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The instructions from Rick Pitino could not have been more clear: “Go out and have fun, you’ve earned it, now enjoy yourselves.”

This team learned a few games ago to take Pitino at his word.

Literally.

The University of Louisville basketball team continues the magical mystery tour, totally devastating an Arizona team with three sure draft picks, humiliating a program that would like nothing more than to steal Pitino away from Louisville.

Bad karma, guys. Take your beating in every way possible, picking the Arizona zone apart with three-pointers from the outside, in your face dunks, in transition, in the half court, finesse and brute force. And for good measure, Louisville hits 13 of 14 free throws.

The worst ever NCAA tournament loss for Arizona.

The Elite Eight for Louisville.

Clicking on all cylinders. Yes, it has taken a while but it could not be happening at a better time.

Laughing, dancing, pruning for the cameras, playing good basketball.

Enjoying themselves.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

2 thoughts on “

  • March 28, 2009 at 10:41 am
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    Hey, what a crazy wonderful time in Indy yesterday! A steady stream of I-65 Northbound cars with Cardinal fans. Pulling into the rest stop and doing the CARDS cheer with big groups of Cardinal fans (and one slightly bewildered trucker from Jersey.) The cell phone calls to friends and hearing the news about Gillespie on the radio from the Afternoon Underdogs. More calls to discuss that. Hitting the “Naptown” and seeing Lucas Oil Stadium from the interstate. Parking for an exorbidant $20 but 3 blocks away from the arena and right next to the Slippery Noodle bar, where UofL fans ruled and dominated. Surviving the incredibly long wait to get in Lucas as security searched and probed all entrants. Finally, seats in the end zome right in front of the cheerleaders and gazing at awe around the massive structure and the sea of red in it. Maybe 15,000 strong?

    The game. Over before it started. Dunking, threes, steals, SOMEBODY STOP BUDINGER! Destroying the weak ‘Zona zone. Halftime and a 21 point lead..are you serious? Running into friends in the concourse and laughing, joking, praying it was going to last. The dizzying start to the second half and seeing the Marquette score and wondering what in the world was up there. Finally, a 100 points. Kuric with a exclamation point slam that was probably ill-advised but darn fun to see. T-Will dancing on the sidelines. Earl Clark pointing to us in the end zone, tapping a hand over his heart and pointing again. Us chanting “T-5”.

    Watching the first half of the Mich. State vs. Kansas game and thinking we were getting the Jayhawks Sunday. Screaming our lungs out for the Spartans as they rallied and getting disapproving looks from the Kansas cheerleaders and band seated next to us.

    Arriving, weary but happy, home to two excited yorkies, a inviting looking pillow and realization that in 10 hours the Lady Cards would try to join the guys in the Elite Eight. Wishing you were in Raleigh but tickled to death that you were a part of the Indy Experience: Part 1. Thnakful for the friends that joined us on the journey, the success and the exciting promise of another trip Sunday morning to do it all over again. A kiss on the cheek from a sleepy eyed husband who offers to walk the dogs while you prepare to bed. And not hearing him come back in…blissfully dreaming of the day.

    Worth every penny of it and ready for more.

  • March 28, 2009 at 11:40 pm
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    Card fans know how to party, but it’s all about the basketball.

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