The 2013 National Championship Game was one for the ages.
A high-flying, up-tempo thriller from Atlanta did not disappoint, as hot shooting and a run and gun feel dominated the rhythm throughout. In the end however, it was the Louisville Cardinals taking the championship with an 82-76 victory over the Michigan Wolverines.
Michigan freshman Spike Albrecht stole the show early on, lighting the Cardinals up for 17 points in the first half. Albrecht was able to give the Wolverines an early edge following two quick fouls on Trey Burke, the 2013 National Player of the Year. While Michigan survived a good chunk of the first half with Burke on the bench, Louisville was eventually able to make their move.
Luke Hancock, who was the star in the team’s Final Four victory over Wichita State on Saturday, heated up from beyond the arc and flipped the game back on the Wolverines just before the break. Despite the early foul trouble and lack of true minutes, Burke still starred for the Wolverines on Monday night, scoring 24 points.
After the break however, Louisville did what they do best. The Cardinals scored at will and controlled the tempo with a balanced attack on the offensive end and some in-your-face defense at the other. Louisville ends the season with 16 consecutive wins and a national championship.
Peyton Siva, playing in his final game in a Louisville uniform was crucial, but also credit the play of sophomore forward Chane Behanan, whose toughness and fight around the rim played a key role in the Cardinals’ victory.
Louisville is your 2013 NCAA Tournament National Champions!
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS