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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

The kids are dreaming about the day all Louisville teams will be back in action under normal circumstances.

NET Rankings Update: No. 38 (down three).

—It’s Senior Night for Dana Evans and the Louisville women’s basketball team, which hosts Georgia Tech tonight at 7. Here’s a preview.

—The Louisville men’s basketball team wasn’t able to hold a full team practice on Wednesday, but some players did return to individual workouts. The Cards are expected to hold a team practice (with some players unable to participate) on Thursday.

—Jordan Nwora went off in his G League debut.

—Awful news from last night: Former Louisville football player and Central High head coach Ty Scroggins has lost his fight with Covid-19. He was only 49-years-old. By all accounts, Scroggins was a tremendous human being and a terrific developer of young men.

—The CJ covers the evolution of Dana Evans.

—The latest women’s basketball Bracketology from ESPN has Louisville as a 1-seed, but UConn as the overall No. 1 seed.

—Folks ... it happened again.

—Louisville is an 8-seed facing BYU in the new mock bracket from the Washington Post.

—Lukas Harkins is a Bracketologist in the 99th percentile who has one of the most thorough bubble watches you can find on the internet.

Atlantic Coast

Lead pipe lock: Virginia, Florida State

Firmly in the field: Virginia Tech, Clemson

Some perspiration: Louisville, North Carolina

Double the deodorant: Georgia Tech, Syracuse

Another to monitor: Duke


Louisville Cardinals

NET: 35, Resume: 25.5, Quality: 33.7

Q1: 1-3 | Q2: 4-0 | Q3: 5-1 | Q4: 1-0

Louisville was able to add a Q1 win to its resume recently with Pittsburgh sliding barely into the Top 75 of the NET. That could change, though, and its overall lack of high-quality wins keeps the Cardinals in my “some perspiration” category. Their 14-4 record is impressive but they have a difficult closing schedule and could slide if they aren’t careful. Three of their remaining six games will come against likely NCAA Tournament teams, including a regular-season finale matchup with Virginia (NET 9).

Head coach Chris Mack’s team is trending a bit in the wrong direction lately. They have dropped three of their past five games and need to right the ship this weekend when they go on the road to face Virginia Tech. A win would be their first guaranteed Q1 win for Selection Sunday and would move them up a tier in this bubble watch to “safely in the field.”

—Bryan Brown and Kei’Trel Clark talked with the media about the U of L defense following Wednesday’s spring practice session.

—It’s hard to believe that Senior Night for the women’s basketball team is already here. Dana Evans got a little choked up talking about it on Wednesday.

—Kei’Trel Clark thinks the Louisville secondary has a chance to be “dangerous” in 2021.

—I became the first two-time guest on Jeff Greer’s Floyd Street’s Finest podcast with this appearance.

—These highlights suck, but this game was awesome.

—The U of L women’s tennis team will take on Vandy and UT-Martin this weekend.

—Louisville has offered class of 2022 offensive tackle Leyton Nelson from Orlando.

—The annual in-season March Madness bracket reveal is going down this Saturday on CBS. Here are the details:

CBS Sports and Turner Sports will present the NCAA MARCH MADNESS BRACKET PREVIEW this Saturday, Feb. 13 at 12:30 PM, ET on CBS. The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Selection Committee will offer teams and fans an in-season look at the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship bracket.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee Chair and University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart and NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt will join remotely for the reveal of the nation’s top 16 seeds, identifying the top four teams in each region as they stand on Feb. 13.

Host Greg Gumbel along with analysts Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis will discuss the selections, seeding process and reasoning behind the current rankings with Barnhart and Gavitt. They will also talk about all of the changes surrounding this year’s NCAA Tournament, which will be held in its entirety at one site (Indiana) for the first time. Among the topics covered will be an explanation of the S-curve for bracketing decisions since there will be no geographic limitations as well as the tournament schedule dates and TV game windows.

The NCAA March Madness Bracket Preview will continue on CBS Sports Network at 1:00 PM, ET with an extended 30-minute show as Gumbel, Kellogg and Davis will provide more in-depth conversation. bracketologist Jerry Palm will also join the show to project out the remainder of the 68-team bracket, analyze bubble teams and highlight key storylines as March rapidly approaches.

—Louisville Report attempts to project the U of L football depth chart.

—Matt Norlander’s Court Report for CBS is always a useful whip around look at the college basketball world. It includes the tidbit that only three of the 357 teams in Division-I have had their 2020-21 schedules completely unaltered so far this season. Those three teams are Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech and Auburn.

—Donovan Mitchell is playing at an absurdly high level right now.

The best player on the best team in the NBA at the moment is a Louisville Cardinal.

—Last night in the ACC:

No. 9 Virginia 57, Georgia Tech 49
Wake Forest 69, Boston College 65

No games slated for tonight.

—Eric Crawford writes about Dana Evans, who is already one of the greatest Cardinals of all-time, but who still wants more.

—Tackle of the year:

—Carlik Jones is a member of the 2021 Naismith Trophy Men’s Midseason Team.

—According to this BetOnline map, Kentucky believes LeBron is the greatest athlete of all-time. Of course all of these maps are either totally made up or based off of extremely shady data, so, you know, take it for what it’s worth.

—Virginia Tech and North Carolina are at the center of a new concussion study that shows college football programs should alter the way they handle preseason camps.

—Nate Mink takes a look at the biggest impact transfers for the 2021 ACC football season.


QB/Athlete Shai Werts (Georgia Southern); C Bryan Hudson (Virginia Tech); OT Jarious Abercrombie (Tennessee); Saf. Kenderick Duncan (Georgia Southern)

Louisville returns to bulk of an offensive line that has moved SU’s defensive front

Hudson’s addition bolsters an offensive line that already returns the bulk of contributors from last season, including guard/center Cole Bentley.

Werts will come to Louisville changing positions from quarterback to more of a slasher who projects to line up at receiver. He’ll be expected to help recoup some of the lost production from the dynamic trio of playmakers: Javian Hawkins, Tutu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick.

—U of L’s 2021 tight end group is a multi-faceted unit.

—The Atlantic Sun regular season title could come down to Bellarmine vs. Liberty at Freedom Hall on the season’s final weekend.

The Knights can’t play in the NCAA tournament until 2024 because of the NCAA’s awful transition rule, but if they win the A-Sun regular season or tournament title, they can play in the NIT (assuming there is one).

—Turner has released its complete March Madness programming schedule.

—Potential Louisville transfer option alert:

Cross is a former top 100 recruit who hit four threes and scored 16 points against Louisville last month. It was announced two weeks ago by Jim Larranaga that Cross was no longer with the Miami program.

—The official Georgia Tech site previews tonight’s game at the Yum Center.

—The fifth installment of Greer’s Floyd Street Tribune newsletter is out. He starts by discussing Malik Williams and what Louisville has missed without its senior co-captain able to play so far this season.

What Louisville hopes to get back sooner rather than later — though the Cardinals are by no means rushing Williams to return — is someone with great institutional knowledge, a deep understanding of what Chris Mack wants and a fundamental grasp of how to win in the ACC. He’ll need time to re-develop trust in his foot in full-speed situations, just as he’ll have to readjust to the speed of the game. Nevertheless, his potential return would make Louisville a very different team, balancing a perimeter-oriented squad and giving the Cardinals a coach on the floor at a critical juncture in the campaign.

“He’s our biggest guy — literally our biggest guy, but also our biggest guy in terms of experience, a voice, a feel for what it takes to be successful in this league,” Louisville assistant Mike Pegues recently told me on my podcast, Floyd Street’s Finest. Pegues would know — he specifically works with Louisville’s post players and has spent as much time with Williams over the past few years as anyone. “Not only do you lose a guy who had potential to be the (ACC) Defensive Player of the Year, you also lose a guy who could get you double-digit points (and) give you a viable threat in the lane, which is where we struggle to have a presence.”

Pegues mentioned Williams’s voice booming through the walls after the Cards’ loss at Miami. The coaches were debriefing in the neighboring office, and they could hear Williams counseling and encouraging his teammates after their most disappointing defeat this season.

“He has a great feel for how this works — what a good practice looks and sounds like, what a good rep and segment in practice sound like,” Pegues said. “We miss that. … He was really starting to find his niche. When I got here a few years ago, Malik wasn’t very well-versed playing with his back to the basket. But (last season) you’d see glimpses in games where he’d catch in the post and face up and do some good things with it. I was excited about building on that.”

—Cardinal Authority’s Michael McCammon lists five U of L football newcomers to keep an eye on during spring practice.

—And finally, beat Georgia Tech.