Louisville won a national championship on Monday night and the fact that the Cardinals are basketball’s best team in 2013 really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
The Cardinals were a favorite to win a title in a lot of circles, and the way they overcame the devastating injury to Kevin Ware and a pair of double-digit deficits in the Final Four over the weekend in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta just made it seem as if they were a team of destiny.
I’ve witnessed several teams win national titles, and a lot goes into being crowned a champion. You need a few breaks, a little luck and a lot of talent to put yourself in a position to win a title, and Louisville had it all as it closed the deal on Monday night with a 82-76 win over Michigan.
You also need an X-Factor, and Luke Hancock filled that role. He rose to the occasion off the bench and dropped 22 points on the Wolverines en route to being named the MVP of the tourney.
Hancock delivered in the most pressure-packed game of the year, and he will no doubt be a key to success for the Cardinals next season in their quest to repeat as champions. Granted, the odds of repeating as champions will be slim to none as it’s tough enough to win one.
Still, next year doesn’t matter at the moment. All that matters is that Louisville played like a champion when it mattered most, and it cemented its place among the great teams in college hoops history.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.