Louisville beat Michigan to win NCAA championship

ATLANTA – Louisville won the 75th edition of the NCAA men’s basketball championship on Monday, beating Michigan 82-76 in a pulsating final in front of more than 74,000 fans at the Georgia Dome.
Louisville guard Kevin Ware holds the net after cutting it down following Louisville victory over Michigan in the NCAA title game. Net photo.
Louisville guard Kevin Ware holds the net after cutting it down following Louisville victory over Michigan in the NCAA title game. Net photo.

ATLANTA – Louisville won the 75th edition of the NCAA men’s basketball championship on Monday, beating Michigan 82-76 in a pulsating final in front of more than 74,000 fans at the Georgia Dome.

The Cardinals overcame a slow start, in which they twice trailed by 12 points in the first half, to outscore Michigan 45-38 in the second and capture their third national title after previous wins in 1980 and 1986.

Luke Hancock came off the bench and scored a career-best 22 points, including five three-pointers, while Peyton Siva added 18 points and Chane Behanan 15 for Louisville.

Trey Burke, the national player of the year, scored 24 points in a losing effort for the Wolverines while Spike Albrecht contributed 17 after coming off the bench, all in the first half.

Inspired by their team mate Kevin Ware, who broke his leg earlier in the tournament in a horrific fall, Louisville’s players burst into celebration when the clock ran out and confetti rained down on the Georgia Dome court.

Louisville went into the championships as the number one seeds and stretched their winning streak to 16 games with Monday’s victory under the guidance of Rick Pitino, who became the first coach to win NCAA titles at different universities after steering Kentucky to the 1996 title.

“For a young basketball team, to play that well is absolutely fantastic,” Pitino said.

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