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Louisville Outlasts Michigan, 82-76, For Third NCAA National Title

Danny Lee |
April 8, 2013 | 10:36 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino can now add an NCAA title at Louisville to the one he collected at Kentucky. (bradjward/Creative Commons)
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino can now add an NCAA title at Louisville to the one he collected at Kentucky. (bradjward/Creative Commons)
One shining moment wasn't enough for Louisville head coach Rick Pitino on Monday -- he had two of them.

On the same day Pitino was announced as one of seven new inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he led the top-seeded Cardinals to an 82-76 victory over Michigan at the Georgia Dome to capture the program's third NCAA national championship. With an NCAA title at Louisville to go along with the one he helped in-state rival Kentucky bag in 1996, the 60-year-old became the first men's coach to win championships with two different Division I schools.

It was a competitive title game where both teams demonstrated flurries of explosive offense, but the Cardinals grabbed the lead for good at the 13:50 mark. Despite trailing by 10 points with 3:27 remaining, the Wolverines kept things close until the end, twice chipping the deficit to four points during the waning minutes.

Luke Hancock and Peyton Siva converted two free throws apiece down the stretch to put the contest out of reach. Hancock was named the Most Outstanding Player after keeping Louisville within striking distance during a lackluster first half.

The 6-foot-6 junior came off the bench to score 16 of his career-high 22 points before halftime, making all five of his attempts from 3-point range. Chane Behanan chipped in with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Siva finished with 18 points.

Louisville had to storm back from an early 12-point deficit to snatch its first lead thanks to a 14-1 run, punctuated by a Siva to Montrezl Harrell alley-oop dunk.

Michigan found an unexpected scoring punch off the bench of its own as Spike Albrecht had 17 first half points as a fill-in for Trey Burke, who played limited minutes due to foul trouble. Burke finished with 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

The Cardinals rallied around guard Kevin Ware, who broke his leg in horrific fashion during the first half of their Elite Eight victory over Duke. After an emotional week, Ware finally had his chance to celebrate with teammates, as the basket was lowered to allow the 6-foot-2 sophomore to participate in the traditional net-cutting ceremony.



Read more Neon Tommy coverage of the NCAA tournament here.

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