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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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My man Ouji talking shop with Lamar Jackson in simpler times.

—247 Sports has Louisville at No. 22 in this updated top 25 without teams from conferences that have canceled football.

Imagine trying to make sense of that blurb 12 months ago.

—Definitely final. Pretty sure. Probably.

No idea.

—Like the Pac-12, the Big 10 won’t play any sports until Jan. 1, which means (probably) no non-conference basketball.

—NCAA Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt is confident that we won’t go a second straight March without any madness.

“We are going to have a tournament,” Gavitt said. “It’s going to be special. We have our preferences about how we’d like to have it be, but if we have to adjust to the virus, which we don’t control, we will adjust accordingly. The health and safety of the players and the coaches and all the people around the games — the referees and fans — will be primary. But ultimately it will also include determining a national champion in the fairest and most equitable way that we can under these unusual circumstances. I think it’s important to note: We’re gonna have all sorts of contingencies and plans if it’s necessitated. We’re just not in the position to be able to talk about those in the middle of August, because that’s not what our primary goal is.”

That’ll be music to fans’ ears. And on some level it’s a bit surprising and quite encouraging to hear a major power broker like Gavitt saying with such certainty that March Madness will happen in 2021. Fans will always wonder whether Kansas could have cemented its impressive season with a national title, if Obi Toppin could have led Dayton to the Final Four and which low seed would have been this year’s Cinderella — and at least similar storylines apparently will return next spring.

“It’s a cultural piece,” Barnhart said. “Something that’s so important to the fabric of spring. I’m not willing to give that up in any way, shape or form. We want to plow ahead. We’re gonna do everything we can resource-wise, facility-wise, and I can tell you from the committee’s perspective we’re fully committed to try and find a way to whatever end to make sure that this tournament gives us a chance to play college basketball on the highest stage.”

—Churchill Downs’ new plan for the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby is to allow 23,000 fans, but no one in the infield.

—Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the plan from the CJ.

—Rick Bozich wonders why the Derby seems to be the only sporting event in America willing to allow this many spectators.

—I guessed that this would be 60-40 in favor of “no,” which wound up being pretty close.

Similar polls from Syracuse and Wake Forest writers produced almost identical results.

—Yahoo Finance says canceling college football will cost the universities involved billions.

—If there does wind up being spring football, NCAA rules will prohibit transfers from playing in both the fall and the spring because of a strange rule created to prevent this from happening in golf.

—Are lawsuits really a threat to college football in 2020? Perhaps. But they’re not going to be easy to win.

—Some (relatively) good news for a guy who is due for more than a fair bit of it .

—In related news, the Tampa Bay Rays have temporarily shut down Brendan McKay because McKay has recently been experiencing some shoulder tightness.

—There will be no fans at The Masters in November.

—Kevin Warren’s first year as Big Ten commissioner has been ... insane.

—The Mike Norvell era in Tallahassee continues to get off to a rocky start.

—Louisville is now the home of a “car vending machine.”

—Despite spending the last 48 hours trying to join and and all conferences still set to play football this fall, Nebraska says it is “fully committed” to the Big Ten.

—Jeff Brohm has a plan for how football both next spring and next fall can work.

—I love this guy.

—Eric Crawford writes that as college sports teeter, all plans are powerless if leadership is lacking.

—If you would like to rep Louisville with a donation in the annual EDSBS charity bowl, you can do so here.

—The ACCDN has three reasons to be excited about Cardinal football in 2020:

—The Big East is among multiple conferences exploring the possibility of playing college basketball in a bubble this winter.

—College Football Playoff director Bill Hancock remains “hopeful” that there can be a four-team playoff to crown an FBS champion for 2020.

—Louisville appears in this Hoop Vision video of the 10 most-used plays in college basketball.

—Matt Norlander of CBS has a plan for how the NCAA can safely execute a 2021 NCAA tournament.

—Bill Connelly of ESPN has a proposal for what spring football could look like.

—FBS football is now the only fall college sport on track to play for a championship in 2020.

—A motivated Montrezl Harrell is a problem for the rest of the NBA bubble.

—Nick Curran and Paul Rogers talk on the latest episode of the Welcome to the Ville podcast.

—Eric van der Heijden seems to be a kid who will be easy to root for.

—Micale Cunningham continues to take steps forward in the first fall camp where he knows he will be Louisville’s starting QB.

—Brian Rauf of Heat Check CBB doesn’t think bubbles are a viable option for college basketball.

—Gary Parrish vehemently disagrees.

—Louisville offered four-star, dual threat QB AJ Duffy out of Rancho Verde, CA earlier this week.

—Everyone associated with Louisville football has sung the praises of the job head trainer Matt Summers and his staff have done since players returned to campus this summer.

—From the Rumble Seat (Georgia Tech) previews Louisville.

—And finally, Kevin Ware will continue his professional career after signing with the London Lions.