—For those of you not on Twitter who didn’t see the updates, I had a little bit of a health scare over the weekend, which is why posting the last few days has been a bit limited. I won’t bore you with all the details here, but all is fine.
I’ll bore you with the details on the new episode of the podcast tomorrow.
—NET Rankings Update: No. 8 (no change).
—Congrats to Jordan Nwora, who got it done in the classroom this season to the point that he has been named a CoSIDA Academic All-American. He’s just the fourth Cardinal to earn this honor, joining Wayne Blackshear (2015), Peyton Siva (2013) and Phil Bond (1976).
—ACC tournament odds from BetOnline:
—Bracket Dave — the No. 1 ranked Bracketologist in the world (Lunardi is 55th, Palm is 83rd) — has Louisville as a 4-seed in what everyone would call the bracket of death (the Midwest), playing Vermont in the first round.
—A “Louisville Xtreme” team in the Arena Football League is going to be playing its home games inside Freedom Hall.
—The basic summary of the “Vernon Carey didn’t get nominated for ACC POY” seems to be “Coach K wanted Tre Jones to win ACC POY.”
When ACC schools forwarded their nominations to the league office, however, the Blue Devils nominated only Jones for Player of the Year. They nominated Carey for first-team All-ACC and Rookie of the Year, but not for Player of the Year.
“I would like to nominate both, but I don’t know how you do that,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Can we still do that? I don’t know. I don’t really do any of that.”
That statement caused some eye rolls from the media, not because Coach K handles such clerical-style duties (he doesn’t), but because everyone knows that nothing of even modest importance involving Duke basketball happens without his personal stamp of approval, and anything internal that could even conceivably impact team chemistry qualifies as important.
Krzyzewski, of course, is the winningest coach in Division I NCAA men’s basketball history. He’s as qualified as anyone on the planet to cast an intelligent, informed ballot. Starting with Danny Ferry (the winner in 1988 and 1989) and continuing all the way through Zion Williamson (2019), he’s coached 11 different players to 13 ACC Player of the Year Awards.
Although the All-ACC voting has changed in some ways over the years, there is no rule that prevents a school from nominating more than one player for the same honor. Last year, for example, Duke forwarded the names of both of its superstar freshmen, Williamson and RJ Barrett, for consideration on the Player of the Year part of the ballot.
Prodded by the media after his not-my-department sidestep, Krzyzewski did sort of break the tie between Jones and Carey, in favor of his point guard.
“Probably overall, because of his running of our team and everything, Tre has been our most important,” Coach K said. “Vernon has been there for some player of the year honors, even nationally. That would be a tough decision. And I’m not saying other kids in our conference don’t deserve it, but they’ve been our two most important players. Tre, because of his leadership, ball-handling, the consistency of play, would be just a little bit above that.”
—Syracuse star Elijah Hughes missed the second half of his team’s regular season finale against Miami after hitting his head, but says he’s good to go for this week’s ACC tournament. If the Orange win their opener on Wednesday, they’ll face Louisville on Thursday.
—Dick Vitale has Jordan Nwora as a Third Team All-American.
—Louisville’s loss to FSU in the ACC women’s semis allowed NC State to ultimately capture its first major ACC championship of any sort in ... quite a long time.
The NC State women defeat Florida State to win the ACC Championship, their first ACC title since 1991.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 8, 2020
It's the Wolfpack's first ACC title in football, men's hoops, women's hoops or baseball since 1992. pic.twitter.com/ClIWmtuB5g
—The WDRB Sports Pod looks at the tournament week ahead for the local teams.
—It’s been 20 years since one of the biggest what-ifs in college basketball history: What if Kenyon Martin doesn’t break his leg in the first game of the 2000 Conference USA tournament? It’s a world where Tom Izzo still probably doesn’t have a national title to his name.
—People seem very upset about these Ken Pom ACC tournament probabilities.
—Despite a disappointing one and done performance in the GLVC tournament, Scott Davenport and the Bellarmine Knights are headed to the NCAA tournament for the 12th consecutive year. One last dance in D-II before climbing the ranks next season.
—The U of L baseball team is back home for a two-game midweek series against Chicago State. Here’s a preview.
—Jason Servis being dirty has been the worst-kept secret in horse racing for some time now. Glad that something is finally going to be done about it.
NBC News: Federal prosecutors have charged horse trainer Jason Servis with using PEDs on several horses including "Maximum Security" a well-known horse that briefly finished first in the Kentucky Derby before being disqualified for interference. https://t.co/GN41UuRjoa— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) March 9, 2020
—Wild fact from David Teel, this is the first time in the history of the ACC men’s tournament that neither Duke or North Carolina has been a top three seed.
—The Louisville baseball team opened up the 2020 ACC season by taking two of three from Wake Forest. Their only loss came on a walk-off home run on Saturday, a day where Cardinal athletic teams were apparently incapable of beating anyone else from the ACC.
Here are the highlights from the game three romp:
—Hoops Insights looks at how much better Louisville’s offense is when David Johnson is on the floor, and when Johnson opts to be a facilitator instead of a scorer.
—Mick Cronin is the Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
—Louisville is down to No. 15 in the latest AP top 25 poll, which doesn’t matter at all.
Somehow Louisville and Virginia managed to play:— Hoops Insight (@HoopsInsight) March 9, 2020
A 63 possession game that ended 80-73
A 64 possession game that ended 57-54
—Five-star class of 2021 guard JD Davison has been offered by Louisville.
—David Teel writes about the many ways that Virginia’s regular season-ending win over Louisville mattered to the Cavaliers.
—The only good thing about not being a top 3-seed in the NCAA tournament is that it all but guarantees that we won’t have to see this thing in the first round.
Providence’s mascot is nightmare material, but St. Francis’ mascot is right up there with him. pic.twitter.com/d9DyoCaYMf— Dan Gardella (@GardellaDan) March 7, 2020
—Tylus Hancock has transferred from Louisville to FSU as a preferred walk-on.
—Busting Brackets previews the ACC tournament.
—With or without Rick Byrd, if the game’s on the line and Belmont has the ball, it’s a safe bet that the Bruins are going backdoor.
Belmont game-winning backdoor set to punch their ticket to the tourney: pic.twitter.com/BRMizLxGFW— Jordan Sperber (@hoopvision68) March 8, 2020
—Here’s what Tony Bennett had to say after his latest win over the Cards.
—A new competitive youth soccer academy is launching in Louisville.
—Future Cardinal Bryce Hopkins remains a problem.
—Matthew McGavis of SI debates which team Louisville would most like to see in its ACC tournament opener on Thursday.
—And finally, the Cards are a 4-seed in the East in the latest bracket projection from SB Nation’s Chris Dobberteam.