Oakland basketball receives donation from Louisville fan reveling in Kentucky’s early March Madness exit

March 30, 2024

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Louisville basketball fans are still celebrating Oakland’s upset of Kentucky, despite the Golden Grizzlies’ run coming to an end in the second round. 

The first real shock of March Madness came in the first round when Oakland topped the third-seeded Wildcats in an 80-76 victory behind Jack Gohlke’s career-high 32 points last week. 

Wildcat bench reacts

Aaron Bradshaw, #2 of the Kentucky Wildcats, reacts on the bench during the second half of a game against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at PPG Paints Arena on March 21, 2024, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The initial response from Oakland fans was what one would expect, but according to head coach Greg Kampe, Cardinals fans couldn’t help but revel in the defeat of their biggest rival. 

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“We also sold $8,000 worth of t-shirts to Louisville last night,” Kampe said a day after advancing to the second round. “So I don’t know, next year when Louisville and Kentucky play, I don’t know everybody’s gonna show up in an Oakland shirt or what.” 

But Louisville’s celebrations didn’t end there.  

Kampe revealed on X Friday that Oakland had received a donation from a Cardinals fan as part of their March Madness tradition. 

Greg Kempe celebrates win with team

Oakland Golden Grizzlies head coach Greg Kampe celebrates with Oakland Golden Grizzlies guard Blake Lampman (11) and Oakland Golden Grizzlies forward Trey Townsend (4) after winning the men’s Horizon League Championship game between the Oakland Golden Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Panthers on March 12, 2024, at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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“A Louisville resident and obvious fan sent Oakland a check with a nice note. He says he normally sends a certain amount each year to the school that knocks Kentucky out of the tournament,” Kampe wrote.

“This year because of our story he doubled the amount. Truly the definition of March Madness.” 

Louisville celebrating Oakland’s victory comes amid a turbulent year for the Cardinals’ basketball program. 

Kenny Paynes talks to the team

Head coach Kenny Payne of the Louisville Cardinals huddles with his team during the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Dean E. Smith Center on January 17, 2024, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heels won 86-70.  (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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Earlier this month, the University of Louisville moved on from head coach Kenny Payne, who won a national championship with the school as a player in 1986, after two disastrous seasons and a 12-52 record. 

The decision came just one day after Payne suggested that he did not have the proper support following a first-round loss to North Carolina State in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

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