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Forde: Louisville focusing coaching search on Kenny Payne

The first major domino has fallen.

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Louisville is zeroing in on Kenny Payne to be the school’s next men’s basketball coach, this according to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde.

There is nothing definite yet, with discussions ongoing and no job offered or accepted, sources said. But if talks proceed well over the next 24 hours, Payne could be introduced as the new coach of the Cardinals as soon as Thursday.

A later report from WDRB’s Rick Bozich stated that Payne and U of L athletic director Josh Heird have still not had a formal conversation, but sources tell Card Chronicle that this should change in the very near future.

Payne has been the front-runner since before this whole process was even officially a process, but this is the first national report we have from someone saying that his hire could be imminent.

Assuming the talks between Heird and Payne go well, I think it’s safe to assume at this point that the rest of this process will proceed relatively quickly. My guess would be that the goal is to introduce Payne as the new head coach on Thursday, but if a deal can’t be reached before then, the announcement could get pushed back to early next week, as U of L wouldn’t want the announcement to overshadow the top-seeded women’s basketball team hosting first and second round games in the NCAA tournament on Friday and (presumably) Sunday.

Let the games begin.