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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Stephen Edington showing love from Jeongdongjin Beach on the East coast of Korea.

I_medium The second-ranked Louisville baseball team rolled to an 11-1 win over Western Kentucky Tuesday night. The Cards have a huge series with No. 18 Virginia this weekend in Charlottesville.

I_medium Updated Final Four odds:

2017 NCAA Championship - Odds to Win

North Carolina               7/5

Gonzaga                       9/5

Oregon                         11/2

South Carolina              15/2

Exact Finals Matchup

Gonzaga vs. North Carolina                   11/10

Gonzaga vs. Oregon                             13/5

South Carolina vs. North Carolina           15/4

South Carolina vs. Oregon                     15/2

Exact Finals Outcome

North Carolina beats Gonzaga                12/5

Gonzaga beats North Carolina                13/4

Gonzaga beats Oregon                          9/2

North Carolina beats South Carolina       5/1

Oregon beats Gonzaga                          6/1

Oregon beats South Carolina                 10/1

South Carolina beats North Carolina       12/1

South Carolina beats Oregon                 14/1

Final Four Game Lines

South Carolina              +6½

Gonzaga                       -6½

Oregon                         +4½

North Carolina               -4½

I_medium This should surprise no one.

Also unsurprising: things got so nasty that the Facebook page had to be taken down, and the FBI had to get involved. Higgins has confirmed that he has received death threats from Kentucky fans.

I_medium All this has led to Pat Forde writing today that the lunatic fringe of the Kentucky fan base is threatening to take over.

It's time for the good majority of Kentucky fans to speak up -€” and for the school administrators, who have said nothing this week, to join them. They need to exert themselves and get the minority to back down or go away, because they make the entire fan base appear no smarter or more composed than a pack of wild dogs.

This mob mentality has been festering among Kentucky fans for years -€” a zeal to attack anyone and everyone who can be labeled an enemy of the program. University administrators have tacitly approved and empowered a thuggish fan element. Combative, paranoid coach John Calipari has never been shy about identifying "bad guys" and fueling the fire.

In this particular case, Calipari got the ball of blame rolling Sunday. His first comment in his postgame news conference: "You know, it's amazing that we were in that game where they practically fouled out my team. Amazing that we had a chance."

For the record, Kentucky was called for 19 fouls and North Carolina for 18.

The main issues for Kentucky fans -€” and Calipari, judging by his sideline histrionics -€” occurred in the first half. There were two or three questionable calls against Kentucky (not all of which were whistled by Higgins, by the way). But this much is true: the Cats led by five points with five minutes to play and couldn't hold it.

It was not a game "stolen" by the refs.

Higgins is hardly the first official targeted by Wildcats fans. Three or four years ago they went after Doug Shows, and earlier this year the "corrupt" ref was Roger Ayers.

What do all three have in common? They've been among the highest-rated officials in college basketball for several years and have worked multiple Final Fours. But we're supposed to believe all of them are out to get Kentucky?

There is a nationwide obsession with officiating, and it's not healthy. But the disease might be worst at Kentucky, where at least one website charts every single UK game an official calls, and who won.

When you have to play the "all fans have some bad apples" card more than anybody else, it means your bunch has more spoiled fruit than everyone else's.

I_medium On a very related note, I am nowhere near tired of watching this yet.

I_mediumIt appears as though Teddy Bridgewater is moving and throwing again, which is awesome.

I_medium Josh Pastner, The Prince of March, has Georgia Tech in the NIT championship game. The Yellow Jackets will face Jamie Dixon and TCU.

I_medium Only .0026 percent of all brackets filled out online got the Final Four correct.

I_medium I will 100 percent be watching this during the summer.

The BIG3, the 3-on-3 professional basketball league, announced today the addition of Steve Francis, Kendall Gill, Donte Greene, Jumaine Jones, Ronald Murray, Joe Smith, DeShawn Stevenson, Mike Sweetney, and Hakim Warrick to their player draft pool.

The eight-team league will tip off June 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Teams travel to 10 different cities throughout the season, playing all games in a quadruple header each Sunday in the same venue. It was recently announced that Fox Sports has landed the broadcast rights to the entire season, and will present the games the following night in primetime for a thrilling "Monday Night Basketball" experience. The league championship airs Saturday, Aug. 26 live on the FOX broadcast network.

BIG3 player captains include elite basketball talent like Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups and Jason Williams, among others.  Captains will be tasked with drafting their remaining three players at a draft to be held in April.  The draft will be preceded by a player combine where all eligible draft pool players will participate in scrimmages, drills and strength and conditioning workouts.

Additional players currently enrolled in the 2017 BIG3 draft include: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Kenny Anderson, Marcus Banks, Keith Bogans, Earl Boykins, Derrick Byars, Josh Childress, Brian Cook, Ndudi Ebi, Reggie Evans, Shane Heal, Larry Hughes, Mike James, Ivan Johnson, Voshon Lenard, Rashad McCants, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Lawrence Moten, Lee Nailon, Andre Owens, Smush Parker, Jamario Moon, Ruben Patterson, J.R. Rider, Eddie Robinson, Brian Scalabrine, Xavier Silas, Latrell Sprewell, Etan Thomas and James White.

Featuring professional basketball's first four-point shot, BIG3 games will be packed with highly skilled, intensely competitive matchups in the world's most popular form of basketball -€” 3-on-3.  The winning team will be the first to score 60 points.  BIG3 games highlight the biggest basketball superstars competing at the highest competitive level.  The league structure encourages this incredibly, competitive group of players to vie for a revenue share based on final league standings.

BIG3 has received growing attention thanks to an impressive roster of basketball royalty, headlined by player captains Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups, Jason "White Chocolate" Williams, Rashard Lewis, Jermaine O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette and Mike Bibby. The coaching lineup includes Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Clyde Drexler, Charles Oakley, George Gervin and Gary Payton, among others.

I_medium Somewhat shockingly to me, the average ticket price to this year's Final Four is higher than it's been in five seasons.

I_medium We have a big, bad Final Four preview for your consumption.

I_medium The U of L softball team is hosting Indiana in its annual "Border War" game tonight. Admission is free.

I_medium This is a breath of fresh air.

I_medium Georgetown has reached out to both Mike Brey and Shaka Smart, who each said thanks but no thanks.

I_medium Deadspin also has a terrific follow-up read about how the current power struggle at Georgetown goes back 50 years to a petty high school rivalry.

I_medium I love this.

I_medium This Jon Bois piece about there being no future of baseball is simple and beautifully written.

I_medium The latest SB Nation mock draft from Ricky O'Donnell has Donovan Mitchell going 13th overall to the Chicago Bulls.

I_medium Oh. Well that's an interesting fact.

I_medium Steve Jones gives his takeaways from yesterday's U of L football open practice.

I_medium Ernie Johnson says the NCAA tournament is a source of unity at a time when "everyone is so stinkin' confrontational."

People don't say "stinkin'" enough.

I_medium Respect to Darius Rucker for being a legit fan.

I_medium Asia Durr was named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press.

I_medium Happy 25th anniversary.

I_medium Andrew Dakich, Dan's son, is going to be a graduate transfer. I eagerly await his father's rant on the move ... you know, since grad transfers are a plague that is ruining college basketball and all.

I_medium Pitt basically needs to replace its entire team next season. The good news? It was a bad team.

I_medium Louisville is No. 8 in the very first preseason top 10 forecast from Ken Pomeroy.

8. Louisville. Donovan Mitchell is probably gone, but that's essentially the only meaningful loss from a program that hasn't finished outside top 20 since 2010.

Obviously, transfers, early entrees and surprise returnees will shake all this up dramatically over the next few months.

I_medium I did. I did enjoy this.

I_medium Pro Football Focus says DeAngelo Brown's best NFL fit is likely as a base package specialist.

I_medium Henry Bushnell from Yahoo lays out the 13 most important plays from the NCAA tournament so far.

I_medium Always awesome to see former Cards giving back.

I_medium Donovan Mitchell is headed to the Thunder with pick 21 in the latest mock from Draft Express.

I_medium Congratulations to U of L women's swim and dive, which ended the season with more All-Americans than any other program in the country.

I_medium Did that go the way you thought it was going to go? Nope.

I_medium Early NBA Draft decisions mean the ACC is likely to look very different next year.

I_medium Eric Crawford looks at the first steps of Lamar Jackson's road to becoming just the second two-time Heisman Trophy winner in history.

I_medium And finally, there are no one and dones at the Final Four, which isn't as surprising as you might think.