—This should be First Four Tuesday. Pour one out for truTV this evening.
—If you missed the official announcement this morning, the Kentucky Derby has now officially been moved to Sept. 5. A full update on all the changes, including new dates for Thunder Over Louisville and the other Derby Festival events, can be found here.
Louisville vs. NC State on Sept. 3, Kentucky Oaks on Sept. 4 and the Derby on Sept. 5 would be one hell of a re-introduction to the world of local sports for all of us.
—The Louisville women are at No. 6 in the final AP top 25 poll for the 2019-20 season.
—It’s officially grad transfer market season, and Louisville is among the many schools have already reached out to Quinnipiac’s Kevin Marfo, who led Division-I in rebounding last season.
The nation’s leading rebounder, Quinnipiac grad-transfer Kevin Marfo has been in contact with Texas Tech, Xavier, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Arkansas, San Diego State, Arizona State, OK State, St John’s, Penn St, Wichita St, BC, VTech & Louisville, he tells @RivalsPortal— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) March 16, 2020
—Louisville is one of the few schools that had previously had a relationship with Marfo, which could give the Cardinals a slight leg up in his recruitment.
—Jordan Nwora does not appear on The Sporting News’ big board of the top 60 2020 NBA draft prospects, but David Johnson does.
—Nwora also does not appear in Ricky O’Donnell’s latest mock draft for SB Nation.
—Louisville joins the growing list of schools to produce their own “One Shining Moment” videos.
—If you suddenly find yourself working from home for the first time, here are seven tips to make the experience better.
—Louisville does not appear in this 247 Sports early ranking of the top 21 college basketball teams for 2020-21.
—Evan Daniels polled 115 college basketball coaches on who think they think would have won the NCAA tournament. It should come as little surprise that likely tournament overall No. 1 seed Kansas got the most love.
While 15 different teams received votes, the consensus pick for was Kansas, by a mile. Out of 115 possible votes, the Jayhawks received an astounding 49 votes — 33 more than the team with the second-most votes.
“I’ve been doing this a while and I don’t know if anyone can positively say they had the best team — but I do think there’s no question that nobody was playing better than us,” KU coach Bill Self told 247Sports on Sunday night in a long interview. “I also believe that I don’t know if anyone was more built for March than us. The reason I say that is, obviously our team was tough and obviously our team knew how to deal with pressures and our team obviously knew how to deal with distractions.”
Gonzaga and Dayton received the second- and third-most votes in the poll. The Zags picked up 17 of the 115 votes, while Dayton reeled in 14. Gonzaga and Dayton finished No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in the AP Poll.
•The team with the fourth-most votes was Florida State, who reeled in nine of the 115 votes. Michigan State was fifth with seven votes, and Baylor was next with six.
•15 total teams received votes in the poll. Of the 15 teams that received votes, just nine schools picked up multiple votes and seven schools – Kansas, Gonzaga, Dayton, Florida State, Michigan State, Baylor and Duke – picked up three or more votes.
•San Diego State had a terrific season, finishing the year at 30-2, No. 4 in the NET and No. 6 in the AP Poll. They didn’t receive much respect in this exercise, however, as not one coach voted for them to win the title.
•One of the biggest surprises of the polling was the lack of votes for schools in the bluegrass state. Kentucky and Louisville were ranked in the top 10 for the majority of the collegiate season, but neither picked up a single vote in the poll.
•Other schools that picked up votes were Houston, Creighton, Maryland, USC, Butler, Villanova, Virginia and Auburn.
—Pat Forde wonders why Iona would roll the dice and hire Rick Pitino.
—If you’re looking to simulate the NCAA tournament (or just kill some time), here’s a fun simulator tool from Bart Torvik.
—Help out our man DJ K-Dogg tonight if you can.
TONIGHT! I need your SUPPORT! I go LIVE at 8pm on https://t.co/BWTR9bdgFi for my St. Patrick's Day Mix! I will be taking Song Requests for a $5 Donation to my Venmo @DJKDogg - All of the Music will be clean so invite the whole family and lets have some FUN tonight! Please RT!— Keith “DJ K-Dogg” Jackson (@DJKDogg) March 17, 2020
—Jordan Nwora did not make the First, Second or Third All-American team from CBS, which crowned Dayton’s Obi Toppin as its national Player of the Year.
—Looking back at the ACC season that was:
—Louisville is No. 13 in the final USA Today coaches poll of the season.
—The latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is here.
—The IOC has scheduled a teleconference tomorrow with national federations for an update on the coronavirus and its impact on the Tokyo Games.
—NCAA president Mark Emmert talks about the decision to cancel March Madness and how quickly everything escalated.
“One of the big data points that changed was that we were really hopeful that we could access testing enough so that we could test our student-athletes and coaches and make sure that we were good there. The communication started to come back that that may not be possible, that the testing protocols that were available were a little bit worse than we’d anticipated. The concerns about an NBA player being infected become another important data point. It wasn’t the trigger point, but it was an important data point.”
”It was, like, an exclamation point. It was like, ‘Yeah, this is real.’”
How much concern was there Thursday morning that the NCAA might have to cancel the basketball tournaments?
”We had a few conversations [Wednesday] night, but by the time we got to work on Thursday morning, we realized that the possibility of an outbreak occurring among any one of our teams or staffs [was real]. The other thing going on that morning was campus closures, and we didn’t know the sites where the women’s games were going to be played. We thought we might be having a women’s event at a campus that was in the midst of being closed down. That’s obviously not going to work, either.
”By the middle of the morning Thursday, we were starting to realize that we may not well be able to do this as we’d envisioned just 18 hours earlier. We had Dr. Hainline talking to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], and one of the doctors heavily involved in the testing process is on our [COVID-19] panel. They came back and said that we can’t get access to the testing we want and the timeline that we need.”
—Keeneland has canceled its spring meet.
—What in the world are the Houston Texans doing?
—Six players have now already announced that they’re transferring out of Wichita State. Gregg Marshall has some big problems.
—I can’t believe that this was a real commercial and that I had completely forgotten about it.
i... totally forgot that this happened pic.twitter.com/2O7ONZjLjH— J. Kyle Mann (@jkylemann) March 16, 2020
—Bryce Drew is the new head coach at Grand Canyon.
—This story from Columbus of two neighbor kids holding a “porch concert” to entertain an elderly woman in quarantine is very sweet.
—SLAM made a list of every basketball movie/documentary and where you can watch them.
—Going through this thread only made me more sad.
One of my favorite parts of March Madness was opening the paper the morning after Selection Sunday to see what our amazing design team had come up with for the tournament section.— Scott Allen (@ScottSAllen) March 16, 2020
Here's a thread of covers from the past 16 years. pic.twitter.com/8jA9t0iyQv
—How does canceling the NCAA Tournament impact the D-I schools that don’t have massive TV contracts? Three professors of sports business share their thoughts.
—Perhaps the biggest name to hit the transfer portal so far is Landers Nolley, the redshirt freshman who led Virginia Tech in scoring this past season.
—On Monday, for the first time since this whole thing exploded two and-a-half years ago, Rick Pitino stated that he deserved to be fired by Louisville.
At long last, Rick Pitino admits it.
“Looking back now, I deserved to be fired by Louisville.”
Doing an interview with WFAN radio station in New York City, the newly named coach at Iona College insisted he had not personally broken any NCAA rules but acknowledged he was responsible for hiring the assistant coach whose alleged activities were cited by the FBI in formal charging documents and led to his firing by the University of Louisville in October 2017.
Pitino subsequently sued the University of Louisville Athletic Associationfor $40 million, claiming U of L did not have cause to fire him and thus was responsible for honoring the remainder of his contract. The case was settled last September with no money changing hands but Louisville agreeing to change the terminology of his departure to “resignation.”
“What have I learned? I wish I could say I would have hired different people, but I did my due diligence. I checked all those people out,” Pitino told the “Moose and Maggie” program. “So I think what I learned mostly, and I didn’t do a good job of … excuses I believe always are a sign of weakness. And I made excuses. I should have just said, ‘I hired them, I take full responsibility, the axe has to fall on me.’ Which it did. And move on. I wish I would have just handled it that way.”
—The Rolling Stones have canceled a number of their summer tour dates, including their planned show at Cardinal Sy
—Good on CBS Sports, which will pay all technicians and utilities (including freelancers) who were scheduled to work March Madness.
—I enjoyed this way too much.
This is amazing. Devonte Graham rewatching old Kansas games. If you’re an athlete and you don’t do this why do you even have social media? pic.twitter.com/z61CbQH8eA— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) March 17, 2020
Please give me Earl Clark doing this with his old U of L games.
—The Euro 2020 and Copa América soccer tournaments will now take place in June and July of next year.
—The infamous wire-tapped calls featuring Sean Miller and Will Wade are going to be played during the Christian Dawkins documentary that airs two weeks from tonight on HBO.
—Happy four-year anniversary to this legendary tournament moment.
Taurean Prince will forever be a legend for this very important March Madness moment. pic.twitter.com/SDr12THzdp— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) March 17, 2020
—Bill Self thinks Kansas deserves to be crowned national champion, which is so dumb.
—The only thing more dumb is the Florida Senate actually declaring Florida State as the national champions.
—Drew absolutely nailed this:
—The biggest question in college basketball at the moment is whether or not the NCAA will allow a one-time exemption for all winter-sports seniors to return next season if they choose.
—Jordan Nwora cracks this list of the top five blocks of the ACC season.
—Andrew Jones (2021), a three-star linebacker from Louisiana, has received a scholarship offer from Louisville.
—Here’s one set of bracket simulations that have Louisville falling to Dayton in a Sweet 16 classic.
—When you start at point guard for Ballard as a freshman, you can probably play a little bit. Keep an eye on Jack Edelen, who was a Second Team All-Seventh Region selection this season, in the years ahead.
—Chris Mack and Jeff Walz both say they’re happy to see Rick Pitino get back into college coaching.
—David Padgett also talked about Pitino’s return here.
—Louisville football is a 1.5-point underdog against Kentucky in a game that won’t be played for eight and a half months.
—TuTu Atwell: Still incredibly fast.
TuTu Atwell(right) racing his little brother Demarcus Fleming(left) who just ran the 100m in 10.3 in high school, in the rain, and well... pic.twitter.com/vjk0616TpO— ONE Miami! (@BigHomieWarden) March 15, 2020
—Lucas Aulbach of the CJ takes an early look at what Louisville’s 2020-21 roster might look like. Having to replace (at least) six scholarship players obviously makes this an impossible task at the moment.
—A number of Louisville stores have started reserving the first hour of their business day for customers 60 and over.
—These are cool.
My wife, @alyssacrosby is so talented! This weekend, she was at work on these Corn Hole boards, we plan to auction off through the @LLSusa #MWOTY— Pete Nochta (@pete_nochta13) March 16, 2020
All the proceeds go to blood cancer research, in hopes of one day finding a cure!
Let me know if you would like more information! pic.twitter.com/17rgEXl0fX
—Jeff Goodman has a handy coaching carousel cheat sheet for 2020.
—We’ll always remember 2020 in part for the NCAA tournament that we’ll never know.
—The CJ looks at the time the Kentucky Derby was delayed in 1945 and so the organizers held a turtle race instead.
—Jeff Walz remains the man.
With last nights Daddy/Daughter Dance cancelled. I decided the dance must go on......upstairs in the playroom. . Our DJ was the best.......thanks mom. #makeyourownmemories #timetobecreative pic.twitter.com/0lCNoBoRRs— Jeff Walz (@CoachJeffWalz) March 16, 2020
—As you might have assumed, Waterfront Wednesday will not be happening in April.
—This tweet from Myles Powell broke my heart and sums up how I assume so many seniors who felt like they’d been working their whole lives toward these four weeks must be feeling right now.
For some reason I just keep thinking that something is going to pop up & the season is going to continue ♂️ seeing all these kids transferring ... all these coaches coming & going ... all the goodbye post ... really making me realize it’s over ♂️ ♂️— Myles Powell (@Myles_MBP_23) March 14, 2020
—ESPN is launching a “Greatest College Basketball Players of All Time” bracket that will be unveiled on the network tonight at 7. More details are here.
—The video we all needed this week:
Can’t imagine there’s a better video on this or any other internet pic.twitter.com/9IKmUvNCoB— S M A R F (@ColeyMick) March 15, 2020
—More on this when it becomes official, but it appears Teddy Bridgewater is about to become the new starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers.
—And finally, stay home if you can, do nice stuff for other people if you can, and order some takeout from a local restaurant if you can.