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“Louisville Live” isn’t going anywhere

New Cardinal head coach Kenny Payne hopes to build on the event’s early success.

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Fairly or unfairly, the Chris Mack era at Louisville is destined to be remembered as one of the least successful stretches in the history of Cardinal basketball.

U of L made just one NCAA tournament in four seasons under Mack, and won a grand total of zero games in the Big Dance. A global pandemic and other off-the-court distractions like the Dino Gaudio extortion disaster only added to the unsightliness.

It wasn’t all bad, of course.

One of the major success stories of the last four years has been the creation and the evolution of “Louisville Live,” which has served as the unofficial season kickoff event for both the U of L men’s and women’s teams since 2018. The event was held at Fourth Street Live in 2018 and 2019, was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, and then made a triumphant move to Churchill Downs last season.

With Kenny Payne taking over the program, there had been some thought that the tradition might not continue. Payne told Cardinal Authority’s Jody Demling that isn’t so.

“Of course,” Payne said when asked about continuing the tradition. “We need that.”

Jack Harlow, Donovan Mitchell and Angel McCoughtry were all in attendance for the second Louisville Live, while last season’s event featured members of U of L’s 1986 national championship team as well as Montrezl Harrell.

The fans enjoy it, the players enjoy it, it’s been good for recruiting; I’m very happy that Louisville Live is sticking around and hopefully it will continue to grow and flourish.