Louisville topples Michigan, wins the national championship

ATLANTA – The storylines weren’t as expected, but the 2013 NCAA tournament ended the same way many people projected at the start of March.

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Louisville came into March as the favorite to cut down the nets, and that's exactly how it ended on Monday, as the Cardinals overcame a 12-point first half deficit to beat Michigan, 82-76.

The first half belonged to Michigan’s Spike Albrecht, who scored all 17 of his points in the first 20 minutes of the game. He was completely shut down in the second half, though, and Michigan couldn’t find too many answers outside of Trey Burke. Burke finished with 24 points, but the Wolverines ran out of weapons.

Like it has so many times this season, Louisville just kept coming at Michigan. The Cardinals wore the Wolverines down, as Michigan committed 12 turnovers and gave up 15 offensive rebounds. Peyton Siva was outstanding, scoring 18 points and constantly creating problems by getting into the lane. Chane Behanan had 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Luke Hancock went for 22 points and five 3-pointers.

Mitch McGary had been the key for Michigan all tournament, but he couldn’t get anything going against Louisville. He was saddled with foul trouble, and only finished with six points and six rebounds. Behanan and Gorgui Dieng dominated him on the other end, combining for 23 points and 20 rebounds – along with six assists from Dieng.

Michigan simply couldn’t keep up what it did in the first half. The 3-pointers that were falling early were bouncing out in the final 20 minutes – and Louisville was taking advantage, despite a disappointing performance from Russ Smith, who finished 3-for-16 from the field.

Rick Pitino also made history, becoming the first coach to ever win a national championship with two different schools. 

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