clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Best Louisville Game of the Decade Tournament Final Four: 2 vs. 11

Time to find out if the slipper still fits...Gus Johnson.

2. No. 5 Louisville blacks out No. 3 West Virginia (11/2/06)


Defeated No. 15- 2007 Big East tourney victory over West Virginia (Stats unavailale)
Defeated No. 7- The miracle comeback against Tennessee (81%-18%)

When I'm 177-years-old and my mind is finally starting to go, I will still always remember that the '06 Louisville/West Virginia game was played on Nov. 2. It was a game that was talked about so much, from the moment the Big East schedule was released up until the opening kickoff, that the date should forever be etched into the memory of any Cardinal fan who experienced the Orange Bowl season.

With all due respect to the Final Four run the year before, this was the most alive the city was for a sporting event in the 2000s. You couldn't go anywhere without seeing someone in card wear or having someone tell you about their tailgating plans or their struggle to land tickets. There were "beat West Virginia" spots on both local television and radio. The game was THE sports story of the week at the national level, and every possible detail was scrutinized for the four work days leading up to it.

It was Louisville taking its biggest step yet towards a national football. It seemed at times that week like the city might burst.

In the biggest game of his Cardinal career, Brian Brohm tossed for 354 yards and a touchdown as Louisville took advantage of several Mountaineer mistakes to notch a 44-34 victory. The crowd, dressed in all black, stormed the field as U of L stood just four victories away from (probably) playing for the national championship.

Perhaps the biggest case for this being the game of the decade is that it seems to be the "where were you" moment brought up the most by Cardinal fans.



Defeated No. 6- Reece Gaines' bomb buries Marquette (73%-24%)
Defeated No. 3- The 2007 Orange Bowl (57%-42%)

The game wasn't competitive, but this was the moment Louisville football really captured the attention of the American public.

After the Cards had suffered a crushing three-point loss in Miami two years prior, this statement game was hyped all summer by Louisville fans and local media. The intensity was ratcheted up a notch when a war of words broke out between U of L linebacker Nate Harris (a UM transfer) and Hurricane quarterback Kyle Wright in the days leading up to the contest, and then set ablaze when players from The U elected to stomp on the Cardinal bird during pregame warm-ups.

After falling behind 7-0, Louisville ripped off 31 straight points to score one of the biggest victories in program history and establish themselves as a legitimate contender for the national championship.

"Well it was pretty obvious today we were embarrassed," Miami coach Larry Coker said after the game. "Our players are embarrassed. Our coaches are embarrassed. We thoroughly got whipped."

Everyone knows the details: Harris' fumble recovery, Brohm's injury, Cantwell's first pass, George Stripling's ridiculous speed and, of course, the Mario stiff-arm.

What an ass-kicking and what a day to be a Louisville football fan.

Vote or be forced to host DeMarcus Cousins for a formal dinner.