'Year Of The Cardinal' Documentary Airing Thursday On ESPNU

Andy Lyons

The oft-discussed "Year of the Cardinal" documentary highlighting Louisville's unreal 2012-13 athletic season will be airing on ESPNU this Thursday night at 7:30. The program will be an hour long...and it will be the best hour of television since the Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas special.

Here's the entire release from U of L:

The University of Louisville and sports fans alike celebrated last year's championship victories and unparalleled success never before attained. The sports world, now, has a chance to relive the Cardinals' unprecedented season.

Louisville's "Year of the Cardinal" will be retold by the Cardinals' coaches, student-athletes, and sports figures through an hour-long documentary produced by the Holden Production Group for UofL. The initial airing of the program will be on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The show primarily will highlight Louisville's football, baseball, and men's and women's basketball teams.

The greatest accomplishment from the year was Louisville becoming the first university to win a BCS bowl game, place both its men's and women's basketball teams in the NCAA Final Four, and reach the baseball College World Series in the same season.

The first of the major feats began with Louisville's football team, led by head coach Charlie Strong. After a 9-0 start, a first in school history, the Cardinals dropped their next two games, but rebounded with a memorable win at Rutgers behind quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to capture the BIG EAST title and the program's second BCS bid. Facing a favorite in fourth-ranked Florida, Louisville jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and never looked back, posting a 33-23 victory.

Next up was Louisville's men's basketball team, which was a preseason favorite to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Under the direction of head coach Rick Pitino, the Cardinals won their final 16 games of the season to secure the final BIG EAST regular-season and tournament championships with its membership at the time and then the program's third NCAA title. By the end of the year, Louisville won a school-record 35 games.

The women's basketball team nearly matched that accomplishment. In addition to knocking off top-seeded Baylor in the NCAA Tournament, recognized as the top postseason upset in college basketball history, Louisville sprinted to the NCAA championship game. Along the way, the Cardinals knocked off Tennessee and California before reaching the national final.

Louisville's baseball concluded the year by making a run to the College World Series. The Cardinals won their regional, which included victories over powers Miami (Fla.) and Oklahoma State, and then defeated No. 2 Vanderbilt in Nashville in the Super Regional.

Also during the year, UofL accepted an invitation to join the Atlantic Coast Conference on Nov. 28, 2012.

Throughout the 2012-13 athletic season, Louisville teams recorded eight BIG EAST Conference titles, with men's basketball and volleyball earning both the regular season and conference crowns. Eleven of UofL's teams reached or had a participant reach NCAA postseason play, and an astounding 10 teams finished their seasons ranked in the top-25 nationally.

Louisville's combined 126 wins in its four highly visible sports (baseball, men's and women's basketball, and football) was just three wins short of the NCAA record for a single season (126-30, .808 winning percentage).

Louisville is one of just four schools in the BCS era (since 1998) to win football, men's basketball and baseball conference titles in the same season.

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