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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

All Mike Curtis wants for his 70th birthday is a Cardinal win over Connecticut.

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—It’s No. 2 UConn vs. No. 3 Louisville tonight at the KFC Yum Center. ESPN reels off three reasons why each team could win the showdown.

—Eric Crawford gives an overview of what could be another classic game involving Jeff Walz’s program.

—Vince Tyra appeared on “Louisville First” with Howie Lindsey and talked about, among other things, the cool stuff that U of L has planned for tonight’s game as well as Saturday’s White Out game against North Carolina.

—There are still some tickets available for tonight’s game. Jeff Walz is hoping to see at least 18,000 fans in the house.

—It’s been Tobacco Road dominance so far this season for the Louisville men.

—Four Louisville football players have been named to the ACC All-Academic team.

—Louisville is No. 14 in Gary Parrish’s daily rankings for CBS.

—This picture is unbelievable.

Look like the old “The Day After Tomorrow” movie poster.

—Former South Carolina/Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans is the third former college basketball assistant to avoid a jury trial by accepting a plea deal.

—The KHSAA is begging fans to stop being dicks to basketball officials because nobody wants to do the job anymore.

Ramsay traces the decorum detour to “Fanatic parent syndrome,” in which parents expect a tangible reward for their children participating in sports.

“The tone of (Tackett’s) letter was telling the parents to take it easy and hit the brakes,” Ramsay said. “That’s a message we’ve got to get out there. I don’t know how much they’ll listen. There’s so much pressure to win and for playing time for the kids. But if Mommy and Daddy think Johnny’s going to make it to the NBA, the odds are stacked against them.”

Curiously, the further removed a player is from playing professionally, the more his parents are prone to misbehave.

“The younger officials tend to be introduced to the games in very hostile environments like middle school and grade school, where fan behavior is not very good,” Jury said. “The younger the kids, the worse the fan decorum is.”

Last Sunday, a referee was moved to eject an abusive spectator from an eighth-grade game at St. Edward. Though that’s an extreme case, grade-school game conflicts can be exacerbated because many teams are coached by the parents of players, who may have more of an emotional attachment and less experience at throttling back in a tense situation.

—Expect to see some Muhammad Ali-themed uniforms for Saturday’s game against North Carolina revealed tonight at 6.

—Cards fans in South Florida, there will be a game watch for Saturday’s showdown with UNC at the Dave and Busters located in the Oakwood Plaza off of I-95 at 3000 Oakwood Drive in Hollywood, FL. Seating is first come, first served.

—This is a rough look, Terry.

—This story on how the Ray Lewis incident changed Atlanta nightlife forever is really good. It also includes Jermaine Dupri asking one of my co-workers if he ever watched the ‘80s cartoon “Snorks.”

—Tennessee star Grant Williams hasn’t ruled out returning to school for his senior season.

—Imagine 20 months ago trying to make sense of the statement “Rick Pitino is firing off some hot tweets about the NET rankings from Greece.”

—The NCAA blasted Missouri on Thursday, hitting the Tigers with postseason bans in football, baseball and softball, among numerous other penalties. This all stems from an investigation into allegations that a former tutor took coursework for multiple athletes.

That’s two pretty heavy-handed rulings from the NCAA in one week. On Tuesday, Miami basketball standout Dewan Hernandez was essentially hit with a year and a half ban for taking benefits from an agent that totaled less than $500. That’s not overly comforting.

Also, Kelly Bryant, it’s not to late to pick a new home ... again.

—Former Ballard and Male High football coach Bob Redman is one of 10 people who have been named to the KHSAA’s Hall of Fame class of 2019.

—One of the many areas where Chris Mack shines: Baseline out of bounds plays, AKA BLOBS. This is link to an Athletic story.

They are examples, along with the by-the-second pregame schedule Mack wants his teams to follow, of the coach’s attention to detail that his players (and the Cardinals’ incoming recruits) raved about from the time he stepped on campus. Another illustration of that? Mack’s emphasis on the baseline out-of-bounds play, better known as BLOBs, and the pursuit of quick, easy points out of dead-ball situations.

“You go through a game and you want to try to win certain categories, whether it’s baseline out, sideline out, whether it’s more paint touches or more free throws,” Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said on Monday. “You have little things you’re trying to accomplish each game. I think Chris puts an emphasis on trying to score and win the out-of-bounds game.”

The focus on that one small aspect of the game has paid major dividends this season for Louisville, adding 124 points to the scoring ledger. The Cardinals rank 46th in the nation in offensive efficiency on baseline out-of-bounds plays, according to Synergy Sports, which gives Mack’s team an “excellent” rating for its BLOB work. Last season Louisville ranked 283rd.

It’s another small but significant reason why Mack has Louisville at 16-5 overall and 7-1 in the ACC, exceeding most preseason expectations.

—Bonnie Bernstein charged the University of Maryland $118,000 for her work in investigating the culture of the school’s athletic program in the wake of the DJ Durkin scandal. That seems beyond steep, but she wasn’t the only one who charged a hefty price for their panel work.

—Class of 2021 standout Devin Askew is the latest recruit to heap praise in the direction of Chris Mack.

Louisville: “Coach (Chris) Mack, he was one of my favorites. I love coach Mack. The thing that impressed me the most is that whenever I got there, we sat down and we watched film on how they play and then they brought out film on me and whenever I saw that and we compared both with how I play and the way that they play, it really impressed me that he would take his time with a sophomore from California to put together something like that. It was amazing.”

—Josh Allen has been voted as the 2018 Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year. Asia Durr finished fifth in the voting.

—Top U of L RB target Jamious Griffin certainly drew a crowd for his in-home visit Wednesday night.

—No Utah Jazz player in the last 30 years had scored 400 plus points and dished out 75 plus assists in a single month before Donovan Mitchell achieved the feat last night. So much for the sophomore slump.

—Indiana lost to Rutgers last night, the Hoosiers’ seventh-straight defeat.

—Rick Bozich thinks Louisville is ready for the step up in competition that Louisville will see in February.

—Scary Terry at the end of quarters is automatic.

—Swish Appeal previews Louisville/UConn.

—Three players who must step up defensively for UNC to fare better against Louisville than it did in round one.

—And finally, beat UConn.