Louisville honors 1974-75 NCAA Final Four team

samdraut

Louisville men’s basketball honored its 1974-75 team that reached the NCAA Final Four at halftime of the Cardinals’ victory over Clemson Jan. 25 at the KFC Yum! Center as part of a 45-year anniversary celebration.

The 1975 team reached the Final Four for the third time in program history, finishing with a 28-3 record while winning the Missouri Valley Conference Championship. Coached by Denny Crum, Louisville defeated fourth-ranked Maryland in the Midwest Region final to advance to the Final Four.

Junior Bridgeman and Allen Murphy were senior All-Americas for the Cardinals. Murphy was Louisville’s leading scorer for three straight seasons, scoring in double figures for a school-record 57 straight games. Bridgeman averaged 16.1 points and 7.4 rebounds during his senior year.

“We felt like we were elevating the foundation so to speak,” Bridgeman said. “Louisville already had a foundation of great basketball with Coach Bernard Hickman and Wes Unseld, but I think it went to a different level with our team. I think everyone realized that Louisville was going to be a national contender year in, and year out. That’s what Coach Crum did in his 30 years.”

Louisville lost to top-ranked and eventual National Champion UCLA in overtime in the national semi-finals. The team’s starting lineup included Bridgeman, Murphy, Wesley Cox, Phillip Bond and Bill Bunton.

Louisville defeated Clemson 80-62 while wearing adidas throwback uniforms representative of those worn by the 1975 team.  

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