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Coming out of beautiful Louisville, Kentucky, the University of Louisville Cardinals athletic program has a rich history of success in its many athletic programs. They are led by their mascot, Louie the Cardinal, where the school’s nickname derives from the Kentucky State Bird. Louie can be seen dancing around the basketball court or parachuting down into the football stadium on game days. The Cardinals can be seen in action wearing their famed red and black uniforms and sporting the iconic Cardinal side-profile logo with a fierce look on its face. The Louisville Cardinals participate in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The most storied of athletic programs at Louisville is the men’s basketball program. Sitting on the banks of the Ohio River, the basketball team calls the KFC Yum! Center home. Here, 22,000 fans gather to cheer on their Cardinals to victory while donning the famed red and black colors of the school. The men’s basketball program has three NCAA national championships to its name while making 10 Final Four appearances. The program has seen many great players make their way through, including Pervis Ellison, Darrell Griffith, Greg Minor and Rodney McCray.
The other notable athletic program on the campus is the football team. The Cardinals play their home games in Louisville at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in front of 55,000 home fans. The Louisville football team is drenched in tradition, starting with the team arriving at the stadium and every team member touching a statue of the great Johnny Unitas prior to taking to the field. At Cardinal Stadium, the fans are reminded of kickoff 30 minutes prior when fireworks blast off from the stadium and a loud train horn blows. And at the conclusion of each game, the entire team stands on the field in front of the student section and sings the school fight song “Fight! UofL.”
Rivalries run deep in Cardinal country, beginning with Louisville’s in-state rivalry with the University of Kentucky Wildcats. The men’s basketball success at both schools has led to the Battle for the Bluegrass game being a very high profile in the state of Kentucky. The Cardinals also have fierce rivalries with the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Virginia Cavaliers in the ACC. Other famous athletes to come through the Louisville program are the aforementioned Johnny Unitas, DeVante Parker, Elvis Dumervil, Teddy Bridgewater and Calvin Pryor.