Want to feel old?
That’s right “The Pittsnogle Game,” was on March 26th, 2005; roughly 15 years ago. The Cardinals had just gotten past 1 seed Washington and went to war against the West Virginia Mountaineers in The Pit for a trip to the Final Four.
There’s no doubt you remember Kevin Pittsnogle’s insane 25 point outburst. But don’t forget that Larry O’Bannon and Taquan Dean had 24 and 23 points respectively, and all of O’Bannon’s points were scored in the second half. These were key performances especially after Francisco Garcia fouled out with five minutes left in the second half.
This game has everything that makes the tournament so great. Unlikely performances, players giving it their absolute all, and the incomparable Gus Johnson describing it all. It signaled Louisville’s first Final Four in
You can check out entire game right here, or fast forward to 1 hour 10 minutes to check out the end of regulation and the overtime. (Sorry the audio is a bit ahead of the visuals.)
I was 13 when this game happened (I know…I’m young,) but I can safely say this was the year I fell in love with Louisville basketball. For a Dominican kid who moved here from New York City, the excitement, joy, and pride Francisco Garcia gave me was indescribable. Watching this team head to the Final Four was the happiest moment of my sports watching career at that point, and I was a Yankee fan.
A few Sundays after this game, Francisco Garcia came to my house for Easter dinner. My dad had met Cisco after a game earlier in the year and was able to entice him with a traditional Dominican feast. He was incredibly kind and answered all of my basketball questions. He ate thirds, and had my mom pack some to take back to the dorms. We never got that Tupperware back.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015, but with the 2005 Final Four team being honored this weekend, it needs to be shared once again.<