Back To Prominence, No. 1 Seed

No bubble. No Billy Packer. No waiting around this Selection Sunday.

The Louisville Cardinals are the No. 1 team in the 2009 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Rick Pitino has returned Louisville to prominence. Doesn’t get much more prestigious than being selected as the top seed on Selection Sunday.

This was the prospect that had local television stations interrupting their regular broadcasts for live coverage of Pitino’s arrival at the Southern Indiana airport in 2001, tracking his limousine across the bridge into Louisville by helicopter, getting introduced for real to Louisville fans at the Kentucky International Center.

Pitino’s focus on success is also the reason Pitino is hated, despised by University of Kentucky fans. They know what they lost, a sure winner, an individual who knows what it takes to win, and has the ability to inspire confidence while motivating his athletes to make the sacrifices, pay the price, and overcome the obstacles that make extraordinary success imaginable, conceivable and possible.

Pitino has persevered through eight challenging seasons with all their ups and downs, the transfers, defections and NBA jumpers, early disappointing losses, and the premature expectations of fans to a season where Louisville defeated six teams in the top 25, including a No. 1 team, won the Big East Conference regular season and the Big East Tournament championship.

Pitino has more than delivered on his promise. That’s why Louisville was ecstatic when Tom Jurich hired the man. Expectations are high because Pitino would not settle for anything less.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Back To Prominence, No. 1 Seed

  • March 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm
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    I couldn’t agree with you more about our Coach. He has indeed accomplished almost everything we thought he would and I hope he will complete the list of wishes we had when he arrived at U of L by winning it all in April. I am so proud of our team winning out and being the overall #1 pick. They are a very special group of young men and they are already Champions…..wouldn’t mind one more trophy though to complete the season. No matter what the outcome of the NCAA Tournament, they have already won the hearts of all U of L fans….Go CARDS!!!!! Thank you for all you’ve done this season.

  • March 15, 2009 at 7:32 pm
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    Sweet! THE #1 of the #1’s! And also very sweet was the realization that we Cards fans, sitting in front of our TVs watching Selection Sunday program, didn’t have to wait thru agonizing minutes for the announcement of Where/When/Who we would play. We knew from the very beginning of the program! How sweet was that???

  • March 16, 2009 at 6:17 am
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    Unprecedented in the history of Cardinal hoops. #1 overall and in the Dayton and Indy brackets. Words can’t express how these last few weeks have gone…from worrying about a puzzling loss to the Irish to grinning from ear to ear when the Cards are the first team mentioned on the selection broadcast.

    As the song says…”Let’s get it Started!”

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