By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Louisville Cardinals rule the men’s basketball world.
The Cardinals were the No. 1 overall seed going into the tournament. As teams started to fall to the waist side, many expected the Cardinals would make it to the championship game.
And now only did the Cardinals make it to the championship game. They actually won the championship game, 82-76, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
With the win, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino becomes the first head coach in the 75 year history of the tournament at two different schools. He guided Kentucky to the 1996 championship.
The 17 year gap was the longest between championships for a head coach in the tournament.
It is also the Cardinals first championship since 1986. They also won their first championship in 1980.
Luke Hancock led the scoring for the Cardinals, as he scored 22 points. Peyton Siva added 18 points, as they overcame a 12 point deficit late in the first half.
Michigan’s Trey Burke added 24 points and was a prominent factor in the Wolverines making it to their first Final Four since 1993. Spike Albrecht, who was little used as a freshman, chipped in 17 points when Burke got into foul trouble.
Albrecht scored all his points in the first half. And he finally missed a shot with less than a 11 minutes let.
Chane Behanan gave the Cardinals the lead in the second half after scoring nine quick points. He finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Hancok, who won the Most Outstanding Player Award, made four three pointers in the Cardinals 14-1 run that gave the Cardinals a one-point lead. Glenn Robinson III, a young and talented freshman for Michigan made two free throws at the end of the first half to give the Wolverines the 1-point lead.
Trailing in the second half was nothing knew to the Cardinals. They have trailed by as many as 10 points or more this season, which included Saturday’s semifinals game against Wichita State.
Hancock has stepped up big since Kevin Ware went down with his horrific injury. Russ Smith, who was benched in the second half by Pitino, finished with 9 points after shooting 3-for-16 from the field.
Michigan is expected to lose sophomore point guard Trey Burke after this game. He considered leaving for the NBA after last season; however, he decided that he should come back for his sophomore season for “unfinished business” at Michigan.
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