Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports
Louisville played for themselves, for the program's third national championship overall and first under coach Rick Pitino. They played for teammate Kevin Ware, whose leg injury served as a rallying point for the team throughout the Final Four.
They also played for a tattoo.
The agreement came roughly at midseason, Ware said. It was simple: If Louisville went forward and won the national championship, Pitino would have to get a tattoo - with the decision about exactly what the tattoo would say coming later.
"About 12-13 games ago, all of these guys, when they say 'hello' they get a tattoo," Pitino said after the game. "They said if you win the national championship, coach, you are getting a tattoo. I said, hell yeah, I am getting a tattoo."
After Louisville's 82-76 win over Michigan, Pitino needs to follow through on his end of the deal. Don't think the Cardinals have forgotten.
"I think that was our biggest motivation, was to get (Pitino) a tattoo," guard Peyton Siva said.
"It means everything," Ware said, "and I'm gonna hold him to that tattoo he gonna be getting soon."
For the 60-year-old Pitino, the next step will be to come to a decision on multiple fronts, all circling around his new body art. Where should it go? What should it say?
Most of all, how much will it hurt?
"I told some reporters he should get a lower-back tattoo," Siva said. "He said, 'Does it sting?' I said, I don't know. I don't have any tattoos." (Siva is actually no stranger to tattoos: During the Big East tournament, former President Bill Clinton said of Louisville's senior guard, "He was amazing last year. And nice tattoos.")
Neither does forward Luke Hancock, the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player after scoring a combined 42 points in the Cardinals' wins over the Wolverines and Wichita State.
"I don't have any tattoos. But we have a couple of ideas," Hancock said. "I don't think he knew what he was getting into when he signed up for that one."
One idea for Pitino to consider? A name. Siva's name, to be exact.
"You know, get my name," Siva suggested.