The score, printed in tiny type on the agate page of most sports sections, almost certainly required a second glance.
The particulars surrounding the non-league matchup between Louisville and Towson State were strange enough, but not nearly as extraordinary as the outcome:
Towson State 81, Louisville 69.
Believe it. It really happened Monday night before a near-capacity crowd of 4,281 on this tiny campus north of Baltimore.
Louisville (12-8), a two-time NCAA champion led by Denny Crum, had won 11 of 15 games, scored only nine points in the final nine minutes and got beaten by an 8-10 team that had previously lost to Radford and Winthrop.
"These guys, they just don't listen. They think that one good game makes them a great team," Crum said. "I guess they'll just have to take their lumps until they get it figured out."
The game was set up in November when Crum realized Louisville's participation in the Great Alaska shootout did not count toward the regular season. The Cardinals needed two games, so they took Towson's place against Dayton on Dec. 29 and agreed to play the Tigers on the road this year.
In exchange, Towson State will play at Louisville the next two seasons. Perhaps by then the Cardinals will have learned that there's no such thing as a sure win.