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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

The kids are still fired up about the comeback dub last night.

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—It’ll be Louisville-Oregon in the Sweet 16 Sunday night at 7 on ESPN. The CJ serves up what Cardinal fans need to know about the Ducks.

—Here’s the U of L recap of last night’s comeback win over Northwestern.

—The Cards’ win was tied for the third-largest comeback victory in women’s NCAA tournament history.

—Jody Demling highlights some players in the transfer portal that Louisville basketball fans should be keeping their eyes on.

—The new season of “Last Chance U” is so good. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

—The latest installment of Jeff Greer’s Floyd Street Tribune is out.

To answer the last question first, Louisville’s not in “turmoil.” We’ll get more into the roster changes deeper into the newsletter, but the potential for player/signing departures existed long before any coaching staff alterations came. I can see where people might think trouble’s brewing with the staff changes and recruiting news paired together, but I don’t think one impacted the other. Turmoil suggests great upheaval, and the situation hasn’t reached that level.

That said, the program is in a critically important spot in Chris Mack’s tenure, upping the tension around any decision. Season 4, as I have said and written, must be a highly competitive campaign with Mack at the helm, especially after a disappointing season and with the NCAA infractions case looming.

For those two reasons, Mack had to shake things up this offseason. Things didn’t go well this season, so searching for a different formula makes sense. Plus, staffs don’t always get along swimmingly. Conflicting opinions on a number of subjects can blossom into more significant rifts, especially with the added stress of this uniquely challenging season.

Beyond the human emotion that comes with seeing two good guys let go, my only problem with the dismissals is how they were handled. In a business where optics mean so much, Louisville could’ve avoided all this intrigue had the assistants been given the chance to find other jobs. Being fired is very different from finding another job. Do you think anyone would be surprised or talking about program turmoil if Gaudio and/or Murray, who is still young and in the early stages of his career, decided to move on to a new challenge? From a PR standpoint, last week went poorly.

—Louisville has offered Bryce Anderson, a four-star class of 2022 safety from Texas.

—Inside NU has a rapid reaction from Northwestern’s loss to Louisville.

—Walz is the best.

—Sam Williamson season highlights, and Jae’Lyn Withers season highlights.

—Abile Christian’s win over Texas was worth $120 million for the school. That’s absurd.

—TuTu Atwell is a first round pick in Mel Kiper’s latest NFL mock draft for ESPN.

28. New Orleans Saints

Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville

The Saints are another cash-strapped team that must build its roster through the draft, and they lost some serious talent in free agency. The list below doesn’t even including future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, who retired earlier this month. With Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill battling for the QB1 spot, let’s add a playmaker around whomever wins the starting spot. The 5-foot-9 Atwell reminds me a little bit of former first-round pick Marquise Brown, who has flashed in two seasons with the Ravens. Atwell is explosive and could be used on jet sweeps. He is dynamic with the ball in his hands. Line him up outside and in the slot, and get him the ball.

Notable free-agent additions: FB Alex Armah

Notable free-agent losses: QB Drew Brees, DE Trey Hendrickson, TE Jared Cook, CB Justin Hardee, WR Emmanuel Sanders, DT Sheldon Rankins

—Louisville has offered four-star class of 2023 wide receiver Carnell Tate from Chicago.

—Very excited to watch the grand finale light up the sky above Andy’s TV.

—Dana Evans is one of four finalists for the 2021 Wade Trophy, which goes to the best player in women’s college basketball.

—The Athletic has Evans as a Second Team All-American.

Dana Evans, Louisville

The Louisville senior won her second consecutive ACC Player of the Year award and is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy. She does a little bit of everything for the Cardinals, able to blow past defenders with her speed and hit from range. And she’s saved her best for fourth quarters this season, leading her team to multiple comeback wins and the program’s first-ever No. 1 ranking in January.

—Louisville football handed out some spring awards.

—New CC Podcast dropped this morning.

—Movin’ on.

—Eric Crawford shares his thoughts on the Cards’ historic comeback win.

—Cardinal baseball star Alex Binelas is finally starting to emerge from his early season slump.

—Having blood drawn has been the hardest part of the pre-NFL draft process for Javian Hawkins so far. Relatable.

—Sam Vecenie asks (Athletic link) coaches who have faced Syracuse how the hell the Orange keep going to the Sweet 16 as a double-digit seed.

—Mykassa Robinson, as she tends to do, made the most important play of the game on Wednesday.

—I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these “player turning pro” graphics where the head coach is kind of criticizing the player in question in the pulled quote.

—The 14th-ranked Louisville volleyball team will play host to No. 22 Georgia Tech on Friday night.

—ESPN Australia re-seeds the women’s Sweet 16 and has Louisville at No. 7.

—And finally, the 6th-ranked Louisville baseball team is headed to South Bend for a three-game set with No. 12 Notre Dame this weekend. Here’s a preview.