Fourth-ranked Louisville rolled over Villanova, a 74-55 trouncing that was both expected and cursory. It sets up a final four showdown with Notre Dame tonight, while Syracuse and Georgetown face off again in the other semifinal. While the Big East tournament isn't dead, it will be different. The current configuration always promised match-ups heavy with backstory, the glamour of MSG, and random celebrities. Like, hey, there's Bill Clinton just chilling in the Cardinals' locker room!
Clinton's a big basketball fan , and a good friend of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, going back to a 1996 on-campus campaign stop during Pitino's UK days. (According to an SNY reporter, Pitino last night jokingly took credit for delivering Kentucky in the election.) And Clinton has something of a habit of showing up unannounced in victorious locker room.
"We all love Bill Clinton," Russ Smith said. "He walked in and it was like, 'Ahhhhh!!! Bill Clinton!"
CBS's Matt Norlander was there for the aftermath of the visit, and writes that Clinton spent about 10 minutes taking photos, telling stories, even talking with Gorgui Dieng about his home country of Senegal. But the real social media star of the evening was sophomore forward Chane Behanan, who set up and took most of the above photos of Clinton mugging, then posted them to Instagram.
"I mean, I think the president got swag, he got that swag to him," Behanan said. "I don't want to say what type of swag he got, but he got swag. I don't know if it's appropriate — I mean, it's appropriate, but I don't want to say. I don't want to start nothing up."
Clinton may have the most swag in the free world, but it takes impressive counter-swag to give the former president bunny ears, as Behanan did in this photo, released by U of L's athletics department. Swag all around.