Louisville Wins the National Championship
If there was a team that could hold up under the Louisville pressure, it was the Michigan Wolverines. And for two-thirds of the 2013 National Championship, that's exactly what they did.
But it's at that two-thirds point where even the best teams have started leaking oil against the the Louisville Cardinals. And it was at that point on Monday night when the Cards took a lead they wouldn't relinquish and battled their way to an 82-76 win and the national title.
Behind Chane Behanan's 15 points and 12 rebounds; Peyton Siva's 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists; and Final Four Most Outstanding Player Luke Hancock's 22 points, Lousville won it's third championship and first since 1986. The Cardinals also won the title in 1980.
For Rick Pitino, who becomes the first coach to win titles at two different schools (he won at Kentucky in 1996), the win capped an unbelievable day in which he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
What a game! As a fan, I couldn't have asked for better. Both teams led by double digits at least once and it was a fight to the end. Even when Louisville took the lead in the second half and never gave it back, it was by single digits the rest of the way as Michigan continued to fight the inevitable fatigue that comes when facing the Louisville pressure.
Both teams were ranked in the Top 5 pre-season and both spent exactly one week at #1 at some point. In the end, the Louisville Cardinals finished an emotional week by winning the 2013 National Championship.