—Spread check: Louisville by 11.5.
—NET Rankings Update: No. 12.
—Louisville is up to No. 5 in the Three-Man-Weave power rankings.
5. Louisville (6)
I discussed the emergence of Christian Braun in the Kansas section, and Louisville has seen the benefit of a similar delayed breakout from a freshman. David Johnson is the obvious name worth mentioning there, but Samuell Williamson – the Cardinals’ highest-rated recruit – has carved out a larger role of late, as well.
Williamson is a lanky 6’7 wing that came in with boatloads of hype, to the point that the Weave got ripped in the preseason for not ranking him in our Top 100 (in hindsight, lol). But he’s starting to flash that potential against ACC competition, tallying 14 points against Clemson and earning 17+ minutes in each of the last three games following a stretch of six contests where he played 13 or fewer minutes.
He showed off his offensive arsenal against the Orange Tigers, scoring in a wide variety of ways – a spot up three, a back cut for a dunk, a curl drive, a patient pick-and-roll floater – but none were more impressive than this and-one:
The Cardinals have suffered through a few offensive droughts this year, so more minutes for a natural-born scorer like Williamson gives them more options to solve such issues.
—The rivalry we’ve all been waiting for finally arrived last night: Coach K vs. The Cameron Crazies.
—U of L is offering some incentives for Cardinal football fans who renew their season tickets early.
—With Virginia’s upset of Florida State last night, there is now a team sitting all alone in first-place atop the ACC standings. I can’t remember exactly which team that is, so we better pull up said standings.
Well look at that. How fun.
—BC Interruption previews tonight’s game and predicts a fairly comfortable Louisville victory.
—Eric Wood writes down some thoughts on the passing of Kobe Bryant.
—Chris Mack is now available for your Cameo gift.
—Lance Zierlein of NFL.com has Mekhi Becton going 11th overall to the Jets in his first mock draft of 2020.
—Scott Satterfield talks (video) with WLKY’s Andrew Chernoff about the 2020 schedule and how the first month of the offseason has gone.
—Stewart Mandel gets asked about Bobby Petrino in the latest installment of his mailbag for The Athletic.
Why did things go so wrong for Bobby Petrino during his second stint at Louisville? Louisville was a certified dumpster fire by the time he was fired. Why? Did he just stop caring?
Justin L., Santa Cruz, Calif.
From what I understand, he couldn’t recruit, had no relationships with his players, and assistant coaches hated working with him, leaving him with a staff of people either unqualified, related to him or both.
Other than that though ...
—There is now a proposed federal law that would reign in the absurdly high buyouts that college coaches across the country are getting in their contracts.
—Jeff Walz on Packer and Durham this morning talking about the level of support he receives from basketball fans in Louisville.
"The city of Louisville has really embraced the women's basketball program for the past 10 years, and I really don't see it changing."@CoachJeffWalz on the support for @UofLWBB from #CardNation pic.twitter.com/R1f2cBeD6G— ACC Network (@accnetwork) January 29, 2020
—The agent in the State Farm ads is the worst character on TV.
—Matt Norlander’s Court Report is always an interesting and fun read through everything going on in college basketball.
—This seems embarrassing for The U.
Report: NFL and San Francisco 49ers deemed University of Miami practice field unsafe prior to Super Bowl week; after initial pushback from Miami, the 49ers paid to have the field replaced less than a year after Miami had resurfaced the field https://t.co/WTEIQpRAXh pic.twitter.com/shP67l6Owq— 247Sports (@247Sports) January 28, 2020
—Somebody really needs to help Goldberg from The Mighty Ducks.
—A week after dropping back-to-back games, Bellarmine falls from No. 1 to No. 8 in the D-II top 25.
—Louisville took the ACC with it to Beantown.
—This was so great.
Blakely thought she was just going to a game, but @Lj_era8 had a Super Bowl surprise in store for her…— Louisville Athletics (@GoCards) January 28, 2020
Congrats to Blakely on being named the @Ravens winner of the Next 100 Super Bowl Contest!#GoCards | #NFL100 | #SBLIV pic.twitter.com/WdeVKCRLgN
—U of L offensive lineman signee Luke Kandra has been bumped up to a 4-star recruit by 247 Sports, which now has Kandra as the No. 207 overall player in the class of 2020.
—Sports Illustrated plays the college hoops stock report game.
—Big Red Louie lays out three questions for U of L football ahead of National Signing Day.
—America’s journey away from fun explained through the history of the Super Bowl logo:
—Tony Washington, who worked in an off-field role with wide receivers on the U of L football staff last season, is reportedly headed to Coastal Carolina where he’ll serve as the wide receivers coach for the Chanticleers.
—Like I’d assume many of you have, I recently watched the new Aaron Hernandez documentary series on Netflix. I came away with a lot of the same issues with the doc that Will Leitch had.
—This is beyond absurd from Mike Nance.
Watch as official Mike Nance walk into a totally standing still Rick Barnes and appears to accuse Barnes of making contact. Smh pic.twitter.com/JZu4Bj1GwJ— Austin Price (@AustinPriceless) January 29, 2020
—Kentucky Today says that last week’s Kansas-Kansas State fight looked a lot like the old Louisville-South Carolina fight. The main difference is that in the U of L fight (you can find it on YouTube if you’ve never seen it) you had multiple players connect on punches to the face, you had players fighting with actual fans, and a grand total of zero guys ended up getting suspended.
—I’m back on the Fundamentally Sound podcast talking a bunch about wild college basketball stories and very little about actual college basketball.
—There is a negative one billion percent chance that Kentucky’s is accurate.
If there are more than five current citizens of Kentucky who are reading this and have plans to throw or attend a Super Bowl party where fondue is going to be served, I would be stunned.
—Louisville has been prepping for a Boston College team that is healthier now than it had been in recent weeks.
—I was wondering if the city powers that be might do something like this.
—Winners and Whiners likes Louisville to cover the (then) 12.5 tonight.
—Six U of L volleyball players picked up All-ACC Academic Team honors.
—And finally, beat Boston College.