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Monday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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That first Monday back after the holidays feeling.

—Here’s what Chris Mack and Malik Williams had to say after Sunday night’s win over Georgia Tech.

—You can read the official U of L recap of the women’s basketball team’s thrilling Sunday afternoon win in Atlanta here.

—After its dramatic victory over the Yellow Jackets, the Cards are now No. 1 on NCAA.com’s women’s basketball power rankings.

1. Louisville (2) - It was a showdown between the top-4 defenses in the nation when Louisville faced No. 16 Georgia Tech, but the Cards were able to outlast the nation’s leading defense, 50-48. Emily Engstler saved Louisville from the upset by finding an open lane to the basket with a game-winning layup. Earlier in the week, Louisville cruised past Boston College and are now 2-0 in ACC play and 12-1 overall, going on a 12-game winning streak. So far, Louisville has taken down four ranked opponents — Michigan, Kentucky, UConn and Georgia Tech. Its only loss of the season comes from Arizona, which is now considered the No. 4 team in the nation, according to the Associated Press.

—The Cards stayed at No. 3 in the women’s AP poll, but did receive five first-place votes.

—Both Louisville and Georgia Tech’s men’s teams have been plagued by lengthy scoring droughts this season. On Sunday, it was the Yellow Jackets who were doomed by an extended period of offensive futility.

—Samuell Williamson knows that he has “more to give” to U of L basketball.

—Here’s a great breakdown of Jeff Walz’s mastery in the final minute against Georgia Tech on Sunday.

—GT victory (men) highlights are here.

—GT victory (women) highlights are here.

—The Louisville men are 3-0, but the CJ looks at how they actually stack up against the rest of a down ACC.

—Mack added that he’s “hopeful” Mason Faulkner will be available for Wednesday night’s home game against Pitt, but he wasn’t sure if that would wind up being the case.

—Malik Williams’ performance against Georgia Tech was one of the best (video) from the week that was in ACC hoops.

—The latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is here.

—Louisville won back-to-back games and landed a top 50 commit so Greer served up an emergency newsletter.

A strong, strong start to the new year for Chris Mack and company, landing the unexpected-to-many and vital commitment of Kamari Lands, a big-time scoring forward in the 2022 class. Recruiting folks thought Lands would … land … at Arizona State, as I mentioned in previous newsletters. His was a difficult recruitment to fully grasp, with his circle keeping everything relatively tight to the chest. A bunch of teams, including Kansas and Memphis, jumped in and out of the pursuit after Lands decommitted from Syracuse late last summer. Louisville’s recruiting needed a jolt, and Lands provided it — he is a top-50 prospect who can really light it up, play multiple positions and give the Cards length and athleticism in the frontcourt.

Lands averaged 15.9 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal in seven games at Nike Peach Jam this summer, shooting 45 of 106 (42.5%) from the field, including 10 of 40 from 3. As I mentioned last fall, Lands’s cold spell in the last two games torpedoed what had been good shooting splits through five games. He can play both forward spots in Mack’s system. He’s a good scorer at all three levels and rebounds well. He’ll likely need to add some muscle to his 6-8, 200-pound frame, but this is a guy with pro potential who is ready to contribute at a high level in college.

The Cards are still chasing another addition in the 2022 class, and Northeast guards Desmond Claude and Bryce Lindsay are on Louisville’s board. Claude, a top-100 prospect, already visited Louisville. Another prospect, former Texas A&M pledge Amaree Abram, is now on Louisville’s radar, too, with a visit set for later this month. The transfer portal is already filling up, too.

—After scoring his first career NBA points with the Mavericks last week, Carlik Jones is now a Nugget.

—The pairings are set for next week’s boys Louisville Invitational Tournament.

—Louisville is up to No. 73 in the latest men’s basketball NET rankings, which means a win at the KFC Yum Center is once again a Quad 1. You’re welcome, Furman and DePaul.

—Two equally nuts nuggets.

—Louisville is No. 5 in the latest ACC hoops power rankings from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician.

—Bol Kuir, the 7’3 Sudanese center who led the state of Kentucky in rebounding last season while playing for Belfry High School, is transferring to Christian Academy of Louisville.

—College football’s national championship game is an all-SEC affair, but Alabama and Georgia fans are still pissed that they have to go to Indianapolis. At least it’s led to some indirect praise for Louisville.

That’s relatively balmy compared to Friday when the Georgia Bulldogs are due to arrive. The forecast calls for a high of 18 and low of 13. There is the possibility of “snow showers” on Thursday (48%) and on Sunday (30%).

A portion of Georgia fans are choosing to stay in Louisville, Ky., rather than Indianapolis, citing cheaper hotels and “more to do.” Louisville is located an hour and 45 minutes south of Indianapolis, where hotel prices start at $300 a night and go up sharply from there.

—Louisville cracks Jon Rothstein’s weekly “Rothstein 45” rankings at No. 45.

—ACC scores from the weekend:

Florida State 83, NC State 81
Miami 92, Wake Forest 84
Virginia 74, Syracuse 69
North Carolina 91, Boston College 65

—The Daily Progress says that Virginia’s fourth quarter comeback win at Louisville was UVA’s most memorable victory of the 2021 season.

—Missouri Valley legend Alize Johnson certainly bears a resemblance to No. 8.

—U of L women’s basketball legend Becky Burke won her 100th game as a head coach for USC Upstate on New Year’s Day.

—Brad Estes is stepping down as president of both Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville.

—Duke Basketball Report takes a look around the ACC.

—New hairstyle, same bucket-getting.

—Rayvon Griffith, the No. 35 overall player in the hoops class of 2023, is down to 10 schools and Louisville is one of them.

—Louisville Report looks at how former Cards in the NFL fared this weekend.

—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show is back to react to all the news of the weekend from 3-6 this afternoon on 1450 The Big X. You can listen via stream here, or on terrestrial radio at 1450 AM or 96.1 FM.