With an 82-76 win over Michigan on Monday night, the Louisville men's basketball team claimed its third national championship (1980, '86) in program history. This was head coach Rick Pitino's second national title, having won his first at Kentucky in 1996, making him the first coach in NCAA history to lead two different schools to a national championship. It's only fitting that on Monday morning Pitino learned he was elected for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Albrecht a surprising hero with 17 first-half points against the Cardinals
Shortly before CBS cut to Trey Burke receiving the Naismith Award as the top player in the country, the Michigan point guard wasn’t even the best point guard on his own team in first half of the title game.
With Burke on the bench with two fouls, seldom-used freshman Spike Albrecht stole the show in one of the most thrilling halves in a title game in recent years.
Albrecht, whose only other scholarship offer came from Appalachian State, scored 17 points in the first half for the Wolverines as Michigan took a 38-37 lead.
The Louisville men's and women's basketball teams will each play for the national championship, marking the third time both teams from the same school have accomplished this feat. The Cardinals join Duke (1999) and Connecticut (2004) as the only other schools to do so. On Monday night, the Louisville men's basketball team will try to defeat Michigan to win its first national championship since 1986, which also would make coach Rick Pitino the first to win it all at two different schools (Kentucky, 1996).
Breakout performances from Mitch McGary and Luke Hancock carry Michigan and Louisville to title game
For two athletic programs that are among the most successful in the country, the 2013 national title game will end droughts for both.
Louisville is playing in the national championship game for the first time since winning the title in 1986, a span that has included three Final Four appearances that came up empty. Meanwhile, Michigan is playing in its first title game since the end of the Fab Five era in 1993.
Officials called a held ball for one of the defining moments in the Final Four
Louisville had overcome a 12-point deficit against Wichita State, but a questionable call in the final 10 seconds helped seal the Cardinals' win in the Final Four and a trip to the national title game.
Luke Hancock, who was one of Louisville's heroes with 20 points, missed a free throw with 8.8 seconds left. Wichita State's Ron Baker grabbed the rebound, and Hancock clutched for the ball. After the two players wrestled for the ball, Baker passed to teammate Malcolm Armstead.
For the first time in NCAA Tournament history, two No. 4 seeds will face off when Michigan and Syracuse meet in the second game of Saturday's Final Four action in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Wolverines, the champions out of the South region are in the Final Four for the first time since the Fab Five era in 1993, while East champion Syracuse is back for the first time since 2003 when the Orange cut down the nets behind freshman sensation Carmelo Anthony. The winner of this game will face the winner of the earlier matchup between No. 1 Louisville vs. No.