By Sean de Ganon
The Louisville Cardinals won the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship Monday night. They beat the Michigan Wolverines in the final, 82-76.
Louisville was also in the women’s final but lost to the University of Connecticut Huskies, who were expected to win. It was a bit of a blow-out, the score was 93-60. They already had a big lead after the first half, thanks largely to a UConn freshman (first year college student) named Breanna Stewart. This is the 8th time the Connecticut women’s team has won.
Louisville Cardinals’ men’s coach Rick Pitino is the first coach ever to win the men’s championship twice — coaching at two different schools. The first time was 17 years ago (in 1996) when he coached the Kentucky Wildcats.
The Cardinals have won in the past too but almost 30 years ago.
The Cardinals topped the Wolverines in an exciting back-and-forth game.
The first 17 minutes was all about a Michigan player named Michael “Spike” Albrecht. He scored 17 points in the first 17 minutes. Michigan held a 12-point advantage over the Cardinals, but after that it went downhill. Michigan blew the lead when Louisville went on a 14-3 run, in which Louisville’s Luke Hancock, scored four straight 3-pointers to tie it (Hancock ended up getting the Final Four’s Most Valuable Player award). Then a Gordy Dieng dunk made it a one-point Louisville lead. Albrecht made two free throws to give the Wolverines the lead, but then the second half came.
Unfortunately, I was only able to watch the first half, because a kid has to get a little sleep.
Louisville held on with Hancock scoring a game-high 22 points. Not as much as Michigan star Trey Burke, who scored 24 despite the Wolverine’s (tragic) loss. After the game, Burke said, “There is a lesson in every failure in life, and it’s just up to you to learn and grow from it.” An inspiring quote from an inspirational player.
In another inspiring moment, the Cardinals’ Kevin Ware, who so graphically broke his leg in an earlier round, was there to cut the net down , a tradition reserved for the winners.
Rick Pitino, Louisville’s 60-year old coach, had made a bet with the players that if they won the championship, he would get a tattoo. A lot of people are chiming in with what it should say. I think it should read “Louisville 4-ever”.
You can see some great highlights at the NCAA’s website by clicking here .
Sean de Ganon is a 13-year old budding sports journalist who loves writing about basketball and football. You can read his blog at www.nflataglance.blogspot.com .