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PHOTOS: Louisville celebrates in locker room with Bill Clinton

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Bill Clinton looks ready to party. Russ Smith, left, and Chane Behanan, center, are right there with him. (Chane Behanan)

NEW YORK -- Bill Clinton: you've been photobombed.

The pictures you see here are evidence of Chane Behanan and his teammates' first meeting with a president. Clearly, the group is not bashful. Clinton surprised the team with a postgame visit to the Louisville locker room after the Cardinals' 74-55 win over Villanova Thursday night in the Big East quarterfinals.

"That's just me," Behanan said of the photos he posted that went insta-viral. "I'm just that type of person with anybody."

Behanan was the one who instigated all the Instagram photos, he said. Cards guard Russ Smith confirmed. He gathered everyone around, brought Clinton in for the shots, and made some good material for feel-good Internet fodder. Clinton, man. The young guys love him.

"He loved us -- hopefully," Behanan said.

I think the photos say it all.

Gorgui Dieng, Clinton and Pitino share a light moment just after the Cards' win. (Louisville Athletics)

The group photo -- but spot Behanan giving Clinton bunny ears. (Louisville Athletics)

Chane Behanan, thank you. (Chane Behanan)

Is this Red Steel? Cardinal mean-mugging? (Chane Behanan)

The best. (Chane Behanan)

The 42nd President of the United States has a relationship with Louisville coach Rick Pitino that dates back to the '90s. Clinton showed up for the night sessions of Thursday's Big East session in Manhattan -- and the team did not know beforehand he was planning on showing.

It also did not know Clinton was going to stop by after the game. Just as Pitino and a few of his players were getting ready to walk to the postgame press conference, someone on Clinton's security detail asked if he could stop it.

"We all love Bill Clinton," Smith said. "He walked in and it was like, 'Ahhhhh!!! Bill Clinton!"

"We all approached him -- very slowly," Behanan said. "He was telling us about becoming a president, how things were, traveling, and he talked to Gorgui (Dieng) about visiting Senegal, asked what city he (Dieng) was from. I thought I'd never meet a president. AN honor and a blessing."

Clinton stayed in the locker room for nearly 10 minutes, sharing stories, taking photos and giving a bunch of people in that room a lifetime memory. Smith could point to one reason why he is such a Clinton fan.

"I think I was around for that," Smith said of the man's presidency (and now you feel old). "My mom loved him, my dad loved him, and when you grow up around that, you just have a great respect for somebody, especially if your parents loved them."

As for the man's candor and demeanor, Behanan was a quote machine.

"I mean, I think the president got swag, he got that swag to him," Behanan said. "I don't want to say what type of swag he got, but he got swag. I don't know if it's appropriate -- I mean, its' appropriate, but I don't want to say. I don't want to start nothing up."

Oh, but you already did, Chane. This is turning into an awesome Big East tournament.


Photos 1, 4, 5 and 6 via Chane Behanan's Instagram feed. For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe to the thrice-a-week podcast on iTunes. You can follow Matt Norlander on Twitter here: @MattNorlander.

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