Louisville helped its NCAA case immeasurably today with a convincing 78-68 home win over number one Syracuse, the second time the Lil’ Pitinos have beaten the Orange this season. But the biggest story about the game itself — bigger even than Louisville getting a super-clutch 22-point dunk-fest from this ultra-anonymous dude — was that it marked the last Louisville game at Freedom Hall. CBS gave this all the pomp one would expect, including a moderately over-the-top highlight reel dedicated to the arena which was highlighted by the amusingly jarring transition from a voiceover by Denny Crum to one by Rick Pitino.
Which, you know: it’s to be expected. But all that easy sentiment more or less begs the notably less reverent sendoff from Jon Bois — a pioneer in the field of knowing that Jim Thome would absolutely have exclusively caps-locked IM conversations — at SB Nation:
Freedom Hall, the building, is geographically isolated and bereft of character – two qualities that are uncommon in a college basketball arena. From the outside, it looks like an airplane hangar. It isn’t on campus; rather, it was slapped together in a massive concrete desert south of downtown. The desert, which stretches for miles, is home to an expo center, a Six Flags that just went out of business, an airport, and a seldom-used mixed-use stadium. I’m saying that whenever I go there, I experience the urge to take a bunch of high-contrast black-and-white photos, caption them with lower-case pithy descriptors, and post them on my blog (which is probably named “s e e i n g t h e w o r l d” or something equally banal).
Remember fifth period in high school, when you wanted to grab a seat next to the wall so you could lean against it and try to fall asleep? Freedom Hall is made entirely of that wall.
… Of all the sports venues in the United States, Freedom Hall is surely the easiest to draw in MS Paint. My God, this building is boring. I do not know who designed it but I will bet you ten dollars that his favorite dish was oatmeal.