The Big Ten in the NCAA Title game of college basketball is starting to get like the Big Ten in bowl games versus the SEC in college football. Since Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans won the NCAA Title in 2000, the Big Ten has finished runner-up in the NCAA Title game five times: Hoosiers in 2002, Illini in 2005, Buckeyes in 2007, Spartans in 2009, and now the Wolverines in 2013.
Louisville outlasted Michigan 82-76 to secure the NCAA title.
And I am emotionally spent! What else could you ask for as a college basketball fan watching a NCAA title game? It was full of runs, tough defense, hustle, and a hard fought victory in the closing minutes…it was simply a great game!
It’s was hard to focus on the game with so many storylines going on around it…Rick Pitino became a member of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Monday morning, the Fab Five had a 20 year reunion (including Chris Webber),and Louisville was trying to rally around a fallen teammate. But despite so many different subplots…Michigan and Louisville let their talent do the talking.
Regardless of your team allegiance or affiliation, it’s hard to deny that it was one of the most phenomenal NCAA title games in recent memory. Louisville was able to overcome a double-digit deficit to bring it within one by halftime…and Michigan took a ten point Louisville lead to four with 14 seconds left. In the end, it came out Louisville’s way, but it’s hard to be sore after a game like that if you’re a Michigan fan.
It would have been great for Michigan to add their first banner since 1989. I have a feeling the youngest team in this year’s tournament has a few shining moments left.
Congratulations to Rick Pitino for making history by becoming the first head coach to lead two different schools to national championships (Kentucky 1996) and Louisville for proving why they were the top overall seed.
This championship game reminded us that regardless of who we cheer for, or how or brackets turn out; this is why we love March Madness!
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