HOUSTON (CBS Houston) What began with over six dozen men’s collegiate basketball teams vying for No.1 ended Monday with one outpacing and outshining all of the rest.
The University of Louisville stamped and solidified its greatness as the best of the best when it comes to college basketball, with a 82-76 victory against the University of Michigan for the men’s NCAA Title Championship game in Atlanta, Georgia Monday evening.
Head coach of Louisville Rick Pitino appeared to be joyously celebrating the victory as it comes on the same day Pitino was announced as a member of the latest Hall of Fame class, a few days after his horse won a big race on the way to the Kentucky Derby and after his son was named head coach at Minnesota.
Luke Hancock came off the bench, scoring 22 points leading the Cardinals to victory over the Wolverines. He came off the bench to hit four straight 3-pointers in the first half of Monday night’s championship game.
As brackets all over the country were finally laid to rest, or at least until next year, the Cardinals lived up to their billing as the top overall seed in the tournament; their rise to the top did not come easy. Many college teams tested the Cardinals’ strength, tenacity and endurance during basketball competitions.
Although Louisville’s Luke Hancock was named the most outstanding player, it was the University of Michigan’s freshman Spike Albrecht who created quite a stir. Albrecht, the freshman backup for national player of the year Trey Burke, set the court ablaze Monday night, scoring 17 points and solidifying his place amongst the unlikely NCAA heroes.
One major setback came to the Cardinals when backup guard Kevin Ware shattered his tibia in the middle of an Elite Eight victory over Duke; for Louisville it proved to be an experience that propelled the men, stabilizing them and leading their heart and souls to ultimate victory.
When it was all said and done at the Georgia Dome Monday night, the Cardinals won their third title and first since 1986.
Perhaps Louisville’s Kevin Ware relayed the sentiment that permeated throughout the University of Louisville men’s basketball team: “These are my brothers,” Ware said. “They got the job done. I’m so proud of them, so proud of them.”