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Thursday evening Cardinal news and notes

Swata Hajari is repping the Cards from some Mayan Ruins in Mexico.

NET Rankings update: No. 14 (up one spot)

—At the end of the fall sports season, Louisville sits in eighth-place in the Director’s Cup Standings. It’s the highest the Cardinals have ever been at this point in the athletics season.

—The glow up is real.

—Friend of the site — as well as the Louisville basketball community at-large — Patrick McSweeney will once again be participating in the raiseRED dance marathon to raise money for pediatric cancer research and the local children’s clinic. Patrick’s goal this year is to raise $10,000 by the day of the event, which is Feb. 21.

If you’d like to donate to the cause, you can do so by going here.

—Last year’s collapse against Duke still haunts this year’s Louisville team.

—Louisville is No. 14 in Sports Illustrated’s latest hoops power rankings.

14. Louisville (14-3)

The Cardinals were lucky to escape Pittsburgh with an overtime win, and now face a crucial road battle with Duke in Durham on Saturday. Louisville still needs more out of its point guard spot between Darius Perry and Lamarr Kimble, and someone to take pressure off star Jordan Nwora when he has an off night. With no return visit from Duke on the schedule, this is one of the Cardinals’ only remaining shots at another signature win in the regular season.

—Jeff Walz is looking for his team, which is in action tonight against Boston College, to play at a fester tempo on offense.

—The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at how the Panthers defended Jordan Nwora on Tuesday night.

—They are getting hyped about Saturday in Durham.

—The U of L athletics department was named the winner of the 2019-20 NCAA Team Works Award Competition for outstanding community service in Division I. This marks the second time the Cardinals have won the award in the six years of the competition.

—The rosters for the 2020 McDonald’s All-American Games will be announced on Jan. 23.

—Deng Adel swats Brian Bowen. I’ll let each of you choose your own joke to round out this blurb.

—Ray Spalding has signed a two-way deal with the Charlotte Hornets.

—San Francisco intentionally near the end of every first half because nerd math (and regular math) says it’s the right thing to do. This is a really interesting read.

—Louisville has spent the last week exorcising some close game demons from the past year and a half.

—This whole thing is unbelievable.

—If you haven’t checked it out, episode three of the Card Chronicle podcast (the one where I talk about getting fired) is available now.

—Louisville football is No. 63 in the final S&P rankings for the 2019 season.

—Not the world’s greatest lip reader but this appears to be: “You’re a bitch, bro. Get out of my f---ing face. You’re a bitch. You’re a bitch. You’re a bitch.” from Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu to Penn State’s Lamar Stevens after last night’s Gopher win.

Minnesota and Penn State play again on Feb. 8 for those interested.

—Lamar Jackson’s latest 2019 MVP award comes from the Professional Football Writers of America.

—Louisville baseball has named Zach Britton, Adam Elliott, Danny Oriente and Luke Smith as its four captains for the 2020 season.

—Lamar Jackson checks in at No. 3 on the ACC Digital Network’s list of the conference’s five best football players of the last decade. I would disagree.

—Auburn’s loss at Alabama Wednesday night leaves San Diego State as the only remaining undefeated team in college basketball.

—NBA executives say that Jay Wright is the college coach most likely to be successful at the professional level. Chris Mack cracks the top 10 at No. 7.

—The Golden State Warriors have inked Damion Lee to a three-year deal.

—These videos remain the coolest.

—Congrats to Dave Ragone, who has been promoted to passing game coordinator by the Chicago Bears.

—Yahoo’s latest NFL mock draft has Mekhi Becton going to Cleveland with the No. 10 pick.

10. Cleveland Browns — Louisville OT Mekhi Becton

This might be higher than he’s placed in other mock drafts, but we frankly don’t care. Becton is a superior talent who is scratching the surface of what he can be, so expect him to be a major riser the next few months. There will be plenty of Trent Brown comps between now and the draft, especially after Becton measures and works out at the combine.

The Browns could use this type of enforcer up front. Few men north of 350 pounds can move the way he does. We have Becton rated above Thomas, for what it’s worth.

—Skepticism about the NCAA’s traditional model continues to spread.

—Duke Basketball Report has a primer for Saturday’s showdown.

—Wait for it ...

—Big Red Louie looks at how David Johnson changes the dynamic of this Louisville team.

—Jody Demling is tracking the Louisville football team’s scholarship situation at each position on the roster.

—And finally, the Duke Chronicle lays out five things Duke can do to bounce back from its loss to Clemson and beat Louisville on Saturday.