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CARDINALS

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CARDINALS

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Cardinals Rule

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Cardinals Rule

Contents

2012 - 2013 Preseason Preview.......................................................8 Louisville Cardinals Big East Regular Season............................. 16 End of an Era: Big East Tournament Champions..........................64 March Madnss: NCAA Tournament Games 1 & 2.......................... 78 Sweet 16 & Elite 8: NCAA Tournament Games 3 & 4.................... 88 King of Kentucky: Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino...... 102 2013 National Semifinal Game..................................... 110 2013 National Championship Game.............................. 120

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Foreword

I think we can safely say we’ll never witness another team like this amazing group of Louisville Cardinals. Led by a hall of fame coach who got his roster of 13 talented and relentless ball players to buy into his never-say-die attitude, the Cardinals were an overwhelming powerhouse that played like an underdog. The team record for wins and third national championship in school history is nice, but what really set the Cards apart is the brotherhood they represented and the inspiration they provided. Oh, there was some hoops dominance too. In the final season of the Big East Conference, the Cardinals grabbed a share of the regular season title, won the Big East Tournament, then represented the legendary league in the NCAA title game and gave the ACC a sneak into the trouble they are in next year. But even though Louisville entered the Big Dance as the top seed, they captured the hearts of the nation when they rallied around one of their fallen brothers. Now the team that had better players, a better coach, and better fans had even more inspiration to end the season as the kings of college hoops. What a ride it was. There has never been a more deserving team that’s earned the right to cut down the nets and bring home the most coveted trophy in sports. Congrats to the Louisville Cardinals for reminding us what happens when teamwork, sacrifice, dedication and desire is the energy source that a team in every sense of the word is fueled on.

Tom Zenner @tomzenner Editor in Chief Rylin Media

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2012 -2013 PRESEASON

PREVIEW

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Louisville Car dinals T he March to Histor y Be gins

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he University of Louisville is a proud and storied basketball institution. Has been for a long time, and any team coached by the great Rick Pitino, a man drenched in Kentucky and college basketball lore, carries with it an inherent expectation of championship contention. So as the dawn rose on the 2012-2013 Louisville Cardinals’ season, in many ways, it was business as usual. And yet, there was something different about this team. The previous year had ended somewhat surprisingly, with a Cardinal team that wasn’t necessarily expected to contend for a national title finding itself in the Final Four, where they fell to eventual national champion and in-state rival Kentucky. It was disappointing, certainly, but it also laid a foundation of excitement moving forward, with the core of that Big East Championship team in tact. Sure, Pitino’s squad was losing over 20 points a game in departed seniors Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith, but coming back were sophomores Chane Behanan, Wayne Blackshear and Kevin Ware, versatile big man Gorgui Dieng, George Mason transfer Luke Hancock (a 6-6 G/F who could help fill the 3-point shoes left by Kuric), and of course the diminutively dynamic backcourt of Russ Smith and Peyton Siva. Perhaps underappreciated at times for his lack of scoring and traditional jump-shooting prowess, Siva, to anyone who knows anything about basketball, was one of the most impactful players in the country, nearly impossible to keep out of the lane and the key to Louisville’s frantic press and up-tempo style. Plus, Siva was a senior, experienced in big games on the biggest stages, and with a roster full of underclassmen, the importance of that leadership cannot be overstated. The Cardinals’ championship run began against Manhattan, a team coached by former Louisville assistant Steve Masiello. It was a predictably easy win for the No, 2 ranked Cardinals, who were led Peyton Siva’s double-double and Russ Smith’s 23 points. An interesting note was that Smith was rumored to have considered transferring to Manhattan in the offseason to follow Masiello. Smith said he never actually considered it, while Masiello said he thought

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Champs Stats 2011-2012 30 Wins 10 Losses

2011-2012 Season leaders

Kyle Kuric – 12.6 points, 4.2 rebounds Russ Smith – 11.5 points, 2.5 rebounds Chane Behanan – 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds Gorgui Dieng – 9.1 points, 9.1 rebounds Peyton Siva – 9.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists

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it was a done deal. Either way, Smith was a Cardinal, which certainly made Pitino happy. Contrary to a lot of Pitino’s past teams, this Louisville squad lacked the presence of a true superstar. There were no guaranteed lottery picks, no ball-dominant scorers, leaving Smith -- who lacks the proverbial conscience and attacks the rim with an abandon that belies his stature -- as probably the one player on the roster who could carry the Cardinals offensively for stretches of time. Louisville got out of the gate with five straight wins,

the only notable one being a 23-point bashing of No. 13 Missouri, before clashing with 5th-ranked Duke in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship in the Bahamas. Though Louisville would eventually get the better of Duke when it counted most, on this night the Blue Devils prevailed with a 76-71 victory in a game that neither team led by more than four points over the final 10 minutes. There was really nothing bad to take from the Duke loss, other than it was a loss for a program that doesn’t lose much. It was early, and going up against


another of the nation’s top teams, the Cardinals didn’t give anyone any reason to doubt that they were a national threat – and in fact Louisville used that loss as a springboard to seven straight wins heading into the last Big East regular season, including an 80-77 victory over Kentucky. That win did little to avenge the Final Four loss from a year ago, and Kentucky wasn’t nearly the team it’d been in recent years. But it did end the Cardinals’ four-game losing streak against the Wildcats. After coming of the bench to score 30 points against

Kentucky during his freshman year, Russ Smith led Louisville with 21 points a win the guard called one of the five biggest of his life. And so, the warm-up was over. Preseason tournaments and tune-up games were done. In the final year of the Big East as we have come to know it, the conference schedule was upon Louisville. It would be tough sledding, as usual, but the Cardinals sat at No 4 in the nation and looked poised to do its usual damage through the heart of what would turn out to be a national championship season. 13


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Champs Facts

• The Cardinals are coming off a 2011-2012 season in which they reached their ninth Final Four in school history.

• The Cardinals made their first Final Four appearance since 2005. • The Cardinals won 30 games for just the sixth time in team history. • Rick Pitino enters the 2012-2013 season with 629 wins in his coaching career, ranking him 12th among active coaches. • The Cardinals are entering their 99th season of intercollegiate basketball. • Louisville is the only school in the nation over the last seven years which has reached each of the men’s and women’s Final Fours, a football BCS Bowl game, the baseball College World Series and the men’s soccer College Cup. 14 • The Cardinals won the 2012 Big East Championship.


Champs Chat “If you’re not number one, you’re like, ‘man, we should be number one,’ but when you are number one, it’s like, ‘oh, God.’ It’s like a blessing and a curse. It’s fun to have it and be recognized for it, but on the other hand, everybody’s going to be gunning for you.”

- Guard Peyton Siva (On the high expectations.)

“If you’re not number one, you want to be there, but if you are then it’s like a blessing and a curse. It’s fun to have it and be recognized for it, but on the other hand, everybody’s going to be gunning for you.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(On his team being ranked #2 to open the season.)

“Some people are like, ‘oh, we’re going to go (to the Final Four) again this year,’ but it’s not going to be like that. We’re not going to surprise anyone this year. Everybody’s going to be ready for us and give us their best, so we need to be ready to play every single night. That’s the only way to win it all.”

- Center Gorgui Dieng (On the high expectations.)

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Louisville CARDINALS

2013 Big East Regular Season 16


14 W ins 4 Losses

Tied for first in the final season of Big East Basketball

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hough Louisville had only been a part of the Big East since 2005, when it came over from Conference USA, the Cardinals, since day one, have felt like a centerpiece Big East program. But come next season, it would be off to the ACC. That the traditional Big East was breaking up was a bitter pill to swallow for college basketball purists, but Louisville -- which already had a Big East regular season title and two tournament titles under its belt during its tenure -wasn’t worried about the following season yet. They were worried about seizing the opportunity they had in front of them by going out in high style. The Cardinals began their final run through the vaunted Big East schedule with a date against Providence, which provided little resistance in an 18-point victory for the Cards. It was Louisville’s eighth consecutive win to open the Big East schedule, but as Rick Pitino said following the game, it wasn’t the win that was so promising for the Cards. It was the way they won. Shooting a blistering 63 percent from the field in the second half, the Cardinals, for some time now, had

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Champs Stats

Russ Smith – 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.1 steals Gorgui Dieng – 10.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.3 blocks Peyton Siva – 9.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.2 steals Chane Behanan – 9.6 points, 6.3 rebounds Wayne Blackshear – 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds Luke Hancock – 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds Montrezl Harrell – 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds Kevin Ware – 4.5 points, 1.8 rebounds

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been winning with dominant, traditional offense. We say traditional, because for the most part recent Louisville teams had generated the bulk of their offense by creating havoc with their press, coming up with steals and deflections and getting out into the open court. But as the season progressed they were showing an ability to get consistent buckets in the half-

court, creating off the dribble and knocking down open jumpers. Strangely, it was the Louisville defense that was lagging behind, at least by a Pitino program’s standard of thievery, and as Pitino himself pointed out, when the defense caught up with the offense, look out.


“(When that happens),” Pitino said following the Providence win, “we have a chance to be a special team.” Right on cue, the Louisville defense found its form in a win over Seton Hall, with center Gorgui Dieng, in just his third game back from a broken wrist, posting season highs with 16 points and 14 boards.

With both Peyton Siva and Russ Smith struggling to find their offensive rhythm, Louisville -- with Dieng providing the much-needed backline presence to protect the Cardinals’ aggressive perimeter pressure -- held Seton Hall to just 34 percent while creating the customary steals that allowed for easy buckets in transition.

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Cardinals Rule Though early in the conference schedule, a troubling trend was developing for all future Louisville opponents: The Cardinals were further proving themselves as a seriously versatile team that could beat you in a number of different ways; a team that could, if it makes any sense, play well even when it wasn’t playing well. One night it’s Siva and Smith, the next it’s the defense. Against Seton Hall Luke Hancock knocked down two big threes; so add yet another weapon to the Cardinals’ arsenal. Roles were starting to be defined. The chemistry was starting to click. After two more conference victories over South Florida and UConn, the Cardinals, now up to No. 1 in the country after Duke fell to N.C. State, squared off with No. 6 Syracuse in a classic Big East matchup that certainly lived up to the hype. Unlike matchups of years past when Syracuse’s famous 2-3 zone and Louisville’s smothering full-court pressure made for some pretty tough sledding, both teams were able to find a rhythm offensively. Russ

“That was a great college basketball game and they made some really terrific defensive plays down the stretch. They made the plays, they made the shots when it counted and we didn’t.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(Following the 70-68 loss to Syracuse.)

Smith was again a catalyst for the Cardinals, who held a slight two-point lead with just under two minutes to play. But Louisville wasn’t able to close the deal as a pair of crucial turnovers proved costly, and Syracuse walked away with a 70-68 victory. Pitino called it a great college basketball game, and indeed it was. He went on to say the game basically came down to Syracuse making a few more shots, a few more plays than Louisville, and really that was about it. That’s the way it works in the Big East, and ultimately in the postseason. 22


Champs Stats Team Stats (national rankings) Points per game – 42nd Rebounds per game – 49th Steals per game – 2nd Turnover Margin – 3rd Scoring Margin – 4th Assists per game – 33rd

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Cardinals Rule You make plays in money time or you lose. It’s really that simple. And on this night, it was Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams coming up with big steals and Brandon Triche hitting from beyond the arc. The loss to the Orangemen snapped an 11-game Louisville winning streak that dated back to the Duke loss in the Bahamas. On paper, it didn’t look great that Louisville had, to this point, only played three ranked teams and lost to two of them, with their only win coming over No. 13 Missouri. But of course, games aren’t played on paper. Anyone with half an eye for basketball could see that Louisville was one of the top teams in college basketball. It just so happened that two teams that were also very good had gotten the best of them. “I’d rather have the No. 1 ranking at the end of the year,” Peyton Siva said following the loss. “We’re going to work our way back up to that spot.” However, as they say, sometimes you have to take a few steps back before you can start moving forward, and such was the case for the Cardinals, who proceeded to lose their next two Big East games against Villanova and Georgetown, both unranked at the time. 24


The loss to Villanova was especially hard to swallow given the sloppy way in which Louisville played. The Cards connected from the field at just a 40 percent clip, and they were downright awful from the foul line, making just 12 of 24 free throws. Down the stretch they missed five straight from the charity stripe that allowed for the Wildcats to take the lead for good with under four minutes to play. And them came the loss to the Hoyas, who were playing without their second-leading scorer in Greg Whittington and had recently lost ugly games to South Florida and Pittsburgh. It was a close game, albeit pretty bogged down at times, and the Hoyas won on a rather crazy tip-in from a player who’d scored less than 50 points in three seasons. Plus, looking back, it probably wasn’t as bad a loss as it perhaps seemed, as Georgetown would prove to be a much better team than they had looked to this point in the season, eventually earning a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. But still, to lose three straight was a tough pill to swallow for a Louisville team that rightfully considered itself one of the 25


Cardinals Rule only elite teams in what was looking like a wideopen national championship race. In fact, it was the longest losing streak Louisville had endured in more than two years, and with Pittsburgh looming, the Cardinals, for as good as everyone knew they could be, were suddenly facing the prospect of being a .500 team in conference play. “And you don’t want to mess with that,” Pitino said following the game. “We have to get this one (against Pittsburgh).” And so the Cardinals had arrived at a turning point in their season. Lose at home to Pittsburgh for a fourth straight defeat, and who knows what happens from there. Momentum is a powerful thing and it can work in both directions. A four-game skid can quickly turn into six of seven, and it’s a thin line in the Big East. Every year there’s a team grinding it out in the first round of the conference tournament that’s capable of making a Final Four run. The simple truth was this: No matter how good a team everyone believed Louisville to be, the Cardinals were 5-3 in conference play and in a five-way tie for 4th place entering the matchup with Pitt. Given the urgency of the game, many people figured Louisville would 26


jump out of the gates strong and overwhelm Pitt, but that was anything but the case. Erasing an 11-point deficit late in the second half, the Panthers cut Louisville’s lead to two with 13 seconds to play, but Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng, who combined for 34 points, hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the much-needed victory.

Smith led the way with 20 points off the bench, as Pitino decided to start Luke Hancock instead, and the defense, at times, caused its normal chaos. Gorgui Dieng was a presence and at times the ball moved swiftly and the scoring came easy. But make no mistake, this was far from a vintage Louisville performance. All told, the Cards were out-rebounded 27


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and at times out-muscled, and most troubling, they didn’t make a single field goal over the final four minutes and 34 seconds. And yet they won -- which, in the end, was all that mattered. As the season went along, Louisville would of course find its full stride and eventually begin click-

ing on all cylinders. But looking back, it was perhaps this Pittsburgh win that most accurately portrayed what made this Louisville team so special: Like we said before, the Cardinals had a knack for playing well even when they didn’t play particularly well. In other words, this team simply knew how to win. They knew how to make the right plays at the


Champs Chat

“We have to get this win. It’s a must game for us, because now you’re on the verge of getting a sub-.500 record in the league, and you don’t want to mess with that.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(Following the Cardinals 53-51 loss to Georgetown and third straight loss after being ranked #1 and beating UConn.) 29


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Champs Chat

“They kept covering me with these leis and I kept telling them I can’t see or breathe. It’s part of our tradition - they did it my senior night in high school. My teammates stole all of them and ate all the candy already. Hopefully they don’t have a stomach ache tomorrow.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(On the more than 30 family members that attended the game and presented him with leis in a pregame Senior Day celebration.)

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Champs Chat

“We’re just disappointed. We had so many chances to win that game and didn’t execute the way we would have liked, so it is tough to see if it was a good game from somebody watching. It was definitely tough for us.”

- Guard/Forward Luke Hancock (On the 5-overtime 104-101 loss to Notre Dame.)

right time and turn an up-and-down performance into a happy ride home. They knew how to lure opponents into crucial mistakes while weathering their own miscues. And you could argue, regardless of the sport, that there is no trait more common amongst championship teams than the ability to win without playing your best. After the Pitt win, Louisville, now ranked No. 12 in the country, picked up another big 70-51 victory over No. 25 Marquette – which was in a position to take over sole possession of first place in the Big East. And this one looked more like the Louisville team we’d seen during the first four games of the Big East schedule, when the Cards were beating teams by an average of nearly 20 points. It took a while to get going, as Louisville went nearly six minutes before scoring its first bucket, but a 24-9 run over a nine-minute span quickly brought things together. Peyton Siva broke out of a 7-for31 shooting funk by posting 14 points and seven assists on 6-of9 shooting, and more importantly, he led the defensive charge that 31


Cardinals Rule helped Louisville’s bench outscore Marquette’s reserves 19-10 – which just so happened to be a full 21 points below the Golden Eagles’ average. Beyond the defense, it showed the kind of depth Louisville was bringing to the table. Wayne Blackshear, who’d recently been out with a shoulder injury, knocked down three of his first four shots. Freshman Montrezi Harrell got the Cards going with a dunk when they couldn’t throw it in the ocean early on. Luke Hancock made back-toback 3-pointers during a crucial second-half stretch that saw Louisville balloon its lead to 23 points. One way or another, everyone contributed to the win that moved the Cardinals within a half game of first place. After a 20-point win over Rutgers, Louisville went on the road to face Notre Dame in what would turn out to be the longest game in Big East regular season history. And unfortunately, it ended in a 104-101 loss to the Irish in an incredible five overtimes. Louisville fans wouldn’t soon forget the game that saw their team squander an eight-point lead with less than a minute to play in regulation. Amazingly, the Irish knocked down three straight 3-pointers in less than 40 seconds before Jerrian Grant finished an old-fashioned three-point play at the rim to send the game to its first overtime. Both teams had chances to win in thrilling fashion at virtually every turn. In the first overtime, Chane Behanan blocked a shot that could’ve won it for Notre Dame, only to watch Russ Smith miss a potential game-winning 3-pointer for Louisville. In the second overtime, 32


Champs Facts

Louisville vs. Notre Dame Feb. 9, 2013

• 5 overtimes • 158 field goal attempts • 101 rebounds • 66 fouls • 8-players fouled out • 205 total points • The 65 minutes of play took 3 hours and 36 minutes. • It was the fifth time in the last six games that the two teams needed overtime to decide a winner.

Notre Dame’s Cameron Biedscheid knocked down a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to extend the game, and in the third overtime, again with 16 seconds left, Behanan scored a tough hoop inside to keep Louisville alive.

It was without question the most exciting game of the regular season. The crowd was in a complete frenzy, everyone on the edge of their seats as the game went back and forth with one miraculous, game-saving play after another. Eventually, the Irish 33


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Champs Chat

“Coach said if we learn our lesson from the game against Notre Dame and it helps us to win a lot of games, then it was worth it.�

- Center Gorgui Dieng

(On responding after the 5-overtime loss at Notre Dame.)

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prevailed in the way an old-time boxer might have barely remained standing at the end of a 15-rounder. Neither team could say anything about the game they had just played. They tried to talk about missed opportunities and crucial free throws and all the other factors that typically decide basketball games. But

really, all anyone could do was shake their head. This was one of the craziest games in college basketball history, literally, and as it happened, it would also be the final loss of Louisville’s season. In order, the Cardinals, using the Notre Dame loss as a springboard, finished out the Big East regular


Champs Chat

“It was a typical Notre Dame-Louisville game. They just made some incredible shots. We’ve got to give them a lot of credit because I’ve never seen shots like that, and I’ve been coaching a long, long time.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(On the 5-overtime 104-101 loss to Notre Dame.)

season schedule with wins over St. John’s, South Florida, Seton Hall, DePaul, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Notre Dame. Only the Syracuse game was less than a double-digit victory, and the win over the Bearcats was Rick Pitino’s 300th victory at Louisville. Fittingly, the Cardinals’ handed Pitino his mile-

stone win in a fashion that was, in every way, indicative of the way a Rick Pitino basketball team plays. Louisville was ultra fast and all over the court in forcing the Bearcats into 21 turnovers, which the Cards promptly turned into 23 points en route to outscoring Cincy 42-16 in the paint. 35


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Over this last stretch of games Louisville was playing its best basketball of the season, which is something Cardinal teams of the past had a knack for doing. Winning in March is all about peaking at the right time, and Louisville, now within a half-game of Georgetown for first place, was definitely doing that. In the regular season finale against the same Notre Dame team that had beaten them in five overtimes just a few weeks earlier, the Cardinals rolled to a 16-point win that gave them a 3-way share of the Big East regular season title with Georgetown and Marquette, which carried with it a bye in the upcoming Big East tournament. There was a sense of celebration in the air, for sure, as claiming a share of a Big East regular season title is no small feat. But at the same time, Louisville had known all year that there were much bigger goals in store. The Big East as we had all come to know it was coming to an end, and if in some ways it felt like the end of an era, it also felt like the beginning of something really special. All year long Louisville fans had hoped a national championship was on the horizon, but now it was starting to feel like an increasingly realistic goal. This Louisville team was playing as good, if not better, than any team in the country. They believed they were the best, and as the next few weeks played out, they would certainly prove themselves right.

Champs Chat

“I don’t really like it, because it puts a big bull’s eye on your back, but my team embraces it. They play with that chip on their shoulder like they should be No. 1 and in the second half, we proved it.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(Following the 73-58 victory over Connecticut and #1 national ranking.)


Champs Chat

“I am happy because we really did not have a bad game. Against Villanova, we did miss some free throws. But we really did not play a bad game this year. This is one of the more consistent teams I have coached. We are very excited to and are doing some really good things and now we have to go to New York and try to win a very important tournament because it is the last year for the Big East. We will never see a conference like this ever again.�

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(Following the Cardinals 73-57 win over Notre Dame to wrap up the regular season.) 37


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Champs Chat

“This is a good win for us because Pitt is a good team. I think this win will help us a lot, move our confidence up a little bit too. We take each game as very important. We are playing for a seed so we just bring it every night.�

- Center Gorgui Dieng

(On the 64-61 victory over Pittsburgh.)

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Champs Chat

“I think we have a long ways to go still. This is the Big East and you can go on a three-game losing streak whenever. We just got to continue to keep our heads straight and focus on the next game.�

- Guard Peyton Siva

(Following the 68-48 victory over Rutgers.)

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Champs Chat

“It’s big, this was like a tournament game. It was that kind of atmosphere. This prepares us well. It definitely gives us confidence going into the end of the season. We want to win out the rest of our games and this was another step.”

- Guard/Forward Luke Hancock (On the 58-53 win over Syracuse.)

“It’s March, tournament time is right around the corner. We told ourselves yesterday every game is like an NCAA game. We don’t want to lose. We want to keep this win streak going.”

- Guard Kevin Ware

(On the 58-53 win over Syracuse.)

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Champs Chat

“I’d rather have the No. 1 ranking at the end of the year. I really don’t mind having the No. 1 ranking at all. We’re going to work our way back up to that spot and hopefully get it at the end of the year.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(Following the 70-68 loss to Syracuse.)

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Champs Chat

“This one was tough for us, because we really needed this win. We needed to get our confidence level back up. Now we have to go back, and try to pull together as a team.�

- Guard/Forward Wayne Blackshear (Following the 73-64 loss to Villanova.)

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Champs Facts

• The Cardinals have had 59 players drafted into the NBA, with Terrance Williams (2009) and Earl Clark (2009) being the two most recent players selected. • Louisville has won its conference championship or finished second in its league in 24 of the last 36 years. • Louisville is the only school in the nation to have claimed the championship of the three major national post-season tournaments including the 1948 NAIB Championship, the 1956 NIT Title, and the 1980 and 1986 NCAA Championships.

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Champs Facts

• Prior to their loss to Duke in the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Cardinals had won their previous four regular season tournaments. • The Cardinals lost 3-straight games after being ranked #1 in the country. • The Cardinals won 7 straight games to end the regular season. 44


“It wasn’t a revenge game. We did what we were supposed to do, anyone can beat anybody in the Big East. We need to win all the games (left) and do what we’re supposed to do, and the rest is going to take care of itself.”

- Center Gorgui Dieng (On the 58-53 win over Syracuse.)

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Champs Facts

• Away from Basketball, some notable Louisville Alumni include : The late Johnny Unitas (football) Mitch McConnell (U.S. Senator, Kentucky), Tom Jackson (ESPN Commentator) and 24 active NFL Players . • Since the seeding process inception of the NCAA Tournament in 1979, Louisville Coach Rick Pitino has led five #1 seeds. (This season would mark the 6th #1 seed for Coach Pitino in his coaching career.)

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Champs Facts

• With their 67-51 victory over Cincinnati, Rick Pitino achieved his 300th victory with the Cardinals. • Russ Smith was named on of 30 candidates for the 2013 Naismith Men’s college Player of the Year Award.

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Champs Facts

• It was announced at NBA All-Star weekend that Rick Pitino was named one of 12 finalists for the 2013 election into the Basketball Hall of Fame. • Peyton Siva was selected as the Big East preseason player of the year, the first time a Louisville player had been selected.

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• Peyton Siva and Luke Hancock were named Co-captains of the 2012-2013 Men’s Basketball team.


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Champs Facts

• 22,815 fans showed up for the final game of the season against Notre dame, setting a KFC Yum! Center record. • Louisville earned their second Big East regular season title since joining the conference in 2005. • The 104-101 five overtime game between Notre Dame and Louisville was the longest regular-season game in Big East history.

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Champs Facts

Russ Smith

• Named a Sporting News third team All-American • Was the Cardinals first All-American since Terrence Williams was named an All-American during the 2008-2009 season. • Named to the Battle 4 Atlantis All-Tournament Team • Named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 • Following the win over Kentucky in December, Smith was named Bluegrass Sports Commission MVP of the game and BIG EAST Player of the Week after a 21-point performance.

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Champs Facts

• The Cardinals finished the regular season portion of their schedule with a record of 26-5. • The Cardinals wrapped up play at the KFC Yum! Center with a record of 15-1 this season. • Louisville improved their record to 23-0 when leading at halftime this season. 56


• The Louisville cheerleading squads have won 15 National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate National championships (1985-86, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998-99, 2003-05, 2007-09, 2011) • The all girl squad has won 9 championships (1998-99, 2001-05, 2009, 2011) • The small co-ed cheerleading squad has won 7 championships (2005-11) 57


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Champs Facts

• Louisville has had just two coaches since 1971: Denny Crum and Rick Pitino. • It may be just a coincidence, but Rick Pitino and his white suit may be a tribute to the disco ball. Reports indicate approximately ninety percent of the disco balls manufactured in the US are made in Louisville.

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Cardinals Rule

Champs Facts

• Structural steel placed in the arena weighs 5,975,000 pounds - the same weight as 746 average-size Asian elephants. • The center-hung scoreboard weighs 40,000 pounds - as much as 11 Ford Explorers. • There are 130 miles of electrical conduit and 322 miles of electrical wiring installed in the Arena - enough to stretch from Louisville to Chicago. 60


• There are 9,000 light fixtures in the arena with 17,000 lamps. • The overall square footage of the arena (721,762) equals approximately 13 football fields. • The length of the arena’s catwalk totals ½ mile. • 60,000 cubic yards of concrete were placed in the arena, equaling 6,000 concrete trucks - represented by 25 miles of concrete trucks parked bumper to bumper. - The arena contains 58,655 square feet of exterior glass panels - the glass on the east side of the Arena could provide for approximately 60 houses. 61


Cardinals Rule

Champs Facts

• Four Louisville players are from the state of Kentucky. • New York and Ohio are each home to two Cardinal players. -Other home states include Illinois, Washington, N. Carolina, Rhode Island, 62

-Virginia and Indiana as well Australia and Senegal.


2012-2013 Regular Season Results November 11

vs

Manhattan

W 79-51

November 15

vs

Samford

W 80-54

November 18

vs

Miami (OH)

W 80-39

November 22

at

Northern Iowa

W 51-46

November 23

vs

(13) Missouri

W 84-61

November 24

vs

(5) Duke

L 71-76

December 1

vs

Illinois St.

W 69-66

December 4

at

Charleston

W 80-38

December 8

vs

Mo. Kansas City

W 99-47

December 15

at

Memphis

W 87-78

December 19

vs

Florida Intl.

W 79-55

December 22

vs

W. Kentucky

W 78-55

December 29

vs

Kentucky

W 80-77

January 2 vs Providence W 80-62 January 9

at

Seton Hall

W 73-58

January 12

vs

South Florida

W 64-38

January 14

at

Connecticut

W 73-58

January 19

vs

(6) Syracuse

L 68-70

January 22 at Villanova L 64-73 January 26

at

Georgetown

L 51-53

January 28 vs Pittsburgh W 64-61 February 3

vs

(25) Marquette

W 70-51

February 6

at

Rutgers

W 68-48

February 9

at

(25) Notre Dame

L (5OT)101-104

February 14

vs

St. John’s

W 72-58

February 17

at

South Florida

W 59-41

February 23

vs

Seton Hall

W 79-61

February 27

at

DePaul

W 79-58

March 2

at

(12) Syracuse

W 58-53

March 4

vs

Cincinnati

W 67-51

March 9

vs

(24) Notre Dame

W

73-57 63


End of an

ERA 64


Louisville Car dinals

2013 Big East Tournament Champs 65


Cardinals Rule

Louisville vs Villanova After a bye in the first round, Louisville began its defense of the Big East Tournament championship by forcing Villanova into 25 turnovers en route to a convincing victory. Leading by nine at the half, Russ Smith, who was dealing with the death of his high school coach, scored 11 points during a 15-4 run that put the Cardinals up by 20 midway through the second half. Plenty of things stood out with regard to Louisville’s dominance, but the guard play was especially onesided, with Smith and Peyton Siva the aggressors on both ends of the court. Villanova would wind up

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getting into the NCAA tournament and had posted some nice wins down the stretch of conference play, but Louisville looked every bit like the team that would eventually earn the top overall seed in the Big Dance. Next up for the Cardinals would be Notre Dame, a team they’d seen twice during the closing stretch of Big East play including the five-overtime thriller. But before Louisville moved on to the Irish, the Cards received a nice little visit from former President Bill Clinton. To the victor go the spoils.


March 14, 2013

Lousiville: 74 Villanova: 55

Champs Stats Points

Russ Smith – 28 points Luke Hancock – 12 Peyton Siva – 10

Rebounds

Stephan Van Treese - 8 Wayne Blackshear – 5

Assists

Peyton Siva – 4

67


Cardinals Rule

Champs Facts

• The Cardinals have now won 8 straight games. • Following the game, the Cardinals received a visit from President Bill Clinton. • Louisville improved their record to 28-26 at Madison Square Garden. • Louisville improved their record to 24-0 this season when leading at the half. • The Cardinals advanced to the semifinal round of the Big East Championship for the third straight year. • Louisville has now won five straight Big East Championship games. • The Cardinals are 20-1 this season when holding their opponents to less than 60-points this season. 68 • The Cardinals wore new uniforms for the game, specially designed for March Madness.


Champs Chat“We got the chance to take a lot of pictures. It was a big treat for “Tonight we came out with a great intensity. We took away their 3-point shot and that’s what hurt us last time. We just tried to pick up from our deflections. When we guard deflections, 20-plus, 30-plus in a game, that’s when we feel like we can win. Tonight everybody did a great job.”

our guys, it was a lot of fun. He was just telling a lot of stories.’’

(On the victory.)

(On finding out before the game his high school coach Jack Curran had passed away.)

- Guard Peyton Siva

- Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

(On President Bill Clinton stopping by the locker room following the game.)

“I found out, and it was really hard for me for about 45 minutes when I was on the bus crying and stuff. A few guys I knew who were very close with him, and I called the athletic director, and I found out. It was really hard on me. It was almost heartbreaking to think about it.”

- Guard Russ Smith

69


Cardinals Rule

Louisville vs Notre Dame Avenging their most recent defeat, even if it was by now weeks in the rear-view mirror, the Cardinals advanced to their fourth Big East final in the last five years. Again the Louisville defense was smothering, with Peyton Siva tying a tournament record with seven steals as the Cards continued to take their game to an even higher level -- notching their sixth doubledigit victory in the last seven games. Evidence of Louisville’s defensive pressure was Notre Dame’s struggles from beyond the arc, where the Irish shot 7 for 21 as compared to the better than 45 percent

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they’d shot in the first two rounds. And it wasn’t just the perimeter pressure and fullcourt press doing the damage, as center Gogui Dieng tallied four blocks to go with 12 boards. Russ Smith led the offense with 20 points, as the first-team All Big East guard’s game continued to evolve into an opposing coach’s nightmare. And so it was on to the title game for a rematch with Syracuse, a team that was also on the upswing and had lost to Louisville by just five points in the teams’ regular-season finale. Not a bad way for the current Big East Conference to go out.


March 15, 2013

Louisville: 69 Notre Dame: 57

Champs Stats Points

Russ Smith – 20 Peyton Siva – 12 Luke Hancock – 11

Rebounds

Gorgui Dieng – 12

Assists

Russ Smith – 6 Peyton Siva – 6 71


Cardinals Rule

Champs Facts

• Louisville improved their winning streak to 9-games. • The Cardinals advanced to the title game of the Big East Championship for the third straight year and the fourth time in the past 5 years. • Louisville is now 4-0 against Notre Dame in the Big East Championship. • The Cardinals have won 5 straight Big East Tournament games. • This marked the third consecutive year the Cardinals defeated the Fighting Irish to advance to the tournament title game.

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• With 7 steals in the game, Peyton Siva passed Darrell Griffith to become the Cardinals career steals leader.


Champs Chat “It’s very exciting to be in another final game, especially the last year of existence in the Big East, so we’re very excited.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(On the victory and advancing into the Big East Championship game.)

“I hope we own it tomorrow. I think around this time of year Coach really pushes us to bring our game to a higher level.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(On advancing to play for another Big East Championship.)

“I love that we fought back and had some chances but just probably too many turnovers at key times, that’s what they do. They impose their will on us too much to really close the gap or think we could win it. They’re very good. I’m very impressed with them.”

- Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey (On losing to Louisville.)

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Cardinals Rule

Louisville vs Syracuse Same story, different year. Just like in 2012, Louisville earned the Big East tournament championship and Peyton Siva is named MVP. For all the rich Big East tradition, the Cardinals became just the fourth team ever to repeat as conference tournament champions, though it wasn’t easy. Contrary to Louisville’s recent, fairly smooth victories, the Cards found themselves trailing by 16 with just over 15 minutes to play in the second half as Syracuse seemed to be in line for its sixth tournament title. But then came the Louisville pressure. Full-court. Traps. The whole game flipped around, as Syracuse suddenly couldn’t hit a shot and Louisville couldn’t miss. Incredibly, the Cards went on a 27-3 run over a seven-minute span to take an eight-point lead they would never relinquish.

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Who said there weren’t any elite teams in college basketball? If this game revealed nothing else, it definitely showed that Louisville, when it needed to, could go to a level that not very many teams, if any, could match. And that’s the mark of an elite team. Want to know how good Louisville was turning out to be? Montrezl Harrell, not Luke Hancock or Russ Smith, led the Cards with 21 points, while Dieng -- a center for crying out loud -- led the way with eight assists. Yet it was Peyton Siva, as mentioned, who was named MVP. Talk about getting hit from all sides. With the win, Louisville was soon seeded as the No. 1 overall team in the NCAA tournament, as a run that Cardinal fans would never forget was about to begin.


March 16, 2013

Louisville: 78 Syracuse: 61

Champs Stats Points

Montrezl Harrell – 20 Peyton Siva – 11

Rebounds

Gorgui Dieng – 9 Montrezl Harrell - 7

Assists

Peyton Siva – 8 Gorgui Dieng – 8

75


Cardinals Rule

Champs Facts

• Peyton Siva was named tournament MVP. • Siva joined Patrick Ewing as the only repeat tournament MVP. • Louisville has now won 10-straight games. • The Cardinals are now 3-1 in the Big East Tournament title game. • Louisville improved to 2-0 against Syracuse in the Big East Championship. • The Cardinals won their second straight Big East title and third in the last 5 years. • Louisville outscored Syracuse 56-26 in the second half to secure the win.

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• Louisville overcame the largest deficit in a Big East Championship title game, overcoming a 16-point deficit.


“I came in the game just being prepared for whatever coach needed me to do. When I got on the floor, I just wanted to help guys with a big lift. I was going all over the place, trying to get rebounds, either offense or defense. These guys looked for me, and I just tried to finish for them. I just came out hard and played my heart out.”

- Forward Montrezl Harrell (On his performance in the game.)

Champs Chat

“I’m really, really excited. Very sentimental about what happened tonight. Tremendous grip by our guys because in the first half we were shooting ourselves in the foot, and for a veteran team, we shouldn’t have done that. To go out in the second half and score 56 points off good offense, and our defense came because of the good offense.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino (On the performance of his team.)

“To be honest, I didn’t think I would get the MVP. I wasn’t really focused on it. I just wanted to get the win. Syracuse has been my Kryptonite for the last couple of years, and I didn’t think we’d play them again.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(On being named tournament MVP.)

77


March

MADNESS

NCAA Tournament Games 1 & 2 78


Louisville vs Nor th Carolina A&T Louisville vs Colorado State

Lexington, Kentucky

79


Cardinals Rule

Louisville vs North Carolina A&T Every year the question is asked: Will this be the year a No. 16 seed knocks off a No. 1 seed? The answer: No. At least not if Louisville had anything to say about it. In perhaps the most predictable outcome of the tournament, Louisville completely overwhelmed the Aggies to the tune of a tournament record 20 steals, and … wait for it … 67 deflections! That’s right, 67 deflections. And believe it or not, it actually felt like even more than that, as the Cardinals seemed to have six or even seven players on the court at one time, double-teaming and trapping and

swarming as if taking candy from a baby. Russ Smith led the scoring with 23 points, which was a good sign for Louisville moving forward, as Smith’s ability to create his own offense would certainly become more and more important as the tournament progressed. But on this night, it hardly mattered. Louisville was just too much on the defensive end. They were scary good. 16-seed or not, that’s how you send a message to the rest of the field.

“I told Rick that I’m pulling for him to win the national championship, he’s got a Final Four-quality team. They made shots and they’re as good as anybody in the country when they’re going.”

- A&T Coach Cy Alexander (On his impressions of Louisville.)

80


March 21, 2013

Louisville: 79 North Carolina A&T: 48

Champs Stats Points

Russ Smith – 23 Wayne Blackshear - 12

Rebounds

Gorgui Dieng – 7 Stephan Van Treese - 7

Assists

Peyton Siva - 8

Steals

Russ Smith – 8 Peyton Siva – 4 Wayne Blackshear – 4

81


Cardinals Rule

Champs Facts

• Louisville improved to 26-0 this season when leading at halftime. • The Cardinals held North Carolina A&T without a field goal for a nine minute stretch during the first half. • The Cardinals won their 11th straight game. • Louisville set an NCAA tournament record with 20 steals. • The game was played at Kentucky’s Rupp arena. (The home of archrival Kentucky). • Rick Pitino now has a 19-3 career record as the coach of a No. 1 seed. 82

• For the 14th time this season the Cardinals forced their opponent into 20 or more turnovers.


Champs Chat “This is going to sound crazy, but I hate the first round game when you’re a 1 seed, because normally you guys get a little tight, and you start playing not to lose rather than to win.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino (On playing as a #1 seed.)

“That is what coach wants me to do. I don’t have to score every game and for me to go out there and control the game with just my passing and my steals is what coach wants. The shots weren’t there and they weren’t falling so my job was to get other people open shots. Russ did a great job burying a lot of them.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(On his performance in the victory.)

“It was definitely different. Every time I’ve been here, it’s filled with blue and hardly any red. Tons of fans here. It was awesome. I mean, definitely I feel like it helped our intensity especially early in the game.”

- Forward Stephan Van Treese

(On seeing all the red in the stands at Rupp Arena.)

83


Cardinals Rule

Louisville vs Colorado State Another game, another display of complete and utter domination. Surely the Cardinals would be tested at some point in this tournament, but at this point they were looking so far superior to anyone and everyone that it was hard to imagine them not winning the national championship. Bear in mind, too, that Colorado State was no North Carolina A&T, and in fact some people thought the Rams’ could actually pose a threat to Louisville. After all, you’re talking about a team in Colorado State that’s a veteran, senior-laden club, a team tat prides itself on not turning over the ball, a team that led the nation in rebounding margin. So what did the Cardinals do? They forced the Rams

into a season-high 20 turnovers and out-rebounded them decidedly. So dominating was Louisville’s defense that Colorado State could only muster up 18 shots in the entire first half. Not 18 makes. 18 shots. Heck, on back-to-back possessions the Rams couldn’t even get the ball in bounds. Is that even fair? Again Russ Smith was a force offensively, leading the way with 27 points while Peyton Siva chipped in 10 and Gorgui Dieng 12. Six players played over 20 minutes and Luke Hancock logged 19. Everyone was involved in what was another indication of Louisville’s ever-widening superiority.

“I don’t want to put the pressure on Rick and his guys, but they’re special. They need a little luck like everybody does to win it all, but that’s as impressive team as I’ve been against, certainly.”

- Colorado State Head Coach Larry Eustachy (On his impressions of Louisville.)

84


March 23, 2013

Louisville: 82 Colorado State: 56

Champs Stats Points

Russ Smith – 27 Gorgui Dieng - 12

Rebounds

Wayne Blackshear – 4 Montrezl Harrell - 4

Assists

Peyton Siva – 5 Kevin Ware - 5

85


Cardinals Rule

Champs Facts

• The Cardinals are advancing to their 19th Sweet 16. • Louisville is a perfect 27-0 this season when leading at halftime. • LeBron James tweeted during the game: “The lil homie Russ Smith putting on a show right now! #onfire” • Fans at Rupp Arena started chanting Russ Arena, as Russ Smith went on a scoring streak. • With 24 points off 20 CSU turnovers, the Cardinals are now 25-0 in the past two seasons when they score at least 24-points off turnovers. • Louisville is now 8-2 overall as a #1 seed. 86 • This marked the first ever meeting between Louisville and Colorado State.


Champs Chat

“We can play much better. This is the best we have played so far at both ends of the floor but we can definitely get better and improve.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino (On the Cardinals performance.)

“Just give him the ball. It’s as simple as that, he’s a scoring machine. He makes my job a lot easier. I just have to feed him the ball, get my assists up and get back on defense.”

- Guard Peyton Siva (On the play of Russ Smith.)

“Our preparation coming into every game has to be sky-high. Coach P doesn’t allow any letdowns.”

- Guard Kevin Ware (On the focus and preparation.)

87


&

SWEET 16 ELITE 8

NCAA Tournament Games 3 & 4 88


Louisville vs Ore gon Louisville vs Duke

Indianapolis, Indiana

89


Cardinals Rule

Louisville vs Oregon At this point, nobody was questioning that Louisville looked like the best team in the country by a pretty appreciable margin. However, the tournament is all about upsets, and if one was going to happen Oregon was actually a fairly popular pick to pull it off. The Ducks, despite winning the Pac-12 Tournament, were snubbed with a 12-seed and to this point had looked like a team out to prove a point. Not taking anything lightly, Louisville jumped out quickly behind, who else, Russ Smith, who wound up with 31 points. With nine minutes to play Louisville was up 18 and in complete control. But then Oregon began to chip away, making six straight shots to trim the lead to six at 70-64. It was hard to even remember

“Russ Smith is a talented young man. They’ve got a lot of talented players but when he got going, we didn’t have an answer.”

the last time anyone had been that close to a Louisville team that had won 13 straight games by an average of 17 points. But there it was, late in the second half with Oregon within striking distance. And then Kevin Ware scored, and Chane Behanan dunked, and just like that Louisville put its foot back on the pedal. It wasn’t Louisville’s best performance, but certainly some of that was a credit to Oregon, which by all accounts was one of the hottest teams in the country and a popular sleeper to pull off a shocker. But Louisville proved that it can win close games, too, and with an Elite 8 date with Duke awaiting, that would likely come in handy.

- Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman (On his impressions of Louisville.)

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March 29, 2013

Louisville: 77 Oregon: 69

Champs Stats

Points

Russ Smith – 31 Kevin Ware - 11

Rebounds

Gorgui Dieng – 9 Montrezi Harrell - 7

Assists

Russ Smith – 3 Peyton Siva - 3

91


Cardinals Rule

Champs Facts

• Rick Pitino is now 11-0 in the Regional Semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. • Over the Cardinals 13-game winning streak they have defeated opponents by an average of 17-points. • Guard Russ Smith outscored Oregon 9-8 over the first 10-minutes of the game. • With 32 wins, the Cardinals are now just one win shy of tying a school record. • Louisville is advancing to their 13th Elite 8. • Rick Pitino is 5-0 in Sweet 16 games as head coach at Louisville. • The Cardinals have not trailed in four of their last seven games.

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• For just the second time this season, the Cardinals finished with more turnovers than their opponent.


Champs Chat “I sort of had to prod our guys the entire night. Unfortunately, Russ has infected our entire team with a ridiculous cold, and all our guys are really sick. And it took a lot out of us because Oregon’s so good. When Peyton got in foul trouble, Russ had to play way too many minutes, and everybody’s coughing and hacking at every timeout. We just had to get our guys through it, and hopefully we’ll get better. The only problem is on every timeout Russ is hacking in our faces. Every 30 seconds, just like this. So keep your distance or you’ll all have pneumonia by the morning, like Gorgui and me.

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(On his team dealing with being sick for the game.)

“Coach has been telling me to fight through it, fight through it, dig in. My teammates as well, we’re fighting through it and just doing whatever we can to get a win.”

- Guard Russ Smith

(On battling a cough and sickness leading into the game.)

“Oh, Russ, like he’s a great basketball player, so anytime we struggle, anytime we grab the ball, he’s the first one I’m looking on the floor. Once he got the ball in his hands, he’s going to score, get a foul or both.”

- Center Gorgui Dieng (On the play of Russ Smith.)

93


Cardinals Rule

Louisville vs Duke Going in, this classic Elite 8 matchup was about two storied programs, and two all-time coaches who hadn’t met since perhaps the most memorable game in tournament history in the 1992 Christian Laettner buzzer-beater affair. Coming out, it was about one of the worst injuries anyone had ever seen. With 6:33 to play in the first half, sophomore Kevin Ware broke his leg while closing out on a shooter, and the entire arena went silent. Within minutes everyone would be seeing pictures of a gruesome scene, and Louisville players were visibly shaken, Pitino included, some even in tears. At that point, you had to wonder if the Cards were going to be able to gather their emotions and pull out a win over the second-seeded Blue Devils. But gather their emotions they did. After some words of inspiration from the injured Ware, and after Duke’s Seth Curry started to get hot to begin the second half,

the Cards hit their stride with a 13-2 run that Duke was unable to answer. Peyton Siva, Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng led the way as the Cardinals wound up shooting over 52 percent form the field while holding Duke to under 37 percent. Particularly ineffective was Duke’s go-to scorer Curry, who other than the one aforementioned stretch was basically rendered obsolete by Louisville’s hounding pressure. And just like that, Louisville had a 19-point win over a team that many thought was a legitimate national title contender. Smith scored 23 points and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Region, but again, this game was all about Ware. After their victory Cardinal players went to the hospital to check on their teammate, who was thankfully resting comfortably. Ware would become his team’s biggest fan and inspiration as Louisville headed for the Final Four.

“I don’t watch all of college basketball, but it’s the best team we’ve played. And they’re obviously better than we played in the Bahamas. What they do, and Rick’s done an amazing job with them, because they have depth and they keep coming at you, but they make you have multiple decision-makers. You have to have more than one guy making a decision out on the court.”

- Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski (On his impressions of Louisville.) 94


March 31, 2013

Louisville: 85 Duke: 63

Champs Stats Points

Russ Smith – 23 Peyton Siva- 16

Rebounds

Gorgui Dieng – 11 Chane Behannan - 8

Assists

Peyton Siva – 4

95


Cardinals Rule “A lot of people counted us out, just like they did my junior year when we lost four of our last six games. In our locker room, we knew what we were capable of. We figured out what we need to do from our losses. We learned from them. We learned from the Villanova loss that we had to make free throws. From the Syracuse loss, that I can’t turn the ball over in that situation to end the game. So we nitpicked every little thing we did and came together as a team and decided that the team is more important than us individuals. That’s what we just wanted to go out there and prove.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(On the team having confidence.)

Champs Facts

• Louisville is 10-3 in NCAA regional semifinal games. • The Cardinals tied a school record with their 33rd victory of the season. • Louisville has won 14 straight games. • The Cardinals advanced to their 10th NCAA Final Four. • Head Coach Rick Pitino has a 22-3 career record as the #1 seed. • The Cardinals are 29-0 when leading at the half this season. • Louisville’s 9 blocked shots are the second highest in an NCAA Tournament game in school history. • The game marked just the second time that Duke had reached the regional finals but failed to make it to the Final Four.

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• Louisville is the 5th school in the last 10 years to play in a BCS game and reach the Final Four in the same academic year.


We knew all along that we were good, and we knew how great of a team we are. Coach knew it. The whole staff. We had faith in each other. All we had to do was put it together. Once we put it together, everybody got their confidence back. The rotations were back to normal, and everyone locked in. We’ve had confidence in ourselves all along.�

- Guard Russ Smith

(On the Cardinals run to the Final Four.)

97


I

Cardinals Rule

t was an image nobody will soon forget. Kevin Ware, a young man who just seconds earlier was having the time of his life, playing in the game of his life, lays out on the sideline with a towel draped across his gruesomely broken leg. Trainers surrounded him. The arena had fallen to a pin-drop silence. Coach Rick Pitino was fighting back tears. But more than anything, Ware’s teammates told the story. They were inconsolable, some buckling to the floor with emotion, young men literally trying to hold each other up as they tried to process what had just happened and what they had just seen. Had Louisville fallen apart and eventually lost to Duke, everyone would’ve understood. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the injured Ware implored his teammates to win the game, to not worry about him, and for that, the Cardinals found it in themselves to fight for their fallen teammate. During timeouts they reminded themselves what they were playing for. Said guard Peyton Siva, “We just couldn’t lose for him. We just couldn’t.” As chance would have it, Kevin Ware is actually from Atlanta, the site of the Final Four, and thus the rallying cry became to get Kevin home. And there he was, on the sideline in his jersey cheering like mad as Louisville defeated Wichita State and Michigan en route to winning the national championship. In the middle of the celebration, a new image became the one nobody could or would ever forget – Kevin Ware next to his teammates with a smile on his face that a thousand words couldn’t describe. Did he wish he could’ve been on the court? Of course. But never once did this young man try to make this Louisville run about himself. Everyone else did, but he didn’t. A self-described quiet guy who doesn’t like to seek out attention, Ware

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“Basically, the bone popped out of the skin. It broke in two spots, remember the bone is six inches out of his leg, and all he’s yelling is `Win the game, win the game.’ I’ve never seen anything like that.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(On the leg injury sustained to Kevin Ware.)

“We won this for him. We were all choked up with emotion for him. We’ll get him back to normal. We’ve got great doctors, great trainers. We talked about it every timeout, Get Kevin home.”

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(On the team rallying around teammate Kevin Ware after suffering a gruesome leg injury.) was happy to allow his team the spotlight they deserved. And in doing so, the spotlight, as it has a way of doing, circled back to him and everything he represented. From now on, whenever anyone thinks or talks about this Louisville team, they’ll remember a group up of young men was were, in every sense of the word, a team. And they’ll remember Kevin Ware. They’ll remember that it was the kid who lay on the ground who wound up picking everyone else up.


Champs Stats Kevin Ware 2012-13 Season

4.5 points per game 1.8 rebounds per game 0.8 Assists per game

“I don’t know if in basketball I’ve ever seen one like that.”

- CBS Basketball Analyst Jim Nantz

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Cardinals Rule Kevin Ware appeared on the David Letterman show and read the top 10 list:

“Top 10 things going through Kevin Ware’s mind when he broke his leg?”

10. “What was that loud cracking sound?” 9. “I hope this doesn’t leave a bruise” 8. “Hey look — my tibia!” 7. “OUCH” 6. “Did it go in?” 5. “Oh, boy . . . hospital food!” 4. “Tape it up, coach, I’m staying in” 3. “They fired Leno?” 2. “Heat, then ice or ice, then heat?” 1. “At least my bracket’s not busted.”

Champs Facts

• The Injury happened with 6:33 remaining in the first half and Louisville clinging to a 21-20 lead. • The Cardinals went more than 3-minutes without scoring following the injury, but regained their composure to take a 35-32 halftime lead. • News of Kevin Ware’s leg injury dominated social media and Joe Theismann whose NFL career ended with a horrific broken leg, said on Twitter, “Watching Duke/ Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware.” • Chane Behanan held up Kevin Ware’s jersey after the game as the crowd chanted “Kevin Ware, Kevin Ware” • Kevin attended High School near Atlanta, Georgia where this year’s Final Four and NCAA Championship was held. • Following the injury, the hashtags #winforware and #prayersforware began trending on twitter.

10

0


Champs Chat

“When he landed, I heard it. I heard it, and then I saw what happened come out, and I immediately just -- just like fell. And I almost didn’t feel nothing, and it was, it was really hard for me to pull myself together, because I didn’t ever think in a million years I would see something like that. And that happened, especially, to a guy like Kevin Ware, I was completely devastated.”

- Guard Russ Smith (On the injury to Kevin Ware.)

“Kevin Ware is a soldier. He is one of the strongest people I have seen in my life. The only thing on his mind and the only thing he was worried about was winning the game. But honestly, we were in shock. I don’t think we did re-group for the rest of that half. I think we were still in such shock. I mean, you could imagine how a team would feel if one of your brothers had this happen to them. I don’t think we were really ready until the second half. That was all for Kevin right there.”

- Forward Luke Hancock (On Kevin Ware’s injury.)

1

10


The King of

KENTUCKY

10

2


Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino Hall of Famer. Living Legend. Coaching Icon. 3

10


Cardinals Rule

W

ell, it was one heck of a year for Rick Pitino. First, it was announced that the legendary coach would be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Then his horse won at Santa Anita. And then, of course, Pitino earned his first national championship with the University of Louisville. One of the truly great coaches in an sport, at any level, Pitino has a resume that few can match, and at this point, with all respect to John Calipari, he pretty much owns the state of Kentucky after having led both signature schools to national titles. In looking back at this Louisville team that embodied the fearlessness and intensity of its leader, we are compelled to appreciate the value of a great coach. Remember, this was a Louisville team that was absolutely dominant without a dominant player. Coach Pitino one again exhibited his knack for bringing a team together, for getting everyone to buy into something bigger than themselves, to play for each other and for the name on the front of their jersey, and in this day and age of me-first athletes, that’s no small feat. Coach Pitino recruits the right kind of players who play the game the right way. And then he molds them into something you get the distinct impression they wouldn’t have become without him. It’s not to discredit the players and their worthy talents, it’s just to give credit where credit is due. Rick Pitino didn’t need this latest March run to solidify his place amongst college basketball’s most iconic coaches, but in case you’d forgotten, it at least served as a little reminder.

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“You do your best, and he says, ‘Naw, that’s not enough’. He always tries to find room for perfection. That’s how he is, and that’s what makes him special. He’s just like a dad to me. He’s not only teaching me basketball, he’s teaching me life.”

- Center Gorgui Dieng


Champs Stats Rick Pitino

Age – 60 years Old Born – Sep. 18, 1952 Alma Mater – Massachusetts Louisville Record – 308-111 NBA Record – 192-220 Overall College Record – 663-239 in 28 college seasons .735 Winning Percentage ranks him 12th among active coaches and number 35 all time.

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Rick Pitino has three thoroughbreds that he has named after current Louisville players: Gorgui -- after center Gorgui Dieng Siva -- after Peyton Siva Russdiculous, in honor of Russ Smith

Champs Facts

• Pitino co-owns a horse named Goldencents, who is a 2013 Kentucky Derby Contender. • While going through this year’s tournament, Rick’s son Richard was hired as head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. • Rick Pitino is appearing in his 7th Final Four. • Pitino is the only coach to have officially taken 3 different teams to the National Semifinals. 10

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• Pitino spent 6 years coaching in the NBA.


Champs Chat

“I can’t say enough about Coach Pitino and how he gets his guys to play for 40 minutes, as impressive as I’ve ever seen. That is extremely hard to get your players to do and a tribute to the players.”

- Colorado State Coach Larry Eustachy

“I’m going to be honest with you: I haven’t thought about it for one second until you mentioned it. It’s really not that significant to me. We have built a brand on Louisville first. Everything we do is about the team, about the family. I want to win because I’m a part of this team. That’s it. Those of us in team sports always think that way.”

- Rick Pitino

(Addressing a question about his legacy.) 7

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Cardinals Rule “I don’t know if I could live without basketball. Even broadcasting, I wouldn’t have the highs and the lows and I guess every coach lives for that.”

- Rick Pitino

Champs Facts

• Prior to Louisville, Pitino served as coach at Boston University, Providence College, and the University of Kentucky. He also coached the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks in the NBA. • Pitino won the NCAA Championship in 1996 as head coach at the University of Kentucky. • Rick is the first men’s basketball coach to win a national championship at two different schools. 10

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• In 2001 Rick had actually agreed to become the Head Coach at Michigan before his wife talked him into backing out of the agreement and instead take the job at Louisville.


“He’s a young guy. I’ve said it many times, he might be 60 but he’s going on 35, maybe even younger than that. He’s got an incredible amount of energy, and he’s worked extremely hard. We just love the direction this program is going. I’d really like to see him continue on as long as he possibly can.”

- Louisville Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich (On Rick signing an extension to remain through the 2022 season.)

Champs Chat

“If I had one regret in life, it wouldn’t be what you think. It’s that I wasn’t more humble at an earlier age.’’

- Rick Pitino

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2013 FINAL FOUR

NCAA Tournament National Semi Final 11

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Louisville vs W ichita State April 7, 2013

Atlanta, Georgia

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Cardinals Rule

Louisville vs Wichita State No question about it, this was an absolute dogfight from which Louisville escaped by the skin of its teeth. With the entire college basketball world watching, the Shockers, for much of the game, were in control of both the pace and scoreboard and looked poised to pull off a huge upset. The Cardinals couldn’t force the game to their tempo and were struggling to score in the half-court. They were also in foul trouble. And with every second that ticked off the clock, Wichita State, up by 12 with under 14 minutes to play, was tightening its grip. But then came a pair of 3-pointers by, of all people, Tim Henderson. Forced into a hugely increased role because of Ware’s injury, Henderson, a walkon, drained consecutive threes that sparked a 21-8 run that got Louisville back in the game, and for the first time all night restored some of the Cardinals’ trademark energy that had been zapped by the

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Shockers’ methodical game plan. Calling upon the experience of having rallied from 16 back against Syracuse in the Big East final, the Cardinals slowly started to seize control, though Wichita State hardly went away quietly. Luke Hancock was huge for Louisville, with every one of his 20 points feeling like the most important bucket of Louisville’s season. Siva came up with a steal before feeding to Hancock for a 3-poiner that gave Louisville a 56-55 lead, and after Wichita State answered with its own three-point play, another Siva steal and assist, and another Hancock 3-pointer gave the Cards five-point lead they would never relinquish. Nobody thought it would be this hard, but behind the emotion and spirit of Kevin Ware, Louisville was now one game from the school’s first national title since 1986. Only Michigan stood in the way.


April 6, 2013

Louisville: 72 Wichita State: 68

Champs Stats Points

Russ Smith – 21 Luke Hancock - 20

Rebounds

Chane Behanan – 9 Gorgui Dieng - 6

Assists

Russ Smith – 3 Peyton Siva -3

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“We were kind of waiting to make our run, obviously you’re a little concerned when you’re down by 12 in the second half. We just had to turn up our intensity, maybe gamble a little more.”

- Forward Luke Hancock (On the Cardinals victory.)

“We’ve got to bring our best game. It’s the last game of the season. If we lose, everything we’ve worked for just goes down the drain. That’s the last thing we want right now.”

- Guard Kevin Ware

(On the team needing one more win.)

Champs Facts

• Louisville will return to the NCAA Championship Game for the first time since 1986. • Wichita State had a 12-point lead on Louisville with 13:35 to play, which was the Cardinals largest deficit of the tournament. 11

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• The Cardinals modified their warm up shirts to read “Ri5e to the occasion” with Ware’s number 5 on the back.


Champs Chat

“It was like, ‘Man, I was actually waiting for our run.’ And it happened. Luke exploded. That was actually what I was waiting for. Then Chane exploded. Then Peyton made a big layup. Then Tim Henderson. It just kept going and going.”

- Guard Russ Smith

(On the Cardinals 2nd half comeback victory.)

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Champs Facts

• The Cardinals won their 34th game of the season, setting the school record for wins in a season. • Louisville has won 15 straight games. 11

• The Cardinals have a record of 11-2 as a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. 6


Champs Chat “Coach Pitino kept telling us to go out there and have fun and keep playing and we were going to win. Stop hanging our heads. That’s what we did.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(On what Coach Pitino told the team.) “Luke’s an excellent player and an excellent person. He didn’t get named team captain for nothing before he even played a game with us. He showed his leadership out there tonight. He showed his leadership when Kevin got injured. He’s an all-around great player and person. Tonight he showed the world what he’s capable of doing. He picked and chose his spots. He knocked down countless big threes for us. He played an all-around terrific game.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(On the play of Luke Hancock in the game.) “First, you’re elated when you win, so excited to be in a championship game. But there’s always a part of you that looks at the other team and says, They played their hearts out, they were superb, and they lost. So there’s always that part of you that really wants a win, but you appreciate so much your opponent.”

-Head Coach Rick Pitino

(On if he ever doubted his team could win when they were down 12.)

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Champs Facts

• The win marked the 109th for the Cardinals senior class, tying it for the most by a senior class in school history. • Coach Rick Pitino has a career record of 23-3 as a number one seed. 11

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• The Cardinals are advancing to their 3rd National Championship Game.


Champs Chat

“We just keep our composure. We’ve been through many games like this. We played at Memphis down 16, at Madison Square Garden against Syracuse, down 15. We’ve been through this a lot both this year and last year. That’s one thing we do is keep our composure and stick with our game plan.”

- Forward Chane Behanan (On the comeback.)

“We realized that if we lost we were going home, so we just gave it everything we had and just played defense.”

- Center Gorgui Dieng

(On the last 10-minutes of the second half.)

“I was mad the entire game. They weren’t getting out there defensively and that is what got us to this point. It finally got to a point where they started playing defense a little bit. I even got on the court and was just telling them this is going to make us win this game, so we have to get after it. It was early in the second half, around the second media timeout. I just kept yelling at them, this is what is going to make us win, defense.”

- Injured Guard Kevin Ware (On his feelings watching the game.)

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THRILL VILLE! NCAA Tournament National Championship Game 12

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Louisville vs Michigan April 8, 2013

Atlanta, Georgia

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Louisville vs Michigan If you saw this game, you know this was without question one of the most entertaining national title games in history. A back and forth, punch for punch classic between two passionate, talented, exceptional teams. In the end, the Cardinals had the championship trophy because they had the hall of fame coach on their sidelines and Michigan did not. Michigan came out on fire, as Trey Burke scored seven points right out of the gate and Spike Albrecht was going out of his mind from downtown. Michigan eventually built a 12-point lead, but then came Cool Hand Luke. Named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, Luke Hancock hit a pair of free throws and four straight 3-pointers to erase Michigan’s lead in the blink of an

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eye and send the Cardinal faithful that had packed the Georgia Dome in a complete frenzy. From there, into halftime and all through the second half, this was an extremely compelling game of the utmost intensity. Chane Behanan was a beast inside for Louisville, and Peyton Siva, as the game wore on, continued to impose his will by attacking the basket relentlessly. Michigan was valiant, no doubt, but little by little Louisville pulled away just enough, and as the final seconds ticked off, and the cameras panned to Kevin Ware’s priceless smile, finally Rick Pitino and company could exhale. The Cardinals had won the national championship. And they’d done it in one of the truly great games in tournament history.


April 8, 2013

Louisville: 82 Michigan: 76

Champs Stats Points

Luke Hancock - 22 Peyton Siva - 18 Chane Behanan - 15

Rebounds

Chane Behanan - 13 Gorgui Dieng - 8

Assists

Gorgui Dieng - 6 Peyton Siva - 5

Steals

Peyton Siva - 4 3

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Champs Facts

• The last time Louisville played in a National Championship game was 27 years ago. • Louisville is the 7th #1 seed to win the National Championship in the last 9 years. 12

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Champs Chat “This team is one of the most together, toughest, hard-nosed teams. We played a great team the other night in Wichita State and got outplayed for about 34 minutes of the game. But this team, being down never bothers us. They just come back.�

- Head Coach Rick Pitino

(On this time compared to other teams he has coached.)

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Champs Facts

• The Cardinals are the 8th school with at least three national titles. • Louisville is a perfect 3-0 in national title games. • Prior to the start of the tournament, Louisville was ranked #2 and Michigan #11 in the USA Today poll. 12

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Champs Chat “For me, it’s just a dream come true. Just coming from where I come from, Cincinnati, Ohio, the area I grew up in, any kid would want to trade places with me today. To have the opportunity to come out here to show my talent, win a national championship with my brothers, it’s unbelievable. I love these guys like they my real brothers. That’s it. It’s just a dream come true.”

- Forward Chane Behanan (On the championship.)

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Champs Chat

“I told somebody earlier, this is really what a team is. This is really what college basketball is about, a group of guys who are like family. With Kevin Ware going down like that, everybody rallying around him, it showed how much we love each other, that we are a family. We’re truly blessed to be here with this national championship trophy.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(On this Louisville team coming together.)

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Champs Facts

• Attendance for the game was 74,326, an NCAA Championship record. • Not a single player on either team was born before the last time Michigan or Louisville won a National Championship. 13

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Champs Chat “At the beginning of the year, he said If you guys win, I’ll get a tattoo. It was crazy to even think about it. But we won. So he’s a man of his word. I told some reporters he should get a lower back tattoo. He said, Does it sting? I said, I don’t know, I don’t have any tattoos.”

- Guard Peyton Siva

(On the tattoo Coach Pitino said he would get if they won the NCAA Championship.) 3

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Champs Chat “It feels amazing to get this win. Playing for a great guy, not just from coaching, just a great father figure like Coach P is truly amazing. I babysit his grandkids. It’s truly amazing to get this win for him. I’m just truly blessed.”

- Guard Peyton Siva (On the championship.)

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Champs Chat “These are my brothers, they got the job done. I’m so proud of them, so proud of them.”

- Injured Guard Kevin Ware (On his feelings after the win.) Rylin Media Designer

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Champs Chat

“We just went into war right there with a great Michigan team. We needed a rally and we’ve been doing it for a couple of games straight. We just had to wait and make our run.”

- Forward Luke Hancock

(On the run that gave Louisville the lead.)

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Champs Facts

• Luke Hancock was named the “Most Outstanding Player” of the championship game.

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• The Cardinals won the national championship just 30 miles from where Kevin Ware played high school basketball. 0


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Champs Chat

“I’m just so happy for our team. I’m happy that multiple guys got to contribute on this great run. Everybody from Tim Henderson on. It’s just great for our team. I’m so happy for these guys.”

- Forward Luke Hancock

(On the championship.)

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Champs Chat “We beat a great basketball team probably because I have the 13 toughest guys I have ever coached.�

- Head Coach Rick Pitino (On this championship team.)

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Cardinals Rule