1986 NCAA Basketball ring.
1986 NCAA ring.

Much too long since the University of Louisville won a national championship. Even if one attended both of the NCAA Tournament basketball championship games, as the observer did, 1980 in Indianapolis, 1986 in Dallas, it was difficult at the time to grasp the magnitude. Twenty-plus years later, after all the ups and downs, the real significance of what was accomplished, twice in six years, still boggles the mind. Where were you when they cut down the nets?

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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.

5 thoughts on “Mind Tripper”
  1. We went to Dallas with only one ticket. We stood outside Reunion trying to scalp another ticket at a reasonable price when Sam Alford, Steve’s father, came up and offered his NABC seats, third row near mid court for $1,000 a seat (in ’86 yet!).

    And the two best scalpers I saw the whole weekend were assistant coaches at Toledo.

  2. I wish to amend my statement. The guys from Toledo weren’t the best, they were the most aggressive.

    The best was the guy who helped me sell my two singles so I could buy a good pair from him for the championship game.

  3. In 1980 me and a group of college friends had driven to Houston for the regionals. We were driving back when they had the lottery for tickets for students. We went straight to the ticket office and told them why we had missed the drawing. we were sooo upset that we missed out. As it turns out, some tickets showed up and we got a call the next day. All of us. The tickets we got were on the floor at the end under the basket, next to the pep band! It was fantastic! I swear we could see the sweat dripping off the players, and hear every foul committed. Oh, and you can see me in the DVD. All you have to do is go frame by frame, around the 12 min mark. I’m the girl in the red overalls and cowboy hat (embarrassing 80s moment)

  4. Believe it or not, a couple of us hitchhiked from Jeffersonville at an I-65 ramp. We were showing an NCAA sign. A couple of U of L fans stopped and told us to jump in. We went to the semifinal games on Saturday and came back in the same car. They even gave us a ride up Monday for the championship game. We have, in fact, become good friends and attend several basketball and football games each year.

  5. We were up in the northwest corner of MSA for the semifinals and finals with seats next to the aisle. I was eight months pregnant and had to pee the entire second half of the championship game but wouldn’t leave the seat. There was an obnoxious UCLA fan directly in front of us and I told Paul I was going to punch him out if he turned around and shouted “Louseyville” one more time. I said it loud enough so he could hear it and Paul said back, in a loud voice, that we had superior position on him and a shove from behind could send him about 8 or 10 rows down the steps before he knew what hit him. Funny, he didn’t say another thing the rest of the game.

    We watched the ’86 championship at a party. The details escape me.

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