The Sneakers Worn for the 15 Best Performances in University of Louisville Basketball History

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gorgui dieng adidas crazy fast

No. 15 - Louisville's Senior Wins The Last Big East Regular Season Conference Title

The Player: Gorgui Dieng
The Sneaker: adidas Crazy Fast
The Date: March 9, 2013

The Senegalese big man Gorgui Dieng put up 20 points and 11 rebounds for Louisville as the Cards defeated Notre Dame 73-57 on Saturday. The Cardinals took home a share of the 2013 Big East Conference title, one in which will be final of its kind. The Big East and the "Catholic 7" will officially split and create two conferences starting up in the next few seasons. The regular season title is the 22nd in the school's history.


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No. 14 - Peyton Siva Puts His Team On His Back In The 2012 Big East Tournament

The Player: Peyton Siva
The Sneaker: adidas Crazy Shadow
The Date: March 10, 2012

The Louisville Cardinals would claw and scratch their way to a 17th conference tournament championship in the school's history with a knockout, drag'em out 50-44 win over Cincinnati in Madison Square Garden. Peyton Siva was named the tournament's MVP and coach Rick Pitino claimed his 10th conference title win.


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No. 13 - The Dejuan Wheat Era 

The Player: Dejuan Wheat
The Sneaker: Converse R.A.W. Energy
The Date: 1993 - 1997

Dejuan Wheat carved out an interesting legacy for himself while at Louisville—point guard is the only player in NCAA history to amass career totals of 2,000 points, 450 assists, 300 three-point field goals and 200 steals. Wheat lead U of L to the Elite Eight in 1997 and enjoyed a few years in the NBA as well.


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No. 12 - Derek Smith Brings America The "High-Five"

The Player: Derek Smith
The Sneaker: Pro Keds Skyhawk
The Date: circa 1980

Louisville folklore will forever preach the gospel of Derek Smith's inventing of the term "high-five." During the Cards 1979-80 championship season, Smith allegedly coined the phrase and the term stuck. Smith was named Metro Conference Player of the Year in 1981, and finished 5th on the Louisville all-time scoring list. Oh, and he also may or may not have dunked on Michael Jordan, so there's that.


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No. 11 - Junior Bridgeman Guides Louisville to the 1975 Final Four

The Player: Ulysses "Junior" Bridgeman
The Sneaker: Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars
The Date: March 1975

I'm sorry, but you automatically make this list if you're named Ulysses. It's in the rulebook, I swear. Known as "Junior" in basketball circles, Bridgeman was named Missouri Valley Conference player of the year in 1974 and 1975. He was also an All-American in 1975 and led the Cardinals to their third appearance to the Final Four that same year.


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No. 10 - Louisville's Comeback Vs. Florida To Go To The 2012 Final Four

The Player: Chris Smith
The Sneaker: adidas Crazy Light
The Date: March 26, 2012

The Florida Gators were up 11 points with just six minutes remaining in the second half of an Elite 8 contest versus the Cardinals and things looked grim for Rick Pitino's crew. The Cardinals quickly found their offensive mojo and began filling up the cup, as players like Chane Behanan, Peyton Siva and Chris Smith carried the Cards past the Gators and found themselves back in a familiar place...the Final Four.


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No. 9 - Speaking Of Chane Behanan, Did You See This Dunk?

The Player: Chane Behanan
The Sneaker: adidas
The Date: February 27, 2013

I think its highly egregious that the referee initially called this a charge, but I'm glad they got this right because....GOODNESS GRACIOUS YOUNG MAN NOT ONLY DID YOU MAKE AN EGREGIOUS PASS THAT WAS STOLEN, BUT THEN YOU GOT DUNKED ON WITH NO REGARD FOR YOUR OWN LIFE! Chane Behanan likes dunking on people.


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No. 8 - Edgar Sosa's Dagger Vs. Kentucky

The Player: Edgar Sosa
The Sneaker: adidas Pro Model 2G
The Date: January 4, 2009

There are few rivalries better than Louisville vs. Kentucky in college basketball. Kentucky looks at Louisville like a step-brother they never liked, while Louisville's disdain for UK reaches far beyond the back that the Wildcats have routinely decided to not play U of L during the non-conference schedule. In 2009, with Louisville emerging as a top team and Kentucky in transition and unranked, Edgar Sosa's 30-foot dagger three pierced the souls of Kentucky fans.


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No. 7 - Louisville Joins The Big East Conference, Returns To The National Stage

The Player: Terrence Williams
The Sneaker: adidas Pro Model 2G
The Date: Summer 2005

This was a big deal at the time in 2005, as the football and basketball programs received a big visibility boost after playing in Conference USA for a number of years. Now in 2013, Louisville will uproot themselves again, leaving a conference that is in shambles for a conference that seems to grow stronger every year in the ACC. By joining the bigger conference, Pitino had more of a lure to bring in higher profile recruits to Louisville, including 5-star talent Terrence Williams from Seattle, and with it...the opportunity to compete again at the highest level.


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No. 6 - Wes Unseld Sets Single-Game Record With 45 Points Vs. Georgetown College

The Player: Wes Unseld
The Sneaker: Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars
The Date: Fall 1967

You could debate who the greatest Louisville Cardinal basketball player was between Darrell "Dr. Dunkenstein" Griffith and Wes Unseld, and if you used their professional careers as a tiebreaker then Unseld wins in a landslide. Unseld began his senior season at U of L with a 45-point performance against Georgetown college, a record that still stands to this day.


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No. 5 - Francisco Garcia's Magical Run To The 2005 Final Four

The Player: Francisco Garcia
The Sneaker: adidas Pro Model 2G
The Date: March 2005

The Latino heat was officially brought to Louisville when Francisco Garcia stepped on campus for Rick Pitino. The Cardinals went on to make the 2005 Final Four with a squad that included Larry O'Bannon and Taquan Dean. The Dominican sensation, Garcia, helped fuel an upset win over #1 seed Washington in the Albuquerque regional semifinal and would cement his legacy as a Cardinal with his performance vs. Illinois in the National semifinal.


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No. 4 - Charlie Tyra Is Louisville's First All-American

The Player: Charlie Tyra
The Sneaker: Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars
The Date: Spring 1957

Charlie Tyra is not only the Cardinals' first All-American, but he's also their all-time leading rebounder and 11th on the NCAA rebounding list with 1,617. Tyra also led Louisville to the 1957 NIT Championship and was one of the first to have his jersey retired into the rafters.


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No. 3 - Darrell Griffith Becomes First Louisville Player To Win Player Of The Year

The Player: Darrell Griffith
The Sneaker: adidas Top Ten
The Date: March 1980

The man who earned the nickname "Dr. Dunkenstein" came to Louisville as the hometown hero that took the Cardinals to great heights. The Good Doctor, with a 48-inch vertical, would leave Louisville as the school's all-time leading scorer and would be the first Cardinal to win the prestigious Wooden Award, bringing new hardware to the U of L trophy case. It wouldn't be the only trophy he'd leave in Louisville, as a national championship birth awaited his Cardinals on March 24th.


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No. 2 - "Never Nervous" Pervis Brings Home Title #2 To Louisville

The Player: Pervis Ellison
The Sneaker: Converse Cons
The Date: March 31, 1986

There have only been three people who have won the NCAA Championship for their school while being named the tournament's MVP in the process as a freshman—Carmelo Anthony, Arnie Duncan and Pervis Ellison. Ellison led Louisville to their second NCAA title with an epic performance vs. the Duke Blue Devils with a 25-point, 11-rebound stat line. That performance earned him the MVP, and made him a legend in Louisville for the rest of his life.


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No. 1 - Dr. Dunkenstein Scores 23 Points As Louisville Wins Their First NCAA Title

The Player: Darrell Griffith
The Sneaker: adidas Top Ten
The Date: March 24, 1980

Dr. Dunk scored 23 points in the NCAA Final vs. UCLA in a 59-54 victory for Louisville at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, bringing the school their first national championship. Head coach Denny Crum brought a title to U of L in his 9th season and his legacy as the school's best coach would be forever cemented on this day.

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