In the 54th and final season for the Cardinals in Freedom Hall, we looked back at some of the top men's basketball moments in the building, including the most memorable buzzer-beaters, rivalry clashes, and notable big games.
December 22, 1956:|
The Cards post an 85-75 win over Notre Dame in their first-ever game in Freedom Hall.
December 22, 1956:
In a classic case of men vs. boys, North Carolina never gave Villanova much chance to breathe, let alone whip up a fresh dose of Final Four magic. Ty Lawson scored 22 points, Wayne Ellington had 20 more, and the Tar Heels, with their four, five, maybe more NBA-caliber players, eased to an 83-69 win Saturday night over the plucky but overmatched Wildcats.
March 20, 1959:|
U of L plays in its first NCAA Final Four, which happens to be on its home court in Freedom Hall. The Cardinals, however, fall to No. 10 West Virginia and star guard Jerry West 94-79.
January 19, 1965:
Bernard "Peck" Hickman gained his 400th career coaching victory as the Cardinals dispatched Cincinnati in triple overtime 82-80, as Joe Liedtke's 20-foot buzzer-beater provided the winning margin.
December 1, 1967:|
In its opening game of the season, All-American Wes Unseld scores a school-record 45-points and grabbed 29 rebounds as U of L pounds Georgetown College 118-86.
February 13, 1969:
Jerry King passed the 1,000-point scoring mark for his career andd hit two free throws with seven seconds remaining as the Cardinals prevailed 83-81 in overtime over No. 7 Tulsa.
March 6, 1971:|
The Cardinals rolled 102-73 over Missouri Valley Conference rival Memphis State in a game infamous for the Tigers' Fred Horton swinging a chair while standing on a press table during a first-half bench-clearing fight.
Dec. 4, 1971:
In his first game of a 30-year career at Louisville, Coach Denny Crum won his first home game in Freedom Hall with a resounding 116-58 victory over Bellarmine.
Dec. 3, 1973:|
Freshman forward Wesley Cox comes off the bench to score 23 points and grab 12 rebounds to aid Louisville's 87-81 victory over No. 14 Houston.
January 19, 1977:
The Cardinals beat No. 2 Cincinnati 83-77 as Rick Wilson totalled 22 points and six assists while Wesley Cox added 16 points and 13 rebounds.
December 22, 1977:|
Darrell Griffith scored 23 points to lead U of L to a 61-60 victory over second-ranked Marquette.
March 1, 1980:
Darrell Griffith caps off an unbeaten home record in his final game in Freedom Hall with an 81-72 victory over Florida State in the championship game of the Metro Conference Tournament. Three weeks later, he would lead the Cards to their first NCAA title. VIDEO
Feb. 22, 1982:|
Derek Smith hit an 18-foot jumper with 1:31 remaining to put the Cardinals up for good, and U of L went on to a 65-61 victory over No. 12 Memphis State.
March 6, 1983:
Milt Wagner swished a 16-foot jumper from the key in the final second of overtime as Louisville prevailed over 17th-ranked Memphis State 64-62, helping the Cardinals cap a perfect 12-0 Metro Conference record in the final game of the regular season.
January 22, 1984:|
In one of the guttiest performances by a Cardinal, Charles Jones scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead U of L to an 86-78 victory over UCLA. Jones had a severely bruised finger on his right (shooting) hand, so he shot with his left and made 11 of 14 field goals..
December 15, 1984:
The Cards knock off cross-state rival Kentucky, 71-64, in the first-ever regular-season meeting between the two rivals at Freedom Hall.
March 2, 1986:|
Milt Wagner's two free-throws with 0:01 on the clock clinch the Metro Conference regular-season title in a 70-69 win over #7 Memphis State. One week later, the Cards oust the Tigers again with an 88-79 win in the tournament championship game in Freedom Hall, on their way to another NCAA Championship.
December 19, 1987:
Freshman LaBradford Smith holds a coming-out party in only his fourth game in a Cardinal uniform, pouring in 32 points in an 81-69 win over #5 Indiana.
December 31, 1988:|
The Cardinals close out the year in style with a 97-75 blowout win over Kentucky in a game nationally-televised on CBS.
January 1, 1995:
Samaki Walker records the first triple-double in UofL history, as his 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 blocks lead the Cardinals to an 88-86 thriller over No. 5 Kentucky. VIDEO
February 3, 1996:|
On a snowy night, with sub-zero temperatures outside, the Cards heat up the building by trouncing #11 Memphis, 74-56, in the Tigers' first trip to Louisville in five years.
December 29, 1996:
The Cards run their record to 10-0 with a thrilling come-from-behind, double-overtime victory over #25 Boston College, 89-85.
January 11, 1997:|
Hall of Fame Coach, Denny Crum records his 600th career victory with a 60-56 victory over Georgia Tech. VIDEO
January 25, 1997:
DeJuan Wheat penetrated and passed out to B.J. Flynn, who then buried a three-pointer with 37 seconds remaining, and Wheat added a pair of free throws with five seconds left as the Cardinals rallied from a double-digit first half deficit to beat UCLA 74-71. VIDEO
December 26, 1998:|
Marques Maybin's four-point play from the corner puts the dagger in the Wildcats as the Cards topple #3 Kentucky, 83-74. VIDEO
December 23, 1999:
A flawless first-half with zero turnovers, along with Nate Johnson's career-high 31 points, catapult the Cards to a 97-80 holiday trouncing of #6 North Carolina. READ MORE | VIDEO
February 10, 2000:|
The Cards knock-off another top-ten team in convincing fashion, with an 82-69 win over #4 Syracuse. READ MORE | VIDEO
November 18, 2001:
The Rick Pitino Era begins with a bang, as the new-look Cards demolish South Alabama in the home opener, 92-38. READ MORE | VIDEO
December 20, 2001:|
Three 3-pointers in the final minute propel the Cards to a thrilling, 73-72 comeback win over Tennessee, after the Vols led by six with 36 seconds to go. READ MORE | VIDEO
March 2, 2002:
Larry O'Bannon sank a shot in the lane with 1.8 seconds remaining to lift U of L to a 90-88 overtime victory over Charlotte.
READ MORE | VIDEO
December 28, 2002:|
Reece Gaines, Francisco Garcia, & Marvin Stone lead the Cards to an emphatic 81-63 blowout of #14 Kentucky on national television.
March 14, 2003:
Freshman Taquan Dean's clutch three-pointer from the right wing gives the Cards the lead, and they would hold on to beat #16 Memphis, 78-75, in the Conference USA Tournament Semifinals in front of a raucous Freedom Hall crowd. The following day, the Cardinals would win their first-ever CUSA title with an 83-78 win over UAB in the championship game. READ MORE | VIDEO
December 13, 2003:|
Playing with a heavy heart after the death of his brother, Francisco Garcia scores 25 points to lead the Cardinals to a 73-65 victory over top-ranked Florida in the Billy Minardi Classic. Two weeks later, the Cards would beat another #1 team, knocking off Kentucky in Rupp Arena, 65-56. READ MORE | VIDEO
March 3, 2005:
Hometown hero Larry O'Bannon scores 33 points on senior night to lead the Cards to a 94-82 win over #18 Charlotte and the CUSA regular season crown. Later that month, the Cards would advance to their first NCAA Final Four in 19 years, beating West Virginia in a thrilling Regional Final in Albuquerque, 93-85 in double overtime. READ MORE
February 9, 2008:|
In front of a white-clad crowd of 20,083 and a national "ESPN Gameday" audience, the Cards topple No. 6 Georgetown, 59-51, on their way to a 27-win season and an appearance in the East Regional Final. READ MORE
January 4, 2009:
In the final U of L-UK game in Freedom Hall, the Cards' Edgar Sosa breaks the hearts of Wildcat fans everywhere by knocking down "the shot heard 'round the Commonwealth," a 25-foot three-pointer, with 2.3 seconds left to give UofL a dramatic 74-71 victory in front of a national television audience on CBS. READ MORE | VIDEO
January 17, 2009:|
U of L beat top-ranked and previously unbeaten Pittsburgh 69-63 behind 20 points from Terrence Williams and a 16-point, 11-rebound performance from Earl Clark. After trailing by 10 with about nine minutes to go, the Cardinals used a 19-3 run before closing out the game in the last minute of play. READ MORE