LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The following is the introductory chapter to "The Run: The University of Louisville's March to the NCAA Championship From the Pages of WDRB.com." The book is available in electronic formats only. At the end of this story, you'll see a link to download a PDF. Click on it and you may resize the book to your preference, or download to your computer. It also may be opened on iPads in the iBooks app, or on other readers.

The book is free of charge.

It will be available from the iTunes store, via iBooks, at a link provided below. (The iBooks version is not yet available, but we wanted to go ahead and make the PDF version and others available tonight).

For now, the Kindle version may be obtained by requesting it through email only. The Kindle Store at Amazon.com doesn't allow for free downloads. Email here to request a version for Kindle (version doesn't include photographs). Also, an ePub version for any e-reader is available through email request.

The book includes game stories and columns I wrote from the Big East and NCAA Tournaments, including a popular feature on the prayer Luke Hancock said for Kevin Ware, and its far-reaching consequences. It also includes the "Profiles of a Champion" series that is appearing on WDRB.com.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to contact me with any questions or issues.


Tournament runs lend themselves to book form, as long as the ending is the right one.

Every game is a chapter, every victory a climax, every player a character who develops over time. There's conflict, rising and falling action, and finally, a farewell.

The Run: Front cover

In 2012 when I went to cover the University of Louisville basketball team in the Big East Tournament for The Courier-Journal, I didn't think I was writing a long story. I took only about three days' worth of clothes and didn't even make a hotel reservation long enough to stay through the championship game. The next three weeks were something none of us was ready for.

That Big East championship and subsequent Final Four run were the prelude to a national championship for the Cardinals. In 2013 U of L and coach Rick Pitino returned with the No. 2-ranked team in the preseason and finished the job.

The pages that follow are a look at their 2013 national championship run. This time, there were no surprises. In fact, I have to admit that even as these pieces were put together, the idea of each of them being a new chapter was firmly in mind.

Here, you'll read pieces written about the games, for the most part, as they appeared under my byline at WDRB.com. They have been newly edited to be more suitable for book form. As for the players, there is some new material. I wanted to compile my own memories of covering them, some of them for several years, into a more suitable form. Mainly, my intent has been to provide an archive of this historic season in a more comfortable and preservable format.

It was a remarkable story to tell, and one I've enjoyed retelling. For those of you who read these as they appeared, thank you for taking a second look. To those reading for the first time, I hope these will serve as an invitation to visit www.wdrb.com often.

Championships are big business. I added up the other day that if you bought every commemorative championship product offered by the local newspaper, you'd be out just over $200. That's only fair. They go to a great deal of expense to produce that coverage. At the same time, I thought there ought to be something out there for people who wanted to remember this run for free.

At some point, we in the media need to say, "Thank you." So this little compilation is part commemoration, part thank you note, to those who read, and to those players and coaches who graciously shared of themselves, their time and their thoughts during this season. I know for college students doing interviews is a chore. This was a team that never treated it as such, at least not while the cameras were rolling. They shared of themselves not just with reporters, but by extension with fans.

I'd also like to thank in this place the leadership at WDRB, president and general manager Bill Lamb, Vice President and Director of News Barry Fulmer, assistant news director Jennifer Keeney, web manager Mike Dever and my fellow sports staffers at WDRB, Rick Bozich, Tom Lane, Pat Doney and Steve Andress, for their tireless hard work and support. Finally, thanks to sports information director Kenny Klein and his staff at the University of Louisville, whose help over the years has been immense.

This fall, Pitino will publish his own book, heavy on recollections from the NCAA championship run, a book I am working with him to write. But I wanted also to set down my own work, as it happened, in a more lasting form.

The eBook, you'll note if you download it, is dedicated to Owsley Brown Frazier, who did not live to see this championship run, but was instrumental in it happening.

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