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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Jeremy Hunt and Josh Price made sure that Louisville was represented in the Kobe Bryant tribute outside the Staples Center.

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no—NET Rankings Update: No. 7.

—Louisville is a 2-seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology for ESPN. Just three ACC teams are in Lunardi’s current field of 68.

—ESPN’s Myron Medcalf looks at the Player of the Year favorite for every conference in college basketball. In the ACC, he says it looks like Vernon Carey vs. Jordan Nwora.

Atlantic Coast Conference

Front-runner: Vernon Carey Jr., Duke Blue Devils

At one point in Duke’s 97-88 win at Syracuse on Saturday night, Jim Boeheim smirked at Mike Krzyzewski after Carey finished an easy bucket, as if to say, “How the hell are we supposed to stop this?” Carey’s performance (26 points and 17 rebounds) extended the streak of dominance we’ve witnessed all year from the freshman (Duke has averaged 109 points per 100 possessions with Carey on the floor this season, according to hooplens.com).

Top competition: Jordan Nwora, Louisville Cardinals

The Louisville standout certainly has a strong case for ACC top honors after making 49 percent of his 3-point attempts and 85 percent of his free throw attempts in league play. But he’s a step behind Carey based on his inconsistency since the start of league play (3-for-12 in a Jan. 18 win at Duke; 3-for-13 in Saturday’s win over NC State; 3-for-11 in a Jan. 22 win over Georgia Tech), even though Nwora has the slight edge with 18.5 PPG versus Carey’s 16.2 PPG in ACC action.

I think Elijah Hughes of Syracuse and Devin Vassell of Florida State are active shots in this race as well.

—Patrick Mahomes’ season after winning the MVP is a reminder of what could lie ahead for Lamar Jackson.

—The Todd Sharp story that broke yesterday appears to be far more serious than it had seemed initially. The university has issued a persona-non-grata notice for the former Cardinal dance coach.

—The AP has an early preview of Louisville-Wake.

—Awesome:

—Pat Forde’s Forde Minutes feature is back and notes that Florida State hasn’t won a regular season conference championship since 1988-89.

—Louisville recruit Trey Kaufman (2021) out of Silver Creek High in Southern Indiana is “the total package.”

—Duke is now the betting favorite in Vegas to win the national title, while Louisville is tied with Gonzaga and Kansas as the second choice.

—Like Jordan Nwora on the men’s side, Dana Evans has been named to the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20.

—Chris Mack is one of the guests on the latest March Madness 365 Podcast with Andy Katz. The Mack interview starts around the 27-minute mark.

—Kentucky apparently gets called for eight more fouls per game on the road than they do at home, a fact which I’m not sure makes the point UK fans want it to.

—Louisville is No. 5 in Gary Parrish’s daily rankings for CBS.

—Steady and improved play from all four of Louisville’s guards gives Chris Mack more options and flexibility (Athletic link) than he had a month ago.

—Cardinal signee Hailey Van Lith has been named a 2020 Naismith High School Girls Trophy Semifinalist.

—After reviewing the footage, I think only one of the seven touched the rim.

Also, this has to be a top 10 overall play of the season.

—The 3X3U National Championship will be back during Final Four weekend and will be played outside in Atlanta.

—NBC Sports’ latest bracket projection has Louisville as a No. 2 seed and four ACC teams (Virginia is one of the last four in) in the field.

—According to the women’s NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, Louisville would be a No. 1 seed and tournament’s No. 3 overall seed if it began today.

The current top 16 on the men’s side will be revealed at 12:30 p.m. on CBS this Saturday.

—Mercer County’s Malachi Yulee will be joining the U of L football team as a preferred walk-on.

—The CJ looks at how Edmonson County’s 1976 basketball title may have saved Kentucky’s unique playoff system.

—Imagine not loving Lamar Jackson.

—It will be a Red Out inside the KFC Yum Center on Thursday when the U of L women’s team hosts Florida State.

—Bob Huggins believes the NBA is having too much of an affect on what college basketball does.

—Georgia has passed California when it comes to producing blue chip football recruits.

—One of the best moments of the college hoops season came Saturday in the moments after Tulsa’s Elijah Joiner hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to upset No. 23 Wichita State. After not having a relationship with his father for most of his life, Joiner revealed after the game that he had been playing in front of his dad for the first time.

It’s never too late to get involved in your child’s life, and it’s always worth taking that step.

Also, sports can be pretty great.

—Vanderbilt athletic director Malcolm Turner has resigned. He also reportedly blew through the school’s $17 million rainy day fund in less than a year.

Episode 11 of the CC Podcast dropped this morning.

—Former Louisville players have accounted for a total of 20 points in Super Bowl history.

—Ryan McMahon might be the best example of why Louisville’s bench and overall depth have become arguably its greatest weapon.

McMahon led a Louisville bench effort of 43 points which was a season-high as well. Competition for minutes has become a norm this season has been at a premium because of the growth of players’ games across the boards. That is obvious in a 19-3 start as nine Cardinals accrue double figures in minutes.

“I told our team in the locker room that Ryan McMahon had just coming off a few games where he had played 12 or 13 minutes and never complained, never turned up his nose, and never came to practice quiet,” said Mack. “That is a credit to not only him, but so many other players on our team that have reacted the same way.”

As a senior McMahon has unlimited value as a team leader as well as his 3-ball. His presence and example are major cogs in the Cards’ arsenal.

“While he has had down games he just gets in the gym and works hard to improve,” explained Mack. “He knows we want to get him shots and he is becoming very aware on and off the court. He is getting better at using the screen and passing. Every time he shoots the ball, I think it is going in.”

—The Cards take over the top spot in Busting Brackets’ ACC power rankings.

—Cardinal Authority takes a look at the recent scholarship offers handed out by Scott Satterfield and the U of L football staff.

—C.L. Brown and Matt Doherty provide an interesting video breakdown of Duke’s Vernon Carey.

—Gonna try this with Adam Lambert’s “Whatta Ya Want From Me?” this spring and see what happens.

—Florida State got a Big Monday win over North Carolina, which got a 5-for-23 shooting performance from the recently returned Cole Anthony. The Tar Heels host Duke on Saturday.

—It certainly appears as though the Rolling Stones are headed to Cardinal Stadium.

—ACC hoops tonight:

No. 7 Duke at Boston College (7 p.m./ESPN)

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (7 p.m./ACC Network)

—Matt Norlander of CBS has a good read on all the current college players who chose to wear No. 24 because of Kobe Bryant. Dwayne Sutton is one of the players featured.

“I started wearing 24 when I arrived at Louisville. [I admired] his will to win. Kobe was someone who, no matter what it was, he was going to do it to win the game, whether it was scoring or playing defense. His passion for the game is unmatched. I remember watching his last game with my friends. It was unbelievable. It was amazing to see someone at his age score 60 that night. It’s a lot different now, because 24 is a number everyone will remember and associate with Kobe. When you have that number on your back, you have to go out, play hard and have that Mamba Mentality, that killer instinct. I just want to go out, play hard and take pride in wearing this number from here out.”

—Jordan Nwora sits at No. 9 in Jeff Goodman’s National Player of the Year rankings.

—And finally, in the latest mock bracket from SB Nation’s Chris Dobbertean, Louisville is a 2-seed taking on the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State in the first round.