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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Beat Pitt.

—Spread check: Louisville by 3.5.

—Jeff Greer looks at (ATHLETIC LINKKKKKK) how Chris Mack has been willing to part with some of his primary pack line principles this season when the situation has called for it.

On Sunday, we saw how much Mack can adjust to adjustments. Louisville still hedged a few times to keep Miami on its toes, but Johnson and Lykes, with their ability to get into nooks and crannies of space, split the hedges. When the Cardinals switched off the screens, Miami got matchups that, on paper, coach Jim Larranaga probably would have liked. It was the 6-foot-2 Johnson or the 5-7 Lykes vs. the 6-10, 260-pound Steven Enoch or the 6-11, 245-pound Malik Williams. And while they scored in some of those situations, Johnson and Lykes also had to pass out of those matchups a few times. Williams, in particular, showed his quickness and versatility on defense. A center who can help guard on the perimeter is a bonus in any defense.

“There were a couple times when they danced against our big guys and hit a tough, going-against-their body floater at the end of the shot clock,” Mack said. “I got some feedback: ‘Why is Mack keeping those bigs out there and guarding perimeter players?’ Well, I’d like to show you the can of worms if our big guys were hard-hedging or flat-hedging some of those screens, especially with our smaller perimeter players. We knew we’d give up some, but as the game wore on, especially the last 30 minutes, we were pretty daggone good defensively.”

—Two Cardinal baseball players have received preseason All-American accolades.

—Nine minutes of Lamar Jackson highlight for your Wednesday:

—Louisville baseball is No. 8 in the Perfect Game USA preseason top 25.

—Pitt has taken more charges this season than it had in the past two years combined. Besides firing Kevin Stallings, the Post-Gazette looks at what changed.

—No. 1, baby.

—The unbeaten Bellarmine Knights are still the No. 1 team in Division-II.

—The CJ dives into how Scotty Davenport sculpted the best little program in all of college basketball.

—Louisville volleyball posted a team GPA of 3.59 this fall.

—The Notre Dame-Louisville smack(?) talk begins.

—For the fourth time, U of L has been recognized as one of America’s top research institutions.

—SB Nation’s Jason Kirk is all in on Louisville football overachieving in 2019.

—Louisville signee Josh Nickelberry continues to put up ridiculous numbers in his senior season.

—Louisville is a No. 8 seed in the latest mock bracket from Andy Katz.

—The Washington Post has the Cards as a seven seed, renewing their old rivalry with Cincinnati in the first round.

—Alabama QB Jalen Hurts is officially in the transfer portal.

—The Baltimore Sun’s Childs Walker writes about how Lamar Jackson has been succeeding with the power of nice.

If anyone was going to hate him, Reggie Bonnafon was a good candidate. He was a year older than Jackson and played the same position.

Bonnafon recalled an early practice, where he figured he’d show the freshman up by putting extra mustard on a deep out — one of the signature passes looked at by NFL scouts.

“I’m thinking I’m a little stronger … and I threw a good ball out there,” he said with a chuckle. “And Lamar comes up a couple plays later, and his wrist is so different — he throws the ball and it just zips out there without him even really trying.”

The moment could have inspired envy, but Jackson had already won Bonnafon over. Even as an 18-year-old, he was a guy you could confide in.

“That’s like my little brother,” Bonnafon said. “We were friends from the jump. There was never any competition or anything like that. Our foundation as friends was first and foremost.”

They hung out after every practice, and nothing changed when the world awoke to Jackson’s talents, proclaiming him the most exciting college player in the land. He and Bonnafon still talk almost daily, usually not about football.

“He takes it seriously, don’t get me wrong, but he doesn’t take it too seriously,” Bonnafon said. “He knows mistakes are going to happen and people are going to get down on themselves. But he’s optimistic about every situation. I think that’s what makes him such a great player. It was motivating.”

—The CJ has three keys for a Cardinal victory at Pitt.

—Louisville is up to No. 24 in the updated NET rankings.

—Last night in the ACC:

Duke finally played a true road game and had no issue with Wake Forest. Zion Williamson put up a stat line that no Blue Devil freshman had ever produced before.

No. 12 North Carolina went into Raleigh and took care of No. 15 NC State. For the Wolf Pack, at least this happened:

—Tonight in the ACC (besides Louisville-Pitt):

No. 9 Virginia Tech At Georgia Tech (7 p.m./ACCNE)
Clemson at Syracuse (8 p.m./ACCNE)
No. 4 Virginia at Boston College (9 p.m./ESPNU)
Miami at No. 13 Florida State (9 p.m./ACCNE)

—I don’t know if this ad has been all over anyone else’s social media feeds, but it’s been everywhere for me, and I think it’s the ugliest piece of clothing I’ve ever seen.

It’s so ugly that I think I’m going to have to buy it, which I assume was the marketing strategy all along here.

—Jody Davis has been named the Louisville Bats manager for the 2019 season.

—Despite his current sophomore shooting slump, there’s still a path to greatness for Donovan Mitchell.

—And finally, beat Pitt.