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Cardinal Fans Say Final Goodbyes To Final Four Team

I went down to the Final Four celebration yesterday at Fourth Street Live, but haven't written anything about it up until this point because, while it was a very cool scene, there were really only a couple of memorable takeaways.

First was a fist-pumping Rick Pitino standing up and leading an impromptu C-A-R-D-S cheer (incredible).

Second was Zach Price "launching" perhaps the worst t-shirt throw I've ever seen. That should go right behind free-throws on his summer "to improve" list.

While the event was supposed to be a celebration of the team's tremendous pair of accomplishments, it felt more like a goodbye than anything, which made me leave feeling more sad than invigorated.

I was ready for a little bit of a break when the season ended...but I wasn't ready for it to end forever. Just a couple of days ago I woke up from a dream where somehow Louisville was going to get a third shot at Kentucky in the national championship game. The smack of reality that came about five seconds later was pretty brutal.

Tuesday really hammered the point home that this is, in fact, over. We're not simply taking a short break before getting right back into our Big East/NCAA Tournament routines. We've got seven months of no basketball ahead of us before starting the ride from the beginning with a new squad.

I walked back to my car with Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion" in my head.

Little darling of mine
I can't for the life of me
Remember a sadder day
I know they say let it be
But it just don't work out that way
And the course of the lifetimes runs
Over and over again.

Like I've said before, being completely and suddenly stripped of Louisville basketball after having it as a constant for so many months is always a strange new reality, but when the final weeks of the season were so intense and enjoyable, it makes the adjustment especially difficult. Or at least awkward.

We'll be talking about the incredible March run this team had and what we did and how we felt during it for the rest of our lives, and that will be enjoyable. For now though, even with all there is to look forward to, I'm still just sad that it's really over.

Anyway, for those who couldn't make it down, here's the full video of yesterday's celebration from the C-J: