another tough test, but he fared well against OSU's Jawun Evans. It's sort of feeling like this UM team is destined for the Sweet 16, right?

I_medium The U of L women open up their tournament run at the KFC Yum Center today against a Chattanooga team that's not afraid to play the underdog role.

I_medium Congressman John Yarmuth is happy the Cards are still dancing.

I_medium Wave of the future? Major cities across the country are getting these live score updates across commuter rails, bus stations and digital billboards across the country.

Kinda cool.

I_medium Your full recap of Friday's ... madness?

I_medium Tournament viewership on the first Thursday was the highest it's been since 1991.

Turner and CBS Sports' 2017 NCAA Tournament coverage is delivering audience increases across all platforms.  Live game coverage across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, including the First Four and first Thursday games, is averaging 7.8 million viewers, up +5% from last year (7.4 million).  The networks' coverage of the first Thursday averaged 8.2 million viewers, up +4% from last year (7.9 million), registering as the third most-watched first Thursday since 1991.

The NCAA First Four airing on truTV (Tuesday and Wednesday) grossed 5.9 million viewers, up +12% over last year, ranking as the second most-viewed First Four coverage since the format was introduced in 2011.

Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live (MML) has generated an all-time record 31 million live streams through the first Thursday of the tournament, an increase of +26% over last year. 

Official March Madness social media handles generated 4.9 million social engagements across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram through Thursday, which is up +23% over the corresponding time period last year.

The combined networks' coverage delivered increases in three game telecast windows:

-- Telecast Window 1 (12:00-4:10 pm) -€” 5.6 million viewersup +4% and the second highest viewer average for this window since 1991

--  Telecast Window 2 (2:46-6:53 pm) -€” 7.4 million viewers, up +10% and the third highest viewer average in this window since 1991

-- Telecast Window 3 (6:38-9:57 pm) -€” 10.3 million viewers, up +3% and the fourth highest viewer average in this window since 1993

I_medium This high school referee threw down a windmill dunk, and the players and crowd could not take it.

I_medium Peyton's right. He always is.

I_medium Michigan scored 1.58 points per possession yesterday against Oklahoma State, which is absurd. The good news? They also allowed the Cowboys to score 1.58 points per possession. Louisville's going to be able to get open looks tomorrow, they're just going to need multiple players to have hot shooting days.

I_medium Eric Crawford shares his four biggest thoughts from the day that was in Indianapolis.

I_medium Deng rules.

I_medium And finally, beat Michigan.