Spike Albrecht shined while Trey Burke sat.
After all that, Michigan and Louisville were still pretty much even. Then the Wolverines couldn't stop Louisville in the second half.
With Burke on the bench in early foul trouble, the seldom-used Albrecht scored 17 points in the first half, and the Wolverines led by 12 in Monday night's national title game. But that lead was only one at halftime, and the Cardinals went on to win 82-76.
Albrecht and Burke both played plenty in the second half, but Michigan couldn't prevent Louisville from converting around the basket. Albrecht went scoreless after halftime, leaving Burke - the national player of the year - to try to rally Michigan. He did his best, finishing with 24 points, but it wasn't enough.
In the end, it was the defense that let Michigan down. The Wolverines shot 52 percent from the field and 8 of 18 from 3-point range, but when they fell behind late, they weren't able to string together enough stops for a rally.
Michigan had be...