Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/9/13
The Louisville Cardinals are national champions in men’s basketball. The team rallied to take down the Michigan Wolverines 82-76, after enduring a tournament that tested the team’s limits. Just two weeks ago, Cardinals guard Kevin Ware was rushed to the hospital with a broken leg after contesting a shot in the team’s win over Duke. Ware’s advice to his teammates before he was carted off the court? ““Just win the game. I’m OK. Just win the game.” The Cardinals won that game. And the games after that to take the crown. The No. 1 seeded lived up to their top billing in the tournament, taking care of every team in their path on the way to the title. The win capped off a special week for Louisville coach Rick Pitnio, as the win came on the same day he was announced as a member of the newest Hall of Fame class. Earlier in the week, Pitino’s horse won a big race on the way to the Kentucky Derby, and his son got the head coaching job at Minnesota. Pitino is now the only coach in NCAA history to win national championships with two different schools, after Kentucky won the title 17 years ago with him at the helm. Luke Hancock came off the bench to give Louisville 22 points in the win, and Peyton Siva added 18 points for the Cardinals, who closed the season on a 16-game winning streak. As viewers at home prepared themselves for the “One Shining Moment” montage, the hoop was lowered so that Kevin Ware could cut the remaining pieces of the net down. In that special moment, fans everywhere were reminded why we all love college sports.  

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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