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Louisville defeats Michigan, 82-76, to win national title

April 08, 2013|By Mike Hiserman

All in all, a pretty good day for Coach Rick Pitino.

Named to basketball's Hall of Fame earlier Monday, he then saw his  Louisville Cardinals rally from a 12-point first-half deficit to defeat Michigan, 82-76, in the NCAA national championship basketball game at the Georgia Dome.

So the NCAA selection committee was right. It made Louisville  the overall No. 1-seeded team in the 68-team tournament.

"We beat a great basketball team, probably because I have the 13 toughest guys I've ever coached," Pitino said during a postgame ceremony.

Guard Peyton Siva scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half, and Luke Hancock scored a career-high 22 points for the Cardinals.

Where Siva was the star of the second half -- he also had six rebounds, five assists and four steals -- Hancock kept Louisville within striking distance with his scoring outburst in the final minutes of the first half.

With Michigan up by 12 points, Hancock scored 14 consecutive points for Louisville to pull the Cardinals back into  the game.

Hancock, a junior who redshirted last season after transferring from George Mason, was voted the most outstanding player of the tournament. He had 21 points as Louisville came from behind to defeat Wichita State in a semifinal on Saturday.

His shooting offset a breakout performance by Michigan freshman Spike Albrecht, who scored 17 points in the first half. Albrecht came in averaging 1.8 points.

Louisville took control late in the second half by earning several second and third chances with strong offensive rebounding.

Chane Behanan was the big force inside for Louisville. He finished with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Trey Burke, the national player of the year, scored a game-high 24 points for Michigan, though he missed much of the first half because of foul trouble.

Albrecht replaced Burke in the first half and was sensational, but he took only two shots in the second half, missed both and was scoreless.

So now Pitino is going for a trifecta: Hall of Fame, national champion and ... owner of his first tattoo.

If he keeps his word, yes.

He said during the postgame celebration that he had promised his team earlier in the season that if it won the national championship he would get a tattoo.

Hiserman reported from Los Angeles.

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