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Friday evening Cardinal news and notes

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Winona Marie is ready to get back into the win column this weekend.

—U of L has its official preview for Saturday night’s Louisville-Wake Forest game up.

—Jeff Greer gives us a rundown of Wake Forest and two keys to a Cardinal victory.

—Viewership of NFL regular season games was down 9.7 percent from the 2016 season.

—College basketball TV ratings are actually up, and it’s no surprise who is leading the charge.

Midseason report

ESPN has aired five of the top 10 men’s college basketball games of the season to date across all networks and dayparts, and nine of the top 10 weekday games. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, combined, have aired the top 93 most-viewed men’s college basketball games on cable, and increased its average audience per game from last year’s average through 348 games.

Local Eyes

Louisville remains the top market for college hoops, averaging a 4.3 rating, with Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro and Indianapolis rounding out the top five.

Rank Market Rating
1 Louisville 4.3
2 Kansas City 2.3
3 Raleigh-Durham 2.2
4 Greensboro-High Point 2.0
5 Indianapolis 1.8
6 Charlotte 1.6
Knoxville 1.6
Cincinnati 1.6
9 Nashville 1.4
10 Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News 1.3
Richmond 1.3

—Could Tom Izzo be coaching his last game tonight? After the recent resignations at Michigan State and the details from this latest Outside the Lines report, it seems at least somewhat possible.

—Some of the sights and sounds from yesterday morning (MORNING!)’s women’s basketball win over Miami.

—UConn basketball is reportedly under NCAA investigation for some recruiting issues. If true, that’s salt in an open wound because the Huskies are terrible yet again this season.

—Louisville had its spring sports media day earlier this week. Here’s a quick recap.

—The U of L track/cross country team is headed to Illinois this weekend to compete in the Illini Classic.

—The Kentucky Derby Festival has revealed its 2018 poster.

—The biggest game in the ACC this weekend is Duke vs. Virginia, which is the ultimate battle of contrasting styles.

—This is awesome.

—Our friends over at Blogger So Dear preview Saturday night’s game.

—Which recruits could U of L football still sign? The CJ investigates.

—Bobby Petrino offers a statement on the Eric Wood news.

—This story on the late Andrew Smith is a fell good read on this Friday.

—Ryan McMahon is the only man on the planet who can keep Ray Spalding out of foul trouble.

It doesn’t seem like much, but a special handshake with redshirt sophomore guard Ryan McMahon is the motivation for junior Ray Spalding to avoid early-game foul trouble.

The rule is, if the 6-foot-10 Spalding doesn’t pick up his first foul in the first five minutes of a game, he and McMahon exchange a handshake.

”We’ve got the strategy going,” Spalding said. “I’m going to keep that going.”

—And finally, beat Wake Forest.