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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

When Cardinal football is just three days away from being back home.

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—Spread check: Louisville by 4.

—Lamar Jackson has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week.

—Louisville women’s basketball is now the hunter and not the hunted in the ACC, and Jeff Walz is fine with that.

—The Athletic’s college basketball staff is out with its annual “coaching tiers” feature. Kenny Payne checks in at the bottom tier.

Mike Hopkins and Kenny Payne have, on the other hand, been gifted strong programs with a history of success. Hopkins, the former longtime Boeheim assistant, started hot by winning Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors his first two seasons and winning the league regular-season title in his second season. That year, however, was the last the Huskies made it to the NCAA Tournament, a run of diminishing returns. Hopkins’ staunch commitment to his old boss’ defense seems to be part of the problem.

“I’ve heard a couple coaches make fun of that zone they play,” one analyst said. “It’s just so hard to play 2-3 with the way 3-point shooting is in this day and age.”

With a new athletic director in town, Hopkins certainly needs to get things right in a hurry.

As does Payne. It may seem premature to turn on the flames under Payne’s seat. He’s only in his second season at Louisville and inherited a team that has been through a thing or two. Except …

“I had one of their games, and I think it was the worst shootaround I’ve ever witnessed,” one analyst said. “It was shocking. Messing up the scouting report, guys running into each other, not knowing what they were doing on drills. It was a disaster.”

The Cardinals lost by an average of 11.9 points per game, including by plus-20 six times and more than 30 twice. The entire season was an abject disaster.

—Jeff Walz thinks gambling can to lead to growth for women’s basketball.

—Trinity and Bellarmine product pitched the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Philadelphia Phillies and into the World Series last night.

—In his initial address at ACC media day on Wednesday, league commissioner Jim Phillips said the conference is being undervalued heading into 2023-24.

—CAA reportedly bringing in TJ Gassnola as a consultant is certainly a move.

—Army is joining the AAC as a football-only member beginning next season.

—The Jeff Brohm Radio Show returns to the Roosters in Fern Creek tonight from 7-8, where two tickets to Saturday’s game will be handed out. You can listen live on 970 WGTK or 93.9 The Ville.

—Western Kentucky had no luck trying to disrupt Liberty’s perfect season last night, falling to 4-4 after a 42-29 loss to the Flames.

— gives Louisville the 14th-best odds to win the ACC title in men’s hoops.

—The latest episode of C.L. Brown’s podcast is here.

—Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said he’s “never heard” of any team running a sign-stealing scheme like Michigan’s alleged operation.

—We don’t need any more Michigan man manifestos.

—Steven Godfrey writes that Michigan’s strongest punishment for stealing signals is their greatest fear made real, the indignity of being just like everyone else.

—El Ellis is calling BS on the 247 Sports story that quoted him as saying that Arkansas shows clips of Louisville during its film sessions.

—Louisville swimmers earned their first two gold medals of the Pan American Games Tuesday evening in Santiago, Chile. Murilo Sartori won gold as part of Brazil’s 4x200 relay team, and Gabi Albiero won individual gold when she tied NCAA Champion Maggie MacNeil in the 50 freestyle finals with a time of 24.84.

—Bellarmine went back to Knights Hall for its only exhibition game and had little trouble with visiting Transy on Tuesday night.

—Phillies fans seem to be handling this all well.

—Just a week and-a-half after signing him to a 3-year deal, the New England Patriots waived Malik Cunningham.

—Here’s a good read on Trentyn Flowers’ experience in the NBL so far.

—There’s still plenty of football left to be played, but a certain New Year’s Six bowl is starting to stand out amongst the latest bowl projections for U of L.

—This is awesome.

—Gambling site Predict Em likes Louisville to cover the spread on Saturday against Duke.

—In order to end the season the way they want to, the Louisville football team needs to cut down on its turnovers and improve its efficiency in the red zone.

—Continue to love this guy.

—Depth charts for both Louisville and Duke are out.

—Is this a sneak peak at Saturday’s uniforms?

—And finally, a majority of members of the College Football News staff are rolling with the Cards on Saturday.