Fortunately for those who waited, players obliged their requests as they got in their cars.
Louisville sophomores Ben Kao and Chelsea Tidd were the most patient and persistent, getting most of the players to autograph their $110 adidas mesh T-shirts bearing Peyton Siva's number 3. Kao wore white while Tidd wore red, both shirts marked up with the names of prominent Cardinals.
"They've been gone for almost a month, so this was really exciting to see them," said Kao, also touting the accomplishment. "I can't wash this shirt, but I can hang it up."
Tidd was hoping to add more names from the women's team upon their return.
"You wouldn't think both teams would get there, so it would be great if they both won," she said. "This is such an exciting time in our school's history. The best part about today was I didn't think I'd get any autographs."
The joyous mood could be seen around the city, as message boards congratulated both Cardinals' programs for their achievement. Even Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is basking in another milestone for Bluegrass State basketball.
Last year was Kentucky's turn in the spotlight, achieved with a Final Four win over Louisville en route to its eighth championship. This season began with the Cardinals and Wildcats ranked 2-3 behind Indiana, but ended with Louisville reigning over the sport.
"It couldn't be a bigger day for the Commonwealth of Kentucky," Beshear said afterward on the floor of the Georgia Dome. "For the Cardinals to win it this year, UK won it last year. You talk about the basketball capital of the world, it's right here in Kentucky."
AP Staff Writer Brett Barroquere in Louisville and Freelance Writer Josh Abner in Atlanta contributed to this report.
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