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Wednesday evening Cardinal news and notes

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When you’re graduating from Clemson but it’s still L’s up.

—Spread check: Clemson by 1.5.

—NET Rankings Update: No. 41 (no change).

—Shakin’ the Southland previews tonight’s contest at Littlejohn Coliseum.

—Highlights from the top-ranked Louisville women’s basketball team’s narrow Tuesday win over Miami:

—Here’s the GoCards.com recap of the contest.

—Wednesday night will be Carlik Jones’ first game against Clemson as a Cardinal, but he’s gone up against the Tigers before.

—The Athletic’s C.J. Moore is riding with the Cards tonight.

No. 25 Louisville at Clemson (-1), 9 p.m. On the day I published this story on Clemson’s No. 1 defense, the Tigers went on a COVID-19 pause. When the Tigers came back, I picked them to win against Virginia and they got rolled, 85-50. They’ve now lost three straight, all by double digits. Their defense now ranks 20th in adjusted efficiency. I cannot in good faith continue to send them this bad juju. Consider this a favor, Clemson fans. The pick: Louisville

—Dez Fitzpatrick had a solid start to his Senior Bowl week.

—Here’s what Chris Mack and Carlik Jones had to say about Clemson on Tuesday.

—Cardinal coaches will be rocking these kicks tonight.

—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report likes Clemson by eight tonight.

—Two U of L football signees remain highly thought of in the class of 2021 rankings.

—Mark Titus showcasing his limitless knowledge of Cardinal hoops right out of the gate here.

Carlik rules.

—Thunder over Louisville and the Pegasus Parade will both be held without crowds in 2021.

People are saying maybe we shouldn’t be spending the money to have these events at all if there aren’t going to be spectators, but I actually think we should have a city-wide vote to determine the least popular person in Louisville, and then make them grand marshal of the spectator-less Pegasus Parade. Ride your ass around downtown waving to no one for four hours. Great way to ruin a Thursday.

—In an interview with HBO, former Louisville basketball star Asia Durr opened up about her months-long struggle after contracting Covid-19.

—Former U of L football player and Central High football coach Ty Scroggins is also in a serious battle with Covid-19.

—The U of L men’s soccer program has released its spring schedule.

—Louisville’s Micah Oberhausen has been named the ACC’s Field Performer of the Week.

—DeVante Parker spent some time with the Cards on Tuesday.

—The Louisville men’s golf team is in second place after the second round of the prestigious Southwestern Invitational.

—Pat Forde and Dana O’Neil are two of the five sportswriters who make up this year’s USBWA Hall of Fame class.

—Louisville has made the cut for class of 2022 Lake Minneola (Fla.) defensive end Nick Campbell.

—A young Cardinal team has responded well to Chris Mack’s practice challenge.

Following UofL’s 70-65 win over Duke, Mack discussed the changes, but clarified that “nothing’s in cement.” The challenge remains – be effective in practice and it’ll result in more game time.

Point guard Carlik Jones, one of the team captains, believes that the positive reaction from that challenge has continued after the win over the Blue Devils. It seems to have served as a wake-up call for some.

“I definitely think it has carried over,” Jones said. “Honestly, I think it’s a good thing. And I feel like is definitely impacted the team. Guys are, I feel like, practicing and playing harder. I guess guys feel like really now is their time to earn their minutes and stuff. I don’t think it’s good that it’s just now clicking with them that practicing hard and what you do in practice earns you minutes and stuff, but I’m glad that that coach Mack kind of put that out for everybody to hear. And now I guess nobody feels comfortable. A lot of people, I feel like, got comfortable with their spots and just thought that ‘nobody can take my spot, this is my minutes,’ and whatnot, but with coach Mack saying that, I think it just made everybody hungrier. It made everybody want to compete more.”

Mack didn’t completely echo Jones’ comments. Instead, he pointed out the continued growth that his team is making. Dominated by youth, this group of Cardinals are still finding their wings.

“We are, at some positions, very new and there are a lot of — I don’t want to call them bad habits — but lack of habits,” Mack said. “So that leads to inconsistency. So I felt like it was important at that time to really get in our players’ minds that you play like you practice. This isn’t Allen Iverson and the 76ers and the guys who have been playing professionally for 8-10 years. Our guys are still developing habits, and when we don’t bring it in practice, we don’t practice with a purpose, there has to be some type of penalty. Otherwise your team is going to go out and not play very well because you are on game night who you are on the practice floor every day. So that was the reason for the change. We didn’t have a whole lot of time between Miami and Florida State, but I liked our response since and it’s my job to keep that standard up throughout the year.”

—Last night in the ACC:

North Carolina 75, Pittsburgh 65
Duke 75, Georgia Tech 68

—Tonight in the ACC:

Miami at No. 16 Florida State (6 p.m./ACC Network)
No. 20 Virginia Tech at Notre Dame (7 p.m./Regional Sports Networks)
Wake Forest at NC State (8 p.m./ACC Network)
No. 25 Louisville at Clemson (9 p.m./Regional Sports Networks)

—And finally, beat Clemson.