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Louisville Beats Michigan 82-76 to Win NCAA Title

Updated: Tuesday, April 9 2013, 01:05 AM CDT

Rick Pitino capped the greatest week of his life with the prize he wanted most of all.

Luke Hancock produced another huge game off the bench, scoring 22 points, and Pitino became the first coach to win national titles at two schools when relentless Louisville rallied from another 12-point deficit to beat Michigan 82-76 in the NCAA championship game Monday night.

This title came on the same day Pitino was announced as a member of the latest Hall of Fame class, a couple of days after his horse won a big race on the way to the Kentucky Derby, and a few more days after his son got the head coaching job at Minnesota.

This was the best feeling of all. The Cardinals (35-5) lived up to their billing as the top overall seed in the tournament, though they sure had to work for it.

Louisville trailed Wichita State by a dozen in the second half before rallying for a 72-68 victory. This time, they fell behind by 12 in the first half, though a stunning spurt at the end of the period wiped out the entire deficit.

"I had the 13 toughest guys I've ever coached," said Pitino, who plans to follow through on a promise he made to his players if they won the title - by getting a tattoo.

No one was tougher than Hancock, who matched his season high and was named the most outstanding player - the first sub ever to win the award. Coming off a 20-point effort in the semifinal victory over Wichita State, he came off the bench to hit four straight 3-pointers after Michigan got a boost from an even more unlikely player.

Freshman Spike Albrecht made four straight from beyond the arc, too, blowing by his career high before the break with 17 points. Coming in, Albrecht was averaging 1.8 points a game and had not scored more than seven all season.

Albrecht didn't do much in the second half, but Hancock finished what he started for Louisville. He buried another 3 from the corner with 3:20 remaining to give the Cardinals their biggest lead, 76-66. Michigan wouldn't go away, but Hancock wrapped it up by making two free throws with 29 seconds left.

While Pitino shrugged off any attempt to make this about him, but there was no doubt the Cardinals wanted to win a national title for someone else - injured guard Kevin Ware.

Watching again from his seat at the end of the Louisville bench, his injured right leg propped up on a chair, Ware smiled and slapped hands with his teammates as they celebrated in the closing seconds, the victory coming just 30 miles from where he played his high school ball.

Any pain he was feeling from that gruesome injury in the regional final, when he landed awkwardly, snapped his leg and was left writhing on the floor with the bone sticking through the skin, was long gone as he hobbled gingerly onto the court with the aid of crutches, basking in a sea of confetti and streamers.

Louisville again came out wearing Ware's No. 5 on the back of their warmup jerseys, which said "Ri5e to the Occasion" on the front. When the title belonged to the Cardinals, Ware put on a championship cap and got a big hug from Pitino. Then, they lowered the basket so the injured player could cut a strand out of the net.

This one belonged to him as much as anyone on the court.

"These are my brothers," Ware said. "They got the job done. I'm so proud of them, so proud of them."

Peyton Siva added 18 points for the Cardinals, who closed the season on a 16-game winning streak, and Chane Behanan chipped in with 15 points and 12 rebounds as Louisville slowly but surely closed out the Wolverines (31-8).

Michigan was in the title game for the first time since the Fab Five lost the second of two straight championship games in 1993. Players from that team, including Chris Webber, cheered on the latest group of young stars.

But, like the Fab Five, national player of the year Trey Burke and a squad with three freshman starters came up short in the last game of the season.

"A lot of people didn't expect us to get this far," said Burke, who led the Wolverines with 24 points. "A lot of people didn't expect us to get past the second round. We fought. We fought up to this point, but Louisville was the better team today, and they're deserving of the win."

The first half might've been the most entertaining 20 minutes of the entire tournament.

Burke started out on fire for Michigan, hitting his first three shots and scoring seven points to match his output from the semifinal victory over Syracuse, when he made only 1-of-8 shots.

Then, when Burke picked up his second foul and had to go to the bench for the rest of the half, Albrecht took control. The kid whose nickname comes from his first pair of baseball spikes showed he's a pretty good hoops player, knocking down one 3-pointer after another to send the Wolverines to a double-digit lead.

When Albrecht blew by Tim Henderson with a brilliant hesitation move, Michigan led 33-21 and Louisville was forced to call timeout. The freshman was mobbed on the Michigan bench, like the Wolverines had already won the national title, with one teammate waving a towel in tribute.

"That was honestly, probably back to high school days," Albrecht said, remembering when he's had a stretch like that. "Coach Beilein doesn't play guys with two fouls in the first half, so I knew I was in the rest of the half, and I was fortunately hitting shots. Teammates were finding me. That's about it."

It didn't last. Not against Louisville.

The Cardinals came back one more time.

"We just went into war right there with a great Michigan team," Hancock said. "We needed a rally and we've been doing it for a couple of games straight, being down. We just had to wait and make our run."

Burke, who played only six minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, finished with 24 points and did his best to give Michigan its first championship since 1989. But he couldn't do it alone. Albrecht was held scoreless after the break, and no one else posted more than 12 points for the Wolverines.

Still, it was quite a run for a fourth-seeded team that knocked off No. 1-seeded Kansas with the greatest comeback of the tournament, rallying from 14 points down in the second half to beat the Jayhawks in the round of the 16.

But they came up against the ultimate comeback team in the final.

"I've had a lot of really good teams over the years, and some emotional locker rooms, and that was the most emotional we've ever had," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "The team unity we had, the sacrifice we had from five seniors who did not get to play very much, to these young guys buying into the team concept.

"We feel bad about it. There are some things we could have done better and get a win, but at the same time, Louisville is a terrific basketball team. We have not seen that quickness anywhere."

Louisville had already pulling off a stunning rally in the Big East championship game - down by 16 in the second half, they won by 17 - and another against Wichita State. They surged back again behind their own ace off the bench.

Hancock matched Albrecht from the 3-point stripe. Then, trapping the youngster and knocking the ball away, he set up a fast break that ended with Siva flipping up a lob that Montrezl Harrell slammed through for a dunk, capping a stunning 16-3 run in less than 4 minutes that gave the Cardinals their first lead of the night, 37-36.

Glenn Robinson III made two free throws with two seconds left to give Michigan a 38-37 lead at halftime.

But everyone knew this game was just getting started.

And when it was done, Pitino, Ware and the Cardinals were celebrating in the middle of the mammoth Georgia Dome, assuring the national title will stay in the bluegrass another year.

Last season, it was Kentucky winning it all, the same team that gave Pitino his first title in 1996.

Now, he's got another one - right down the road in Louisville.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)Louisville Beats Michigan 82-76 to Win NCAA Title


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Scores & Schedules

November 29, 2014 08:11 GMT

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Friday's Scores

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final Chicago 109 Boston 102

Final Golden State 106 Charlotte 101

Final Dallas 106 Toronto 102

Final Milwaukee 104 Detroit 88

Final Atlanta 100 New Orleans 91

Final L-A Clippers 102 Houston 85

Final Oklahoma City 105 New York 78

Final Indiana 98 Orlando 83

Final San Antonio 112 Sacramento 104

Final Denver 122 Phoenix 97

Final Memphis 112 Portland 99

Final Minnesota 120 L-A Lakers 119

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Final N-Y Rangers 3 Philadelphia 0

Final Chicago 4 Anaheim 1

Final Washington 5 N-Y Islanders 2

Final Carolina 4 Pittsburgh 2

Final 2OT Detroit 5 New Jersey 4 (SO Detroit 1-0)

Final Buffalo 2 Montreal 1

Final Vancouver 5 Columbus 0

Final OT Boston 2 Winnipeg 1

Final Florida 3 Ottawa 2

Final OT St. Louis 4 Edmonton 3

Final OT Minnesota 5 Dallas 4

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Final Stanford 31 ( 9) U-C-L-A 10

Final (12) Arizona 42 (13) Arizona State 35

Final (17) Missouri 21 Arkansas 14

Final OT Western Kentucky 67 (19) Marshall 66

Final Air Force 27 (21) Colorado State 24

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Final ( 2) Wisconsin 69 Oklahoma 56

Final ( 5) North Carolina 75 (18) Florida 64

Final ( 8) Virginia 64 La Salle 56

Final (10) Gonzaga 73 St. John's 66

Final (11) Kansas 82 Tennessee 67

Final (16) Ohio St. 73 James Madison 56

Final (17) Miami 87 South Alabama 75

Final (20) Michigan St. 79 Marquette 68

Final (22) UCLA 88 UAB 76

Final Mississippi 75 (23) Creighton 68

Final (25) Arkansas 89 North Texas 73

TOP-25 WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Final ( 1) South Carolina 67 (22) Syracuse 63

Final ( 3) UConn 85 Coll. of Charleston 24

Final (11) North Carolina 70 ( 5) Stanford 54

Final ( 8) Duke 72 Stony Brook 42

Final OT ( 9) Kentucky 92 Oklahoma 88

Final (10) Maryland 80 James Madison 64

Final (12) Louisville 102 Lafayette 61

Final (13) Baylor 99 Utah St. 43

Final (14) California 110 San Jose St. 87

Final (15) Nebraska 71 UCLA 66

Final Arkansas 77 (17) Iowa 67

Final (21) Rutgers 60 Colgate 44

Saturday's Schedule - All Times EDT

TOP 25 FOOTBALL

No. 1 Florida State vs. Florida, 3:30 p.m.

No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 15 Auburn, 7:45 p.m.

No. 3 Oregon at Oregon State, 8 p.m.

No. 4 Mississippi State at No. 18 Mississippi, 3:30 p.m.

No. 5 Baylor vs. Texas Tech at Arlington, Texas, 3:30 p.m.

No. 7 Ohio State vs. Michigan, Noon

No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 16 Georgia Tech, Noon

No. 10 Michigan State at Penn State, 3:30 p.m.

No. 11 Kansas State vs. Kansas, 4 p.m.

No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 22 Minnesota, 3:30 p.m.

No. 23 Clemson vs. South Carolina, Noon

No. 24 Louisville vs. Kentucky, Noon

No. 25 Boise State vs. Utah State, 10:15 p.m.

TOP 25 BASKETBALL

Men

No. 8 Virginia vs. Rutgers at the Barclays Center, 9:30 p.m.

No. 9 Wichita State vs. Tulsa, 3 p.m.

No. 14 VCU at Old Dominion, 2 p.m.

No. 19 Michigan vs. Nicholls State, 4 p.m.

No. 21 West Virginia vs. College of Charleston, 7:30 p.m.

No. 23 Creighton vs. Middle Tennessee at The Arena, Niceville, Fla., 6 p.m.

Women

No. 3 UConn vs. Vanderbilt at Germain Arena, Estero, Fla., 8:30 p.m.

No. 5 Stanford at Hawaii, 9:30 p.m.

No. 9 Kentucky vs. South Florida at UVI Sports & Fitness Center, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 8:15 p.m.

No. 10 Maryland vs. Washington State at Mario Morales Coliseum, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, 2:30 p.m.

No. 11 North Carolina vs. Prairie View at Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, 7 p.m.

No. 13 Baylor vs. Stetson, 1 p.m.

No. 14 California vs. Cincinnati or Creighton, 8 or 10 p.m.

No. 17 Iowa vs. Gonzaga at South Point Arena, Las Vegas, 6:30 p.m.

No. 18 DePaul vs. Northwestern, 8 p.m.

No. 19 Oregon State vs. BYU at at George Q. Cannon Activities Center, Laie, Hawaii, 6 p.m.

No. 20 Oklahoma State vs. Texas State, 3 p.m.

No. 22 Georgia at Tennessee Tech, 7 p.m.

No. 22 West Virginia vs. Fairfield, 2 p.m.

No. 25 Mississippi State at New Orleans, 3 p.m.

NBA

Dallas at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

New Orleans at Washington, 7 p.m.

Charlotte at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Indiana at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at Utah, 9 p.m.

Houston at Milwaukee, 9 p.m.

NHL

Buffalo at Montreal, 7 p.m.

Ottawa at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Carolina, 7 p.m.

Washington at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

New Jersey at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

St. Louis at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Columbus at Nashville, 8 p.m.

Dallas at Colorado, 9 p.m.

Calgary at Arizona, 10 p.m.

Chicago at Los Angeles, 10 p.m.

Anaheim at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

MLS PLAYOFFS

Conference Championships, Second Leg

New York at New England, 3 p.m.

Sunday

NFL

Tennessee at Houston, 1 p.m.

Oakland at St. Louis, 1 p.m.

Carolina at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Washington at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

Cleveland at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

San Diego at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Cincinnati at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

New Orleans at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

Arizona at Atlanta, 4:05 p.m.

New England at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m.

Denver at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.

TOP 25 BASKETBALL

Men

No. 1 Kentucky vs. Providence, 2 p.m.

No. 4 Duke vs. Army, Noon

No. 7 Texas at No. 24 UConn, Noon

No. 11 Kansas vs. No. 20 Michigan St. at HP Field House, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 4 p.m.

No. 12 Villanova vs. Delaware, 4:30 p.m.

No. 25 Arkansas vs. Iona, 3:30 p.m.

Women

No. 2 Notre Dame vs. Kansas at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn., 1 p.m.

No. 3 UConn vs. TBA at Germain Arena, Estero, Fla., TBA

No. 4 Tennessee at No. 6 Texas, 6:30 p.m.

No. 5 Stanford vs. Prairie View at Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 8 Duke, 1 p.m.

No. 11 North Carolina at Hawaii, 9:30 p.m.

No. 13 Baylor vs. Marist, 3 p.m.

No. 15 Nebraska vs. Northern Colorado, 3 p.m.

No. 16 Michigan State vs. Miami (Ohio), 2 p.m.

No. 21 Rutgers vs. Davidson, 1 p.m.

NBA

San Antonio at Boston, 1 p.m.

Chicago at Brooklyn, 3 p.m.

Golden State at Detroit, 3:30 p.m.

Memphis at Sacramento, 6 p.m.

Miami at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Orlando at Phoenix, 8 p.m.

Minnesota at Portland, 9 p.m.

Toronto at L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m.

NHL

Vancouver at Detroit, 2 p.m.

MLS PLAYOFFS

Conference Championships

LA Galaxy at Seattle, 9 p.m.

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