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16. Dream game

For 24 long years, the anger and frustration had festered in the city of Louisville. The hometown Cardinals had become a basketball power but were denied the chance to prove just how powerful because the ultimate measuring stick, the Kentucky Wildcats, refused to play them. The rejection was about basketball but included so much more -- race, demographics, country, city, tradition and the nouveau. Then, thanks to the serendipity of the NCAA tournament bracket, there was no choice. In March 1983, the two met in the regional final in Knoxville, Tenn., dubbed the "Dream Game" by Louisville fans. The Cardinals' overtime win officially signified their arrival not just nationally but also within their own commonwealth and ushered in an annual game between the two rivals. -- Dana O'Neil