Exactly five years ago today, the University of Louisville men’s basketball program won their third national championship.
On this exact day, April, 8, for the rest of my life, there is a good chance that I’ll watch the 2013 national championship game in it’s entirety.
Even when I’m in my eighties, this game will never get old to me and it’ll serve as an annual reminder that I lived to see the Louisville Cardinals win a national championship (regardless what the NCAA says).
But I’ll always have this…
Peyton Siva was brilliant: Luke Hancock’s three-point explosion obviously earned him the most outstanding player award, but Peyton Siva was the best basketball player on the floor during the championship game. Siva finished with 18-points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals, with just two turnovers. He also made all six of his free throws. Miss you, Peyton.
Chane Behanan was a grown ass man: It’s unfortunate that Behanan’s career ended the way that it did, but he played a huge role in Louisville’s 2013 national title. Down the stretch, he was cleaning the backboard and finishing against Mitch McGary. Behanan’s 12 rebounds were huge.
We took this team for granted: Six different guys on that 2013 team could have led Louisville in scoring on any given night. That was certainly not the case over the past two years. The 2013 team had so many options and could play at any pace and still be great.
Not the same without Dieng: Having a 6-foot-11 center that can hit mid-range jump shots certainly makes things easier. Over the past five, we’ve been constantly reminded just how special Gorgs was.
Depth: Stephan Van Treese, Montrezl Harrell and Luke Hancock all came off of the bench for this team. That should tell you just how much depth Pitino had. All three of those guys would have started for the majority of the teams in the country.<