Louisville Cardinals Visit President Obama at the White House

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2013

The Louisville Cardinals defeated the Michigan Wolverines to capture the men's college basketball championship in April. One of the perks of their triumph was a trip to the White House, which took place on Tuesday:

Rick Pitino's group visited with President Obama at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and presented him with a customized jersey, per Dan Dry on Instagram:

Before March Madness began, President Obama correctly predicted Louisville would reach the national title game, but he picked his hometown-favorite Indiana Hoosiers to defeat the Cardinals for the championship. The Hoosiers were knocked out by Syracuse in the Sweet 16.

Despite the bracket snub, the Cardinals also presented President Obama with an autographed basketball—signed by Peyton Siva en route to Washington—and a Louisville Slugger baseball bat:

Once the team arrived to the White House and the players started taking in their surroundings, Siva sent out an Instagram photo of his best John F. Kennedy impression:

Apparently, not all of the Cardinals found the trip as exciting as the star guard, though. Gorgui Dieng caught Chane Behanan catching up on some sleep while waiting on President Obama to arrive to begin the ceremony:

It's been a busy couple of days for the Cardinals. On Monday they were awarded their championship rings, which were presented just in time for the White House trip. Add in the travel to Washington, and the forward must have needed some brief shuteye.

Here's a look at the ring each player now proudly owns:

The President wasn't the only Obama the players got a chance to meet while at the White House. Bo, the first family's Portuguese water dog, was also in attendance:

Once the President arrived, he greeted the Cardinals:

He also gave a shout out to Kevin Ware, who helped provide inspiration to Louisville during the team's title run after suffering a gruesome injury:

Dieng was also a topic of conversation after Obama visited Senegal, the center's home country, and said people there were excited about his success:

The President also mentioned the victories made by the team in the classroom, as well as on the basketball court:

All told, it was a memorable day for a memorable team.