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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Cards fans in Disneyland are still all in for March.

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NET Rankings Update: No. 11 (down 4 spots).

—Kylee Shook is one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

—The gents over at Tomahawk Nation celebrate FSU’s big win over Louisville.

—Danielle Lerner recaps Louisville’s “meltdown” in Tallahassee.

Nwora, who scored 11 points in the first half, went 0-of-6 in the second. McMahon, who made all three of his attempts from deep and had nine points at halftime, went 0-of-2. The team combined to shoot 9-of-28 from the field and 1-of-12 from beyond the arc.

Then came the foul trouble. Backup center Steven Enoch picked up his third foul with 11:47 remaining. Starting point guard David Johnson picked up his fourth less than two minutes later. Officials whistled the Cardinals for 16 fouls. The Seminoles were 18-of-22 at the line in the second half while the Cardinals were 8-of-9.

“It felt like we kind of got down for things that were out of our control, and that’s all I’m gonna say about it,” McMahon said. “We needed a few big shots to stay in it with the way things were going, and we just didn’t hit those big shots. When things are happening the way they were and you’re not hitting the shots to stay in it, it’s really tough, you know. They’re going to eventually pull away.”

That’s what happened as Florida State closed the game on a 7-0 run that included two earth-shattering dunks.

“Our plan was not to allow the game to be more important to Louisville than it was to us,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said, and it was his team’s consistent energy that earned the victory.

—Rick Bozich also recaps Louisville’s loss to FSU.

—The Louisville baseball team continues its homestand this afternoon when it hosts Xavier. Here’s a preview.

—The Seminole crowd absolutely brought it last night.

—Dwayne Ledford discusses why he believes Mekhi Becton has a lengthy NFL career ahead of him.

—LJ Nesbitt is back with another installment of BucketHatism over at The Crunch Zone.

—If you’re headed to the Yum Center on Thursday, you’re going to want to get there early.

—Louisville is No. 3 in ACC Basketball Report’s latest power rankings.

—Rob Dauster of NBC Sports says Florida State’s second half performance last night was “scary.”


Trent Forrest scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and the No. 6 Seminoles used a 42-16 tidal wave over the course of the final 15 minutes to turn a 51-40 deficit into an 82-67 win over No. 11 Louisville.

It was everything that you expect a Florida State team to be during that stretch. They forced turnovers, they switched everything defensively, they dared you to try and beat them in isolation, and they did it all while getting the kind of balanced effort that makes it impossible to key in on a single player. Five guys were in double-figures on Monday night, and that doesn’t include the eight points that Leonard Hamilton’s club got from Anthony Polite off the bench.

This program is a machine.

All they do is produce physical, tough, athletic wings that stand somewhere between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-8, guard like their life depends on it and completely by in to what Leonard Hamilton is trying to do.

I would not want to see them in March.

—Fresh off its first Elite Eight run ever, the Louisville volleyball team has announced its 2020 spring schedule.

—We joke about it, but these people are absolute nutjobs.

—The U of L women are a 2-seed in ESPN’s latest Bracketology.

—The Cardinal men are clinging to a 3-seed in Chris Dobbertean’s latest mock bracket.

—A brief look at day one of spring practice.

—Braden Smith, a former QB who has been moved to WR, was singled out by Scott Satterfield as a standout on the first day of spring practice.

—Florida State fans are definitely soaking all this in.

—Duke assistant Nolan Smith sent a social media shot in Chris Mack’s direction after Louisville’s loss to FSU Monday night.

—Robert “The Hammer” McCune is staring down prison time.

—Louisville losing on the road to a top 10 team hasn’t been beaten at home all season isn’t discouraging. It’s the way the loss happened that was.

The Cardinals’ eight assists on the game tied a season-low, and David Johnson’s six turnovers were his worst showing of the year.

Of course, the Cardinals were without Malik Williams, an especially essential player against a foe like FSU, making a tough task even tougher. But even considering the junior post’s absence, the meltdown was alarming as Louisville lost control of its ACC title chances.

The Cardinals have two regular season games and then the ACC Tournament remaining before they begin the NCAA Tournament, in which they are projected to be a No. 3 or a No. 4 seed. The final 15 minutes at FSU were frightening for Louisville fans, but the Cardinals have shown reason — throughout the season and for much of Monday’s game — to believe they can be a well-oiled machine.

The good news about wheels is that, even when they come off, you can put them back on. That will be Chris Mack and the Cardinals’ task as we roll into March.

—After his breakout 2019 season, TuTu Atwell is ready to take the national stage in 2020.

—Kentucky high school basketball needs to move to a shot clock.

—Eric Crawford shares his thoughts on U of L’s woeful second half in Tallahassee.

Raise your hand if you remember the last time a Louisville basketball team was whistled for a 10-second violation. Walk the ball up has not been a mentality here for a while. Especially against an excellent FSU defense that doesn’t let you get into offense easily, every second counts in the half-court.

Those things are killers. In a game with little margin for error, Louisville made too many. It was 10 for 22 on layups. If it only misses seven layups, the game is much different.

And most important, Jordan Nwora and Ryan McMahon combined to miss six open three-pointers in the second half. Only one of them was rushed. They were just missed. They were good looks. Most of them came from the same spot, from the top left. They just didn’t go. And for Louisville, threes falling is an important thing.

In ACC play this season, Louisville has won 14 games and lost 4. In the 14 wins, it is shooting 44.1 percent from 3-point range and getting 37.4 percent of its scoring from beyond the arc. In the four losses, it is shooting 24.1 percent from 3-point range and getting 26.2 percent of its points from beyond the arc.

Bottom line, against better teams, when Louisville isn’t making threes it has a hard time replacing that scoring from mid-range jump shots, finishes at the rim or free throws. It can do those things, but it has had a hard time doing them.

—The Billy Murray curse continued on Monday night. We really need Bill to come to the game on Sunday and then have us take care of business to break this thing, because the man will definitely be at all the tournament games.

—And finally, Chop Chat shares its thoughts on FSU’s “destruction” of Louisville.