Originally posted on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 4/9/13
For one night the NCAA got what it needed the focus wasn’t on the Rutgers basketball program and it’s now former coach Mike Rice. Instead the focus was on the game itself. The National title game, Louisville Cardinals and the Michigan Wolverines. And the game didn’t disappoint. Michigan came out firing in the first half of the game at one point they shot 62 percent and couldn’t miss. leading the charge early for Michigan was Freshman Spike Albrecht who made four straight from beyond the arc, blowing by his career high before the break with 17 points. Coming in, Albrecht was averaging 1.8 points a game and had not scored more than seven all season. Michigan was beliving it was their night in fact they led 33-21 and look to put the dagger to Louisville at that point. They believed it was their night so much that when Albrecht blew by Tim Henderson with a brilliant hesitation move, Michigan led 33-21 and Louisville was forced to call timeout. The freshman was mobbed on the Michigan bench, like the Wolverines had already won the national title, with one teammate waving a towel in tribute. From that point on it became Louisville’s game first closing the gap on a 16-3 run in less than 4 minutes that gave the Cardinals their first lead of the night, 37-36.Glenn Robinson III made two free throws with two seconds left to give Michigan a 38-37 lead at halftime. ”I’ve had a lot of really good teams over the years, and some emotional locker rooms, and that was the most emotional we’ve ever had,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. ”The team unity we had, the sacrifice we had from five seniors who did not get to play very much, to these young guys buying into the team concept. ”We feel bad about it. There are some things we could have done better and get a win, but at the same time, Louisville is a terrific basketball team. We have not seen that quickness anywhere.” The second half became Louisville’s game in the end. They were the comeback team in this tournment. They had to comefrom behind two other times in leading up to the National Title game, once in the Big East Tournment in the Championship game and the other against Wichita State. This comeback will be the one Louisville will long remember. This marks quite a week for Louisville coach Rick Pitino. His race horse won a big race on the way to the Kentucky Derby, and a few more days after his son got the head coaching job at Minnesota. And being announced a member of the Hall of fame class. Now add his second NCAA Title both in the state of Kentucky(Kentucky in 1996 and now at Louisville 2013) and it has been an amazing week for Rick Pitino.
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