—Louisville football’s recruiting class of 2023 currently sits in the top 10 of the country.
—The U of L women’s basketball team is No. 4 in the final AP top 25 poll of the 2021-22 season.
—Thank goodness it’s not going to be in the afternoon again.
—Kevin Sweeney of Sports Illustrated looks at the top seeds most likely to not make it out of the men’s NCAA tournament’s first weekend.
—Sydney Curry’s dunk against Georgia Tech was one of the top five plays (video) of the ACC tournament.
—Jeff Greer’s latest newsletter focuses on the coaching search and encourages everyone to burn one and chill the f—k out (paraphrasing).
I get that these are nervy times. Louisville expects to be in the NCAA Tournament every year, and the drama and poor product have worn people down. I totally understand that, and I totally understand that people want their new coach to get recruiting and building toward the future. I would just remind you that the transfer portal won’t really speed up until the tournament is well underway, and even then, decisions won’t be made so fast that Louisville (or other teams hiring coaches) will miss out on great options.
If you are Louisville or Maryland, schools with the rare chance to conduct a longer search, you do your legwork — but you still have to wait out those candidates whose teams play in the NCAA Tournament. I don’t know many coaches who would have a formal interview — a lengthy, hours-long process where they lay out their plan and vision for the job and the AD shares theirs — before or during the NCAA Tournament when their team is still alive. In fact, if that coach was your coach, you’d be furious. And if it got out in any way, it would be a massive headache for all involved.
From the beginning, I’ve been clear in this newsletter: Interim AD Josh Heird spent the past six weeks or so sounding out agents and basketball industry people he trusts, preparing to set up three or four formal interviews with the final candidates. He has long-standing relationships with a number of agents who represent good coaches, and with the help of the search firm, they have vetted a number of possible candidates and spoken to a lot of people. One industry source told me there were “more coaches than you might think” expressing excitement about being “The Man” in Louisville.
All that said, challenges to Louisville’s coaching search exist: U of L cannot afford big buyouts or even “medium” buyouts that number in the seven digits. That impacts just about every candidate, save for a few. And, to be completely honest, in conversations with agents and basketball people around the country, I can say there is a perception that Louisville is a really difficult place to coach right now, between the lack of permanent leadership at the school, an extremely anxious fan base on social media and what I would describe as a bizarre media landscape.
—Myron Medcalf of ESPN tells you what you need to know about all 68 teams in the NCAA tournament.
—Bark at the Park day at Jim Patterson Stadium is one week from today.
—The Sporting News projects the teams with best chances to make each round and ultimately win the NCAA Tournament.
—At least the video department has never been better.
Let's make one thing clear...— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) March 13, 2022
—Dicks is holding a women’s NCAA tournament bracket competition with $150,000 going to the winner. You can enter here.
—Congrats to former U of L offensive lineman Robbie Bell on joining the coaching staff at Eastern Kentucky.
—On Sean Moran’s latest podcast, Scotty Davenport talks about winning the A-Sun tournament but not being able to take his team to either the NCAA tournament or the NIT.
—For some reason, this quote seems to have sent a portion of the Louisville fan base into a panic.
Do your due diligence, leave no stone unturned, get the best guy for the job (who wants it).
—The U of L softball team belted two grand slams in a 16-5 come-from-behind victory over Indiana on Sunday.
—After receiving the NCAA’s notice of allegations, LSU has fired men’s basketball head coach Will Wade. This means the Tigers will head into the NCAA tournament without a head coach for the second time in four years.
—LSU’s former president says the support of powerful board members are the only reason Wade was allowed to hang around this long.
—Congrats to Tori Dilfer on kicking off her professional career.
—Jeff Walz is the fifth highest-paid coach in women’s college basketball.
—If you enjoy professional wrestling and/or Mike Rutherford Show producer Trevor Kelsey, check out this episode of the Brain Buster Boys podcast.
—Tales from the NFL draft combine, where NIL has become king (insider).
—I wrote about Gonzaga, which is always the least rewarding part of my March.
Willing to embrace ANY coach who bring this back. pic.twitter.com/P6zNh3DGwf— eleanor thiccby (@hammel11) March 12, 2022
—Homefield Apparel mystery boxes are here.
—Shut out of the NCAA tournament and the NIT, Bellarmine held a celebration for its A-Sun tournament champions on Monday.
—Congrats to the future Card.
Congratulations to Tae Davis @DanteDavis__ on being named to the 21-22 All-MIC, Boys Academic All-State, and 1st Team All-County. Averaged a double double, 20.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, and 6.0 apg. Broke the single game scoring record and tied the rebounding record at WC. Great Career!— Warrior Nation (@WCBballNation) March 15, 2022
—The latest Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is here.
—The Louisville baseball team will host Northern Kentucky this afternoon and Bellarmine tomorrow morning. Here’s a preview of the two contests ahead.
Calling all @uofl students!!— Louisville WBB (@UofLWBB) March 15, 2022
Be one of the first 50 in the @kfc_yumcenter's lobby and get in free for the first & second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Bring your student ID!#GoCards pic.twitter.com/nQBP2O9Qft
—In college football, we’ve now got showcase camps popping up for players in the transfer portal. Wild world.
—John Clay’s latest podcast previews the Boys Sweet 16 tournament, which gets underway tomorrow.
—Teddy Bridgewater has signed a 1-year deal with the Miami Dolphins where he’ll likely backup Tua Tagovailoa or, perhaps, push the former Bama star for the starting job.
—Louisville’s 1980 and 1986 championship teams both come up in this segment on Coach K’s “legacy” from Bomani Jones.
—If you have any interest in an NIT bracket challenge, there’s one available here. That tournament gets underway this evening.
—The CJ’s Cameron Teague Robinson has a great read on Emily Engstler.
—Imagine being the person yesterday who woke up knowing they were going to have to let Frank Martin know he was fired. I hope they woke up today.
—Jeff Walz will once again be involved with the USA Basketball national team training camp.
—I guess it really does just mean more.
—The position battle at running back should be fascinating for Louisville this spring and summer.
—New U of L strength coach Ben Sowders is the guest on the latest episode of the Cardinal Authority podcast.
—The great Jordan Sperber has a 12-minute guide to the styles of all 68 teams in the NCAA tournament.
—U of L women’s basketball has been a model of consistency in recent years.
—Cardinal Authority has updated its coaching hot board.
—Louisville baseball’s Levi Usher is the ACC Player of the Week.
—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show returns this afternoon from 3-6 on 1450/96.1 to talk coaching search madness, brackets, and whatever else. You can stream the show here.