Louisville withstood a 17-point first-half performance by Spike Albrecht and 24 points from Player of the Year Trey Burke. In fact, Burke was only the second player to score at least 20 points against the Cardinals all year! Louisville definitely played great defense, but it was the Cardinals’ offense that really spurred them to victory. Luke Hancock had yet another incredible game, leading his team with 22 points, including four three-pointers in a 90-second span. His performance capped a perfect day for Rick Pitino, who was named to the Hall of Fame the morning before the game. Needless to say, it was a perfect ending for Louisville.
They said the National Championship game was going to be a classic and to say it was as good as advertised is an understatement. We saw the No. 1 offense in the country face off agains the country’s top defense but Louisville displayed superb offense as well while Michigan didn’t do bad on defense. However, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament played like it and showed for the second straight game it knows how to play through adversity. The Cardinals brought home their first title in nearly 30 years after star guard Russ Smith got off to a slow start, as did his team, but then roared back to cut down the nets.