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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

When you work in D.C. and Donovan comes to town. What choice do you have?

—They don’t get much bigger than tonight’s showdown at the KFC Yum Center. It’s No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 3 Louisville on ESPN, and U of L has your preview.

—Louisville’s win over Florida State jumped Cards 10 spots from No. 32 to No. 22 in the current RPI rankings.

As I’ve been saying for years, the RPI is the only good metric and I’m thrilled it’s the only one the Committee will be using this year. It’s definitely not outdated and useless. I have never said that. It’s a great metric. The best.

—It’s safe to say they’re enjoying Donovan Mitchell in Utah.

—Louisville is a 10 seed squaring off against Arkansas in the latest ESPN Bracketology.

—I don’t have the stats to back this up, but I feel like Louisville has been exponentially better this season when Tie-less David Padgett has been calling the shots.

David Padgett walked into a small ballroom in Florida State’s Donald Tucker Civic Center, eased his 6-foot-11-inch frame into a seat behind a microphone and rubbed his temples and eyebrows with his wrists.

It was sometime after 11 p.m. Wednesday, and Louisville’s interim coach looked like an exhausted pilot after an emergency landing.

”Well, I just now stopped sweating,” Padgett said. “Holy smokes, I haven’t sweat like that in a long time.”

An hour or so earlier, Padgett ditched his tie and soaked through his white dress shirt as his team navigated an entertaining affair that ended with a much-needed 73-69 win at Florida State. The game had everything: A collection of highlight-reel dunks and 3-pointers; a big comeback; a raucous crowd with nervous energy; and a nail-biting final two minutes.

—Following his team’s win over Arizona, Colorado coach Tad Boyle pretty much called out Sean Miller and USC’s Andy Enfield for their ties to the FBI probe into college basketball. So Enfields Trojans were blasting Boyle’s Buffaloes last night, he decided to roll with the petty revenge timeout that has become a recent Pac-12 tradition.

—Yeah I got worked up last night.

I regret nothing.

—The CBS college hoops staff hands out some midseason awards.

—The C-J’s Andrew Wolfson profiles controversial BOT Chairman David Grissom.

—Updated Derby odds. Throw a dart and put five bucks on a 175/1 horse.

—Saturday is “Fitness Day” at the KFC Yum Center. There will be a post-game fitness clinic on the practice court 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Louisville-Virginia Tech game. Tickets are 20 bucks and you can get them here.

—Jonathan Pruitt, the new CFO that U of L hired away from North Carolina in November, announced at the last minute that he is no longer taking the job.

You know what this means:

—I am still shaken up mentally from trying to process these tweets.

—Alabama running back Damien Harris announced yesterday that he’ll be returning to Alabama for his senior season, while five other Tide players declared for the NFL Draft. Let’s go ahead and quadruple that number, guys.

—Speaking of the Tide, new QB sensation Tua Tagovailoa fired back at the critics of Jalen Hurts, the man he replaced in the national title game.

—Nice little montage of Paul Rogers’ best calls from last night in Tallahassee.

—Donovan Mitchell made a miraculous play to force a Bradley Beal turnover last night.

—Gorgs was also Gorg’ing.

—The Ringer’s latest mock NBA Draft lottery is here. Ryan McMahon was snubbed.

—The U of L men’s soccer team has announced a pair of signings for the 2018 campaign.

—Deion Sanders continues to sing the praises of Lamar Jackson.

—ESPN previews tonight’s clash between the Cards and the Irish.

—The Louisville men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams resume their winter season this weekend with the 2018 University of Kentucky Track & Field Invitational.

—On the same day it was announced that starting point guard Andrew Jones has leukemia, Texas pulled out a one-point double OT win over TCU. As you might expect, the scene after the game was pretty emotional.

—Northwestern got the most bad ass technical of 2017-18 last night.

—The Louisville Cardinal isn’t afraid to say it: Ryan McMahon should be starting.

—George Mason’s Otis Livingston, who helped put the fear of god into all of us back in the season-opener, drilled a game-winning buzzer-beater last night.

—The News Herald reacts to Louisville snapping FSU’s home winning streak.

—One of my favorite facts in college basketball right now is that with FSU and SMU both losing at home last night, the second longest home winning streak in Division-I belongs to our old friends the Texas Southern Jaguars, who are only 3-13 overall right now. TSU played its first 13 games of this season on the road, and lost all 13.

The longest home court winning streak in Division-I belongs to Cincinnati, but the longest streak at any level of college hoops still resides in Louisville with the Bellarmine Knights.

—As always, Eric Crawford’s recap of a major victory demands your attention.

Padgett’s emotions had to be all over the place, but you couldn’t tell it. He spoke with ESPN as calmly afterward as if he were some kind of Mission Control specialist.

”I’m speechless, I really am,” Padgett said. “I’m so proud of my guys for being resilient. They’ve been resilient all year, on the road, especially, with the exception of one game. But we finally were able to overcome it. We had gotten close at Purdue and at Clemson and just didn’t have enough. But today we had enough and we relied on our defense to win a game for us.”

Most notable perhaps: A Florida State team that leads the ACC in turnovers forced only forced eight by Louisville, one game after the Cardinals turned it over a season-high 21 times in an overtime loss at Clemson.

“It was all about rebounding,” Padgett said. “I told them, ‘Look, we lost the last few games because of turnovers. We’re behind in this one because of rebounding. Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot. Take care of the backboard and defend and we’ll win this game.’ . . . We needed this one, desperately. We had been so close in a couple of road games. We really needed this, not just because we needed a win, but because it was an ACC win.”

—Tomahawk Nation is still licking its wounds on the day after.

—And finally, beat Notre Dame.