According to Louisville’s WAVE 3 News, The University of Louisville has received a notice of inquiry from the NCAA. The notice is in relation to the FBI’s bribery and corruption investigation affecting college basketball since September of 2017.
A UofL spokesperson confirmed receiving a verbal notice on March 8.
Now, the notice does not mean that Louisville is in any kind trouble. It is simply the first step the NCAA must take before announcing that Louisville is under investigation. If that investigation were to turn up evidence that Louisville has committed rule violations, they then will receive a notice of allegation which normally carries penalties.
While the FBI investigation has affected multiple programs, Louisville has no doubt been hit the hardest. When the case was initially released 17 months ago, it led to the dismissal of Head Coach Rick Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich. Two other assistant coaches, Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair, were also fired for there alleged roles in the payment of recruits.
Of course, Louisville is still on probation for the Katina Powell sex/dorm rom stripper party scandal of 2012. Surely, if the investigation finds evidence of further rules violations while UofL is already on probation, it would carry stiff penalties.
Ryan McMahon was easily my favorite player on Louisville’s basketball team this season. The plucky yet scrappy, quintessential white shooter is everything a sports humor writer could ever ask for. That is, until he betrayed us all.
McMahon is at Louisville thanks to the charity work of Rick Pitino and Dick Vitale. He has made himself useful by having the best free throw percentage in the NCAA and having some decent ball handling skills, but above all, he is there specifically to shoot threes and only threes.
Inside the arc is basically off limits to him. This season, he decided he was going to be all big and bad and take the ball inside. In the 34 games he played in, Ryan McMahon shot a total of 31 two point field goals. Almost one per game. What the hell, Ryan?
The most two point field goals he was supposed to have was maybe 5 all season due to accidentally having a foot on the three point line. This is the last time I believe in a Louisville basketball player.
McMahon is what I like to call an anti-center. Let me explain. Ya know how when a 7-footer, who isn’t known for shooting, takes a three and the stadium noise is replaced by fans yelling “what are you doing” and “oh no”? That is exactly how everyone should feel when Ryan McMahon shoots from anywhere besides the parking lot.
He was 15/31 on the year from inside the arc and 53/150 from beyond. I hope those 31 were worth it.
One thing I loved about the Kentucky vs. Louisville rivalry from the years of 2009-2017 was that, in a Pitino vs. Calipari matchup, you never knew whether or not the mafia was going to get involved.
If you are a true Soft 7 and have been following us for a while, you know that I love to sink my teeth in any story about the mob getting involved in sports. Already this year, the Armenian mob got caught fixing tennis matches in Spain and a mob boss in France who lamely calls himself “maestro” was arrested for his role in fixing tennis matches. Now, my ridiculous imagination has me hoping that the mafia will involve themselves in this year’s NCAA tournament. And I know the perfect game.
There are plenty of rivalries that could potentially meet up, but there is one game with some serious bad blood and it is in the first round. 7-Seed Louisville taking on 10-Seed Minnesota.
Rick Pitino was battered and humiliated when he was ousted as Head Coach of Louisville. He vowed to never return to that city again (he has since broken that vow, but please ignore that). Pitino brought Louisville Basketball back to their former glory from the 80’s and they threw him out like Jazz from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. All because of a dirty assistant coach named Andre McGee and a pimp named Katina Powell (notice that I didn’t say lady pimp, because it is 2019 and women can do anything).
With Rick Pitino’s own son, Richard Pitino, coaching Minnesota, this could be a potential trap game for the Cardinals. Daddy Rick is going to be in Lil’ Richard’s ear all week telling him exactly how these Louisville guys play.
I am not saying that the mafia will 100% be involved. I am not even saying there is a 1% chance. But the chance is better than every other game. If cheesy black-and-white mobster movies have taught me anything, it is that mobster love revenge and doing things for the hell of it. Louisville vs. Minnesota is the only game that fits the criteria.
This will be the second meeting of the year for these two teams and the last time they met at Louisville, the Cards won handedly 75-61. In that game Louisville shot 68% and completely out rebounded the Irish. The difference in this game will be if Notre Dame can limit Louisville at the free throw line and the amount of shots made. They will have to stop Jordan Nwora from taking over as well. I don’t think that they will be able to do that since they don’t have much of a defense. Louisville’s defense will really limit the amount of made shots by Notre Dame which will make things an uphill battle for them. The only real shot Notre Dame has is if they can force Louisville to turn the ball over, and when they have the ball they need make their shots. That’s not super realistic though, seeing as Notre Dame is not as strong as they had been in the past.
That being said, this game won’t even be close. Louisville is just the better team, and although they have lost a lot of games in the past month and a half, I think they are a better team because of it. They have been playing good basketball but just can’t find ways to close out games, and against a weak Notre Dame team, I don’t think that will be an issue.
Prediction: Louisville 76 – 64 Notre Dame
Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse
When: 9:00 p.m. ET ESPN 2
Spread: Syracuse -7.5
Pittsburgh had an really rough stretch in the end of the year. They lost 13 in a row. In that stretch they lost both of their games to Syracuse with scores of 74-63, and 65-56. On the other side, Syracuse had their fair share of quality wins this season. They beat both Duke and Louisville, but they didn’t have anything else that special this season. What Syracuse is going to do is probably block Pitt a lot. Syracuse is one of the best shot blocking teams in the country, and probably can do some damage against Pitt who gets their shot blocked almost more than any other team in the country. Syracuse also does a great job of stealing the ball. This is a suffocating team, but their offense isn’t really anything to write home about. They are a terrible three point shooting team and are not that good down low either.
Pitt’s best shot is causing Syracuse to take bad shots, and they probably will. They are a competent team. However, they are also one of the youngest teams in college basketball. I don’t think Pitt can get this one done; however, they will be able to keep it close. It will be a tough ACC battle in tournament time that will ultimately result in a Syracuse victory.