The University of Louisville will honor its 1980 NCAA Championship team on the 35th anniversary year of their national title at halftime of the Cardinals’ July 17 game against Duke in the KFC Yum! Center.
The 1979-80 Cardinals, who posted a 33-3 overall record, were guided by future Hall of Fame Coach Denny Crum and led by national player of the year Darrell Griffith, who averaged 22.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Four players who scored over 1,000 career points at UofL were members of that team, including Griffith (2,333 points, U of L’s all-time leading scorer), the late Derek Smith (1,826), Jerry Eaves (1,250) and Rodney McCray (1,247).
UofL will wear special adidas uniforms that feature a historic 1980s-inspired blend for Saturday’s game. A modern take on the uniforms worn during Louisville’s 1980 and 1986 NCAA Championship runs, the retro uniform celebrates the rich tradition of Cardinal Basketball. Blending the best of past and present, the uniform features the same lightweight Revolution 30 technology used in the NBA while evoking a retro feel with the throwback letter, numbering and logo similar to the features on the 1980s team uniforms. The Cardinals’ first two NCAA championships are commemorated on the jersey’s inside collar. Each leg of the shorts showcases the Louisville “Dunking Bird” Cardinal logo that was prominent in the 80’s.
Louisville was arguably the most dominant team in college basketball during the decade of the 1980s. During the decade of the 1980s, the Cardinals won two national championships (equalled only by Indiana); sent an unmatched four teams to the Final Four (1980, 1982, 1983, 1986); reached the NCAA Sweet 16 teams seven times (bettered only by North Carolina’s nine times); and posted the highest NCAA Tournament winning percentage in the nation (.793, 23-6).