Louisville Cardinals (24-8) vs. Boise State Broncos (25-8).
When: Friday, 9:40 p.m.
1. Remember, Remember, The Ninth Of February. Barring a run that ends with the third national title in program history, Louisville's 2007-2008 season is likely to be best remembered for the events of Feb. 9. Acting in accordance with a "white out" theme, Rick Pitino walked onto the floor for the Cardinals' home against Georgetown wearing an all-white suit. The questionable sartorial decision resulted in a hoard of predictably disappointing Scarface/Fantasy Island/Saturday Night Fever jokes from the old and new media alike, as well as a 31-23 halftime deficit for his team. He ditched the duds in favor of a more traditional black suit for the second half, and then watched the Cards outscore the Hoyas 36-20 and snatch their biggest win of the regular season. Pitino initially told Erin Andrews after the game that the switch was made because he spilled Diet Coke on himself in the locker room, but later admitted that he was actually worried about sweating through the suit and people being able to see that he was "wearing blue filters." Proving once again that he is indeed the greatest head coach to ever come out of Dickensian London.
2. You Are My Everything. Senior center David Padgett's college career was thought to be over after he broke his right knee cap in the second game of the season, but he made a miraculous five-week recovery, and ended up being a unanimous All-Big East selection. When asked about how important Padgett was to the team, junior forward Terrence Williams tried to sum up his feelings in a way everyone could relate to: "How much do people eat off plates? We feed off him a lot because he's our point-center, our point-forward, our point-shooting guard. He's everything because he rebounds the ball, he passes the ball, he leads us. He could lead us out of the closet, lead us to the ocean. He's just our everything." Also, a fun game to play if you're watching Louisville in the tournament is to count how many times Padgett is referred to as a "coach on the floor," or some slight variation. You won't win anything, but it's a good "God, announcers suck" anecdote to use around your friends, which is the only real reason you watch the tournament anyway.
3. Say It Right, People. There's a lot of confusion over the proper way to say "Louisville," so I'm going to use this space to clear up the issue once and for all. It's not "Loo-ee-ville," it's "Loo-uh-vull." The correct pronunciation, of course, is derived from the city's namesake: King Louah XVI of France, whose zany antics and legendary late-night dance parties endeared him to an entire nation. While the right answer is common knowledge to all Lou-uh-villians, debate over the appropriate way to articulate the beloved King's name has raged since his peaceful passing at the end of the 18th century, and was the subject of a hit song by The Kingsmen in 1955. — Card Chronicle
BOISE STATE BRONCOS
1. I Just Flew In From Boise, and Boy Are My Legs Tired. Four days might not be near enough time for the Broncos to rest up for their first round game. They needed three overtimes and 107 points to put away the pesky New Mexico State Aggies and take the WAC's auto-bid. The good news is that it was only 10pm in Las Cruces when the game finished up, so I guess everyone got their beauty sleep.
2. Dear Tiny, Infant Jesus. Call it the Ballad of Reggie Larry. The man with two first names is the most dangerous college player you've never heard of. The New Jersey native played two years at College of Southern Idaho before transferring in to BSU. He's averaging 19 points and 9 rebounds, and he can do this.
3. Multiple Personality Disorder. The Broncos have been a baffling team all season. They began the season with an obvious laugher against DI independent Utah Valley State, but needed OT to pull out the win in the home opener. They then proceeded to lose to Loyola Marymount in December, giving that moribund program one of their five wins this season. Then they finished 2007 with a huge out-of-conference home win over a ranked Brigham Young squad. They could lose by 20, or pull the upset of the tournament. I have no idea. — Storming The Floor