2013 National Championship Game: Louisville Cardinals Win First Title Since 1986

By Trevor Lowry
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With a victory in the 2013 National Championship Game, the Louisville Cardinals won their first title since 1986.

Three Louisville teams have now been crowned champs, but the Cardinals took quite the break from their second title to their third title. This championship victory could easily go down as the best one in Louisville history for multiple reasons.

First, Kevin Ware went down with a gruesome injury in the Elite Eight and his team won this title for him. The story of Ware is one for the ages, and it is something special of how this team rallied around the injured Ware. Another reason is coach Rick Pitino became the first coach to win a title at two different schools. That feat had never been accomplished until last night. There were so many story lines going into this game for both Louisville and the Michigan Wolverines.

The victor would have definitely earned the title. However, the Cardinals entered the tournament as the best team–they had the No. 1 overall seed–and they left the tournament as the last man standing.

The other two titles for Louisville came back in the 80s, so you can definitely say that the Cardinals were well overdue.

Louisville will be losing some really good players from this year’s team, but that is usually the case in college basketball when you have a good team. John Calipari’s Kentucky teams over the last couple of years is a great example of that. However, the Cardinals will be a good team once again next year and you can bet that they will once again be a powerhouse in college basketball.


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