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Louisville Owns the Empire State

Moments after making a huge comeback to defeat Syracuse, University of Louisville players, coaches, and support staff celebrate in their final Big East Tournament Madison Square Garden appearance. Both Louisville and Syracuse are headed to the ACC while the Big East brand is shuttled elsewhere.

The Louisville Cardinals roared back from 16 down against Syracuse University to capture the final Big East Tournament Championship. The legendary conference has imploded as most of its members have scrambled to join other conferences.

Former President Bill Clinton popped into the Cardinals locker room a few nights earlier after Louisville defeated Villanova. Russ Smith, foreground, and Chane Behanan were unafraid to act a fool around the prez.

Russ Smith, Chane Behanan, and Bill Clinton. March 14, 2013 (photo: Chane Behanan on Instagram)

VIDEO: Louisville coach Rick Pitino addresses school supporters at a private party following the NCAA Tournament brackets, listing UofL as the #1 overall seed.

Mary and I joined a group of friends to greet the coach and the team at the KFC Yum! Center. They were exhausted from a grueling run through the tournament, a night of celebration, and a few airplane delays getting them back to Louisville just moments before the NCAA Tournament pairings were announced.

Coach Pitino and the team arrived back in Louisville only a few minutes before the selection show came on the air. When Rick entered the room, CBS had just shown Louisville’s position in the bracket. His first reaction? “Wow. We’ve got a lot of talent in this region.”
Peyton Siva was still excited about the Big East Championship but said “Let’s go do this” after the brackets were shown on TV.
Don’t drop it, Fumble Fingers.

>>>>>>>>>Reserve forward Montrezl Harrell, shown below from a January TV show taping, exploded for 20 points and some bruising play in the lane to thwart Syracuse and lead the Cardinals to victory.

Terry Meiners and Montrezl Harrell on the set of Courtside With Rick Pitino, January 4, 2013

>>>>>>>>>>BONUS: Remove the emotion by filling out the BLINDFOLDED BRACKET

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