Wednesday, March 1, 2023


University of Louisville News & Perspectives

Top 10 Milestones

Lots of memories over the years. So many games. So many trips. So many big wins. So many games that many of the highlights have meshed together, resulting in a cacophony of highlights. Yes, there have been low lights, and we will touch on them at a future date, but for this observer, here are the top 10 milestones in University of Louisville athletic competition:

  1. Darrell Griffith leads Denny Crum’s team to its first NCAA basketball title with a 59-54 win over UCLA in 1980 at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Had Jerry Eaves not shaken UCLA’s Kiki Vandeweghe on a wide open layup with five minutes remaining the outcome pro
  2. bably would have been different.
  3. Quarterback Brian Brohm guides Bobby Petrino-coached football team to a 24-13 win over Wake Forest in the 2007 BCS Orange Bowl. An estimated 40,000 fans followed the Cards to Miami and the win raised national consciousness of UofL football to an unprecedented level.
  4. Billy Thompson and Pervis Ellison pace Crum’s team to its second NCAA  basketball title with a 72-69 win over Duke at Dallas.  Season basketball tickets have been difficult to obtain ever since.
  5. Henry Miller dashes 25 yards for a touchdown on the first play in overtime to give the UofL football team a 26-20 win over fourth-ranked Florida State. The goalposts were torn down immediately after a game for the first time ever in UofL history.
  6. Dan McDonnell’s team clobbers traditional power Oklahoma State 20-2 in the Super Regional final to earn UofL’s first trip to the College World Series in the school’s history during McDonnell’s first season.
  7. Lancaster Gordon and Milt Wagner go on a dunking spree in overtime to give UofL an 80-68 win over Kentucky during the Regional final at Knoxville. The game greatly intensified political pressure for an annual series between the two schools.
  8. Browning Nagle calls signals as UofL shocks the world with a 24-7 spanking of Alabama in the 1990 Fiesta Bowl, adding fuel to Howard Schnellenberger’s promise that Louisville was on course for a national championship, “the only variable is time.”
  9. Charley Tyra powers Peck Hickman’s basketball Cards to an 83-70 win over Dayton in the 1955-56 championship game of the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The NIT at the time was the college game’s most prestigious basketball tournament.
  10. More than 18,200 fans show up for a women’s basketball game during the 2007-08 season pitting UofL against top-ranked UConn. Largest crowd for a women’s game during the regular season. A preview of things to come as Coach Jeff Walz continues to reel in some great recruits.
  11. Kerry Rhodes intercepts a pass in the end zone to preserve a 44-40 win for the Cards over 10th ranked Boise State in the Liberty Bowl in 2004 at Memphis. Stefan LeFors threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third. Cards finish seventh in final AP poll.

What do you think? Sound off, there’s nothing else going on.

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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.

5 thoughts on “Top 10 Milestones

  • July 2, 2008 at 6:00 am

    I think

    The Dream Game needs to move up

    to #4

    It was our

    Legitimacy Championship

    over the sport’s dynastic power

    and for our own State !

  • July 2, 2008 at 7:40 am

    I’ll add this too, because I can’t edit my first comment:

    The original Dream Game was the single most important, exciting game in my life.

  • July 2, 2008 at 7:50 am

    It was a heart stopper but we don’t want to give wins over UK too much credit for our success.

  • July 2, 2008 at 1:36 pm


    Here’s why…

    “There have been some great games over the years, but none so big. So much was at stake, and the winner went to the Final Four. The weight of the State was on the shoulders of the players and coaches.”

    “There was only one–the original–Dream Game.”

    Charles Jones, U of L center in The Game

    (Hope you and your readers all enjoy the article–and please send me any pictures, etc., and I will add to it.)



  • July 4, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Where is the Miami game and the WVU blackout from last year? A so-called “football first” fan would have them on the list I would think.

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