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For Cards Fans, An NCAA Tournament Alternative

The men’s NCAA basketball tournament has resumed. After this weekend, the four teams left standing will move on to the national semifinals in Houston.

University of Louisville fans are wondering what might have been had the Cardinals been able to play in the tournament. U of L President James Ramsey self-imposed a ban on post-season play amid multiple investigations of a sex scandal involving the men’s basketball program.

But the Monkey Wrench in the Highlands is giving Cards fans a chance to forget about the team’s troubles and relive their proudest moments.

Dennie Humphrey, who owns the Monkey Wrench, says while U of L is out of this year’s tournament, he still wants fans to join him in celebrating the Cardinals’ three national championships Friday night, when they can watch all three title games in their entirety.

“What we’re going to do is show the ’80, ’86 and the 2013 championships, in sequence, alongside … I have other TVs, so you can keep up with IU and the people you’re following,” he says.

Humphrey is a longtime U of L fan and says he also wants to thank the Cardinal faithful for their business.

“The first year I opened, I was open about three weeks, maybe two,  Louisville went to the Final Four," he says. "At that point I’m on a hope and a prayer that people show up, and 200 people were here representin’. And it never stopped from that year on. We just knew this place was Louisville."

Humphrey is calling his viewing party "March Sadness," a term he heard from one of his patrons, but he promises an upbeat evening.

“Hopefully a lot of high-fives and hugs, just because we’re not there this year," he says.

Tipoff for the 1980 championship game between Louisville and UCLA is at 7 p.m. tonight at the Monkey Wrench.


Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.