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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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The CCBM kid revolution won’t be deterred by not having a president or athletic director.

—Spread check (bowl game): According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Louisville is a 1-point favorite over Air Force

—The march towards an undefeated national title continues this afternoon for the Louisville volleyball team. The top-seeded Cards will take the court inside Freedom Hall at 1 to face No. 16 seed Florida. ESPNU has the TV coverage.

—This Freedom Hall/U of L volleyball hype video is absolute fire.

—The Ravens believe in Lamar Jackson, but they need him to get back to playing like Lamar Jackson.

—The U of L Board of Trustees will meet on Dec. 16 to appoint a new interim president. No word on the timeline for an interim AD appointment, but all signs continue to point to current deputy AD Josh Heird.

—In the midst of all this madness, Jeff Walz wants you to at least try and keep your focus on the ladies of Louisville volleyball.

—Matt Cross is the guest on the latest episode of Jeff Greer’s podcast.

—Louisville linebacker Zay Peterson has entered the transfer portal.

—Four-star wide receiver Kaleb Webb will be choosing between Louisville, Tennessee and Michigan during a 3:30 press conference on Friday.

—Jaire Alexander returned to practice in a limited capacity on Wednesday.

—Have you thanked a university president today?

Maybe just stop talking, man.

—Racing Louisville has named European title winner Kim Björkegren, who led multiple teams within the UEFA Women’s Champion League, as its new head coach.

—Sports betting is coming to Ohio, which means that soon every single state that borders Kentucky will have it. Thank goodness we have no need for the extra money.

—The Louisville track and field squads will open their 2021-22 season with the Cardinal Classic.

—U of L signee Tae Davis continues to look impressive.

—The Ringer ranks the 50 best movie soundtracks of the last 50 years.

—Andy Katz has 30 takeaways from the first 30 days of the men’s college hoops season.

—Denny Crum is courtside at Freedom Hall this afternoon. Not everything is wrong with the Cardinal sports world.

—A doubles team on the U of L women’s tennis squad will begin the season nationally ranked.

—Three-Man-Weave’s Ky McKeon went to DePaul’s demolition of Duquesne earlier this week. Here were his primary takeaways on Louisville’s next opponent.

DePaul

This team is legit. The schedule isn’t quite there to declare them a Tournament caliber squad quite yet, but there is so much length, size, and athleticism on this roster

In JFL and Jones, DePaul has two guys it can go to for a score late in the clock or during clutch situations. You can even throw in Terry there if you want, and former Western Michigan / Minnesota transfer Brandon Johnson ain’t too shabby either.

Get your f*cking fans in the seats. You relocated the arena to help do this. Sure, it wasn’t a marquee opponent, but it was a very sad turnout.

—Louisville’s Arthur Albiero has been named one of the 100 greatest swimming coaches of all-time.

—Recently resigned Pitt offensive coordinator Mark Whipple is taking the same job at Nebraska.

—Always love these videos this time of year.

—If you bring your ticket stubs from Thursday and Saturday’s Cardinal volleyball matches, you’ll get a free non-alcoholic drink at Sunday’s Louisville women’s basketball game.

—ACC hoops last night:

Miami 76, Lipscomb 69
Virginia Tech 93, Cornell 60

—Acc hoops tonight:

NC State vs. Bethune-Cookman (6:30 p.m./ACCNx)
Pittsburgh vs. Colgate (8 p.m./ACC Network)

—Sports Illustrated ranks all 42 bowl games in terms of watchability, and has Louisville vs. Air Force at No. 36.

—This is a great read from ESPN’s Dana Lee on Cardinal volleyball star Tori Dilfer.

“She’s put in thousands of hours to be able to set the balls the way she does,” says Ron Whitmill, Dilfer’s former high school and club coach. When Dilfer was in high school, maybe younger, she told Whitmill she was going to compete for a national title one day.

Dilfer is close to a championship now, a fifth-year senior for the top-ranked Cardinals. This, her last chance, has been building for years — the hours spent with Whitmill inside a Northern California church gym drilling footwork patterns into muscle memory, her transfer from TCU to Louisville, the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 runs that followed.

A few months back, Dilfer told her teammate Anna DeBeer that the Cardinals could win a national title, that they needed to start talking about the possibility and they needed to start talking about it now. Tragedy has taught Dilfer that every moment is precious, and she ties a green ribbon to her right shoelace before every game as a reminder. Her urgency has become the team’s urgency.

In September, Louisville razed three top-10 teams in nine days. In early November, the Cardinals ascended to the No. 1 ranking in the nation, a first in school and ACC history. Now, less than three weeks later, they can finish the regular season 28-0. Only Notre Dame stands in the way before the NCAA tournament begins. From there it’s a pursuit of firsts: Louisville has never won a national title — no ACC team has. No woman has ever coached a Division I champion — Dani Busboom Kelly could be the pioneer.

In short, history awaits at the end of the bracket. This is what Dilfer dreams about, when the house is quiet and all is dark. “There’s so much that goes into that,” she says. “Dreaming about it, it’s not quite enough.”

—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report likes the Cards over the Blue Demons by 13 tomorrow night.

—You’re going to be shocked to learn this, but it seems as though some college football coaches are pushing their players into the transfer portal.

—Jeff Greer’s latest U of L hoops newsletter is out.

One More Quick Thought

If you thought the rest of us noticed a real change in Louisville’s edge and attitude in the two games in the Bahamas, here’s another nugget from the McMains podcast that I wanted to pull out for newsletter readers. Louisville’s players, an hour before the 10 a.m. tipoff against Maryland, sang together on their accord as they stretched. There was a locked in, confident, loose feeling that was “cool to see,” McMains said. Maryland’s side of the floor was silent.

“We felt it, definitely,” McMains said. “The moment we got on that plane and got off that plane and had a practice there and a meeting there, we could feel the competitive focus paired with the right amount of joy and looseness and still enjoying the game. It was a really nice balance the group found.”

—Carlik Jones discusses his journey to the NBA in this story.

—Congrats to Ralph Willard on entering the Holy Cross Hall of Fame.

—Miami WR transfer Dee Wiggins discusses why he picked Louisville.

—We all deserve a lively and festive Friday night after this week.

—U of L QB commit Khalib Johnson will be signing his national letter of intent on Dec. 15.

—In the midst of all this, Louisville football is set to host over a dozen prospects this weekend.

—Louisville QB coach Pete Thomas has been named to the American Football Coaches Association’s 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute.

—And finally, it figures to be yet another lively three hours on this afternoon’s Mike Rutherford Show (3-6 on 1450AM/96.1FM). You can stream it here.