By Anna Meany–
Cards rejoice! Moments after the game-winning foul shot, Cardinal fans poured out of bars, dorms, apartments and restaurants to celebrate, most notably on Cardinal Boulevard, where Papalinos and Cluckers patrons rushed the street-stopping traffic. Louisville’s shocking and unexpected win against Florida on Saturday lit campus on fire, bringing students together more than ever before.
Saturday’s celebrations prove that the entire city of Louisville is united through victory and showing the best aspect of sports – community. Cardinal fans were shocked that we exceeded tournament expectations by beating both Michigan State and Florida, but even more stoked to play the number one team in the nation.
Piling on excitement is the anticipation of the “dream game” – two Kentucky teams will face off in New Orleans this Saturday. Dividing families, marriages and best friends, the fiercest rivalry in the nation lies in Kentucky. The communal hatred for UK has the power to bond great friendships – some of them being heavily influenced by $5 pitchers of beer.
But the win represents much more than victory. Like I said, an overwhelming sense of school pride emanated through campus after our victory. Throwing up a Cardinal “L” or shouting “Go Cards!” is sure to secure a friendly response.
The game has both divided and brought the state together. While wearing Kentucky gear isn’t the most respectful thing to do, many people agree that having at least one guaranteed Kentucky team in the finals is exciting. Head coach Rick Pitino even commented on the rivalry – stating that it isn’t so much a game about hatred, but about good competition.
We can credit basketball for creating and enforcing the strong sense of pride and community radiating through Louisville. Nothing can hide the adrenaline running through the streets of Louisville. Big East champs and now Final Four competitors, our basketball team has every chance of winning this Saturday. How exciting that so many students will be celebrating both at the Superdome and Bourbon Street! See you in New Orleans, Cards!
Photo: Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal