RedRage Blog: Final Four

It's been 19 years since the University of Louisville basketball program last appeared in the Final Four. I've had the joy of experiencing this before - as a junior in high school - when U of L won the title in 1986. I also recall the Cardinals run to the school's first national championship in 1980. I have stacks and stacks of memorabilia from those two championship teams, as well as items from the school's Final Four appearances in 1982 and 1983. A framed poster (pictured) from the 1980 NCAA Championship that the Courier-Journal produced hangs in my office, just above my desk. These are moments that you don't want to forget!

The feeling of watching the program that I support return to glory is something that I find difficult to put into words. However, as sweet as the return is to those of us that were lucky enough to be around for the program's previous trips to the Final Four, the experience that younger Cardinal fans are enjoying is joy to watch. For years they have been apart of Planet Red without ever experiencing anything more than an Elite 8 run by DeJuan Wheat, Alvin Sims and company in 1997. The last caller during Inside the Ville's radio show this past Monday on Xtra Sports 790 addressed this very topic. The caller had a message for the younger Cardinal fans that are enjoying their first experience of a Final Four. He said, "you know that warm, fuzzy feeling in the pit of your stomach? That's what happens when your team reaches the Final Four. Cherish it, remember it and look forward to feeling it again over the coming years."

Waiting Is The Hardest Part

The waiting is the hardest part Every day you see one more card You take it on faith, you take it to the heart The waiting is the hardest part - Tom Petty "The Waiting"
It's the day of the game and the Cardinal fans that aren't in St. Louis are using the ITV messageboards to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Daddy Wags
Current Memphis Tigers assistant and former U of L great Milt Wagner, who helped guide the Cardinals to the 1986 Title, is in St. Louis and enjoying the events with other former Cardinal ballers.

Even with Milt at hated rival Memphis, he still remains my favorite Cardinal of all-time, followed closely by Darrell Griffith, DeJuan Wheat, Derek Smith and Pervis Ellison. The newest addition to my list of all-time favs is none other than fellow Male High School alum Larry O'Bannon.

ITV in the Hizzouse
ITV's Mike Hughes and ITV Magazine Photographer Gail Kamenish have both arrived safely in Saint Louis and will provide extensive coverage of the Cardinals play against Illinois and (hopefully) on Monday for the national title game.

I spoke with Mike shortly after he arrived in Saint Louis on Saturday morning at around 10 a.m. He said that things were rapidly picking up and fans were quickly arriving. The energy in St. Louis-ville is off the charts.

Both are scheduled to join myself - who stayed behind in Louisville - from Saint Louis for Monday's radio program at 6:00 p.m.

BTW...

Yes, I'm extremely nervous!!! GO CARDS!!!


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