Tag Archives: Milt Wagner

Cardinal Rewind: ’86 Memphis State

Spoiler Alert. Sorta. Oh, not really. 

Yes, duh, this is a consideration of the iconic U of L game when Milt Wagner netted two free throws with a tick left on the clock to steal the ’86 regular season finale from arch rival Memphis State. 

Any lifelong Cardinal fan born before the mid 1970s remembers the particular moment and most of the details of the joyous concluding seconds. 

But, until I watched a replay of the game yesterday for the first time, if someone were to have asked me what I remembered about the rest of the action, my answer would have been the same as Edwin Starr’s, when he was asked, “War, what is it good for?”

Absolutely nothing.

So, when I happened upon a full video yesterday, I settled in to watch. 

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First the details of the final sequence. Continue reading Cardinal Rewind: ’86 Memphis State

Billy T’s Boffo, Milt is Money: The Cacophony of A Champion

joaniecardThe University of Louisville will honor its 1986 NCAA champions this Saturday at the Yum!. Allow me to pay my respects.

There was the loud, a loud like no other.

Loud beyond Nigel Tufnel’s 11, louder than a 767 or the starting line at the Brickyard.

It was a hoops hullabaloo, a b-ball ballyhoo, a Doctors of Dunk-sized din of epic proportions. It was bedlam.

Pandemonium didn’t only reign, it poured.

Freedom Hall was full with the ear splitting racket of victory, a loud more intense than it had ever felt before, twenty thousand sets of vocal chords in full throttled exuberance.

It was the cacophony of champions past and soon to come.

Maestro Milt Wagner, arms raised in an inevitable and momentarily to be secured victory over fierce rival Memphis State, led the symphony.

This was March 2, 1986. This was the moment with :02 on the clock, and the loathed Tigers up by a point in the regular season finale, that provided catalyst, precipitated that month’s run to Louisville’s second, dynasty establishing national title.

It was the moment when the basketball gods gave the surest sign that Denny Crum’s Louisville Cardinals were the Team of the 80s.

That sonorous resonance fueled a magical March.

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Some factoids, bits of trivia and perspective on the ’86 season, and championship run: Continue reading Billy T’s Boffo, Milt is Money: The Cacophony of A Champion