The game against the University of Louisville on Sunday marked the 41st time Cincinnati had played U of L at Freedom Hall, the most of any opponent in the 54-year history of the facility.

A bit late but Cincinnati Enquirer writer Bill Koch believes UC should have been the opponent in the final game (instead of Syracuse). Freedom Hall is, indeed, a special place for Cincinnati:

UC has played more games against Louisville at Freedom Hall (41) than any other opponent and has won more games there (14) than any other Cardinals’ foe.

In addition to their 41 games against Louisville, UC has played six games in three Final Fours at Freedom Hall – in 1959 with Oscar Robertson, in 1962 when the Bearcats won their second straight national title, and in 1963 when they lost in the national championship game to Loyola.

And they have played 20 conference tournament games there, posting a 13-7 record in those games.

Before Freedom Hall was renovated in 1984, with seating capacity increasing from 16,613 to 18,865, UC was part of the largest crowd the building had ever hosted for a Louisville basketball game when 17,661 turned out on Feb. 22, 1969 to watch 13th-ranked Louisville post a 78-62 win.

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By Charlie Springer

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

One thought on “Cincinnati Farewell To Freedom Hall”
  1. Thanks for bringing back the memories, Charlie. It’s been a fierce rivalry at times. But hats off to Mick Cronin for instilling a sense of sportsmanship and friendly competition in the rivalry. Since he took over a lot of the bitterness has disappeared in part because he and Pitino are pals. Partly because Louisville fans have ultimate respect and admiration for this outstanding young coach.

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