Ahh, it’s Homecoming weekend this weekend, which means it’s time to get together with friends on a chilly Friday night, buy over-priced beer at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, bundle up in that shameless University of Louisville Snuggie to keep warm… and find out which basketball player was named homecoming king.
That’s right, basketball player. Not football player.
Heisman candidate, Teddy Bridgewater, is especially surprisingly absent from this homecoming king year’s ballot, while basketball all-stars Luke Hancock and Russ Smith are neck-and-neck for king.
“We’re still high on the NCAA National Championship win,” says Emily Wortham, sophomore grad student at the University of Louisville.
And maybe she’s right! Of the ten finalists nominated for homecoming court, Luke Hancock and Russ Smith are undoubtedly the most recognizable.
Of course the city loves these two players, and we’d all love to see either one crowned homecoming king this weekend, but if a football player isn’t going to win homecoming, why these two and not, say, Kevin Ware (who was on David Letterman last spring, and is also now verified on Twitter)?
“It’s the ‘Year of the Cardinal’ and homecoming is a way for us to show off what we have at our school,” says Katie Carrigan, junior nursing student at the University of Louisville, “Russ was a big part of Louisville making it to the championship game, so he deserves to be homecoming king.”
Carrigan also points out the fact that #InRussWeTrust along with #CardNation were both trending nationwide on twitter during the last few games of March Madness, which is not recognition that every school gets.
Wortham is also rooting for Russ for homecoming king. “Russ considered leaving us for the NBA but he didn’t. He showed his love and loyalty to the University of Louisville and his fans, and I could not thank him enough.”
On the other hand, Alex Dixon, a junior justice administration student at the University of Louisville, has her hopes up for King Hancock. “Luke is the ideal candidate to represent the university,” says Dixon. “He has developed into a leader for our team, and he really took the championship game into his own hands.” Not to mention all the other games last season that Cool Hand Luke saved with his signature 3-pointers.
Whether it comes down to Luke or Russ, it’s safe to say that this year’s homecoming king will be deserving of the title.
Watch the game this Friday night at 8 against UCF on ESPN, or buy your last-minute tickets to the game at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium here!