Top 10 Winners & Losers of the 2013 Final Four

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2013 Final Four: Top 10 Winners & Losers

final four
Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

The 2012-13 college basketball season has come to a close and the Louisville Cardinals are national champions for the first time since 1986.

The 2013 Final Four featured a number of incredible and inspiring story lines, but now another season is in the books and the attention turns to an off-season of coaching changes, recruiting and NBA Draft decisions.

However, before we turn the page on the 2012-13 season, let's take a look back the Final Four and what some of the winners and losers of this year's quest for the title. Sure, Michigan lost on Monday night and 67 of the 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament ended their season with a loss, but plenty of them have things to look forward and memories that will last a lifetime.

Well, without further ado, let's take a look back at this weekend's Final Four and break down five winners and five losers who highlighted the end results of the competition:

For a look at the 2013-14 Preseason Top 25 College Basketball Rankings, click here.

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Winner: Rick Pitino

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Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

Let's see here, Rick Pitino became the first head coach at the Division I level to win national championships at two different schools. Ironically enough, it's a pair of hated rivals that he guided to national glory; Kentucky in 1996 and Louisville here in 2013. In addition, Pitino was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday morning and his son Richard Pitino was named the head coach at Minnesota just last Wednesday.

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Loser: Michael Carter-Williams

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Daniel Shirey-USA Today Sports

Michael Carter-Williams will be a lottery selection in the 2013 NBA Draft if he makes the expected decision to declare. However, Carter-Williams didn't do himself any favors at the Final Four, scoring two points on 1-of-6 shooting in a loss to Michigan.

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Winner: Luke Hancock

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Robert Deutsch-USA Today Sports

Luke Hancock spent two seasons at George Mason, transferred to Louisville and sat out the entire 2011-12 season per NCAA rules. Hancock shined in the Cardinals' Final Four victories, earning the Most Outstanding Player award. Hancock tied a career-high with 22 points in Louisville's championship win.

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Loser: Referees

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Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

The refereeing was average at best throughout the entire NCAA Tournament here in 2013 and that includes the Final Four round. Even members of the national media panel were calling out the officiating this past weekend and it comes on the heels of a week in which Ed Rush and the Pac-12 were caught in their whole fiasco.

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Winner: Trey Burke

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Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

Trey Burke did not win a national championship, but the Michigan point guard has quite the trophy case after this past week. Burke won every national player of the award and saw his NBA Draft stock soar into the top ten.

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Loser: Spike Albrecht

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Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

Spike Albrecht scored 17 points in the first half of the National Championship game. Okay, so he's a winner, but that was short-lived when he decided to tweet at Kate Upton. Okay so Albrecht didn't get a response from Upton -- big deal, oh well. The future is still bring in maize and blue for this freshman guard.

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Winner: Kevin Ware

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Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

Kevin Ware did not get to play in the Final Four here in 2013 after suffering a gruesome broken leg last Sunday. However, Ware has inspired not only the Louisville Cardinals, but many players and people across the country. Thanks to his teammates, Ware is now a national champion.

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Loser: Big East Conference

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Debby Wong-USA Today Sports

Oh sure, the Big East Conference was represented well in Atlanta with two Final Four teams and the national champion Louisville Cardinals. However, the conference isn't going out on top, it's going out of style. Neither of the two teams that were in the Final Four will be members of the new Big East next season, so there should be no credit to the conference, in this case.

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Winner: John Beilein

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Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

John Beilein did not win a national championship on Monday night, but one thing became very apparent -- the Wolverines' program is heading in a great direction. Michigan will likely have to replace a good chunk of their talent from this season, but there is plenty of depth and hype surrounding the Wolverines after their run to the national title game here in 2013.

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Loser: Fab Five

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Matthew Emmons-USA Today Sports

Chris Webber and all five members of the Fab Five showed up to cheer on the Wolverines on Monday night. Michigan was playing in their first national championship in 20 years, but the Fab Five brought no luck here in 2013. The Fab Five's 1993 national championship game appearance was later vacated by the NCAA.

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