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Louisville to honor 2 Final Four teams on Saturday

Get ready, Duke.

Denny Crum - Louisville Cardinals

From U of L:

The University of Louisville will celebrate “Throwback Day” at the KFC Yum! Center by honoring two NCAA Final Four teams on milestone anniversaries at halftime of the Cardinals’ Jan. 29 game against Duke. Tipoff for the game is at noon and will be televised by ESPN.

This year marks the 50th anniversary for UofL’s 1972 NCAA Final Four team (26-5 record), which was guided by future Hall of Fame Coach Denny Crum in his first season with the Cardinals. The Missouri Valley Conference Co-Champions featured five senior starters, including All-America guard Jim Price (1,460 career points, 1969-72), forward Ron Thomas, whose 13.0 career rebounding average is the fourth-best ever at UofL (1970-72), and 1,000-point scorer Al Vilcheck (1,048 points, 1969-72).

This season is also the 40th anniversary of the Cardinals’ 1982 Final Four team (23-10), which had six seniors on its roster. Crum’s fourth Final Four team, which was runner-up in the Metro Conference, included four starters that totaled over 1,000 career points in Derek Smith (1,826), Lancaster Gordon (1,614), Jerry Eaves (1,250) and Rodney McCray (1,247). The Cardinals beat UAB on its home floor to win the Mideast Regional. Smith’s son Nolan is an assistant coach for Duke, the Cardinals’ opponent on Saturday.

Free retro rally towels will be provided while supplies last, courtesy of the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. Fan photo opportunities with cutouts featuring some of Louisville Basketball’s most iconic players and coaches will be staged behind Section 111 (Rabbit Hole lounge). Kid-friendly games and activities will be available through halftime behind sections 319-323.