It was a historic season in Ann Arbor, but the Louisville Cardinals were just too much on Monday night, as the Cardinals defeated Michigan 82-76 for the National Championship.
It was the first title for the Cardinals since 1986 and the second for Rick Pitino, who also won with Kentucky in 1996.
Michigan finished the season 31-7, making its first championship appearance since 1993. Naismith winner Trey Burke had 24 points in the loss, while Spike Albrecht came off the bench to score 17 in the first half, providing one of the more memorable 20 minutes from a bench player in recent title game memory.
As a team, the Wolverines shot 52 percent and 44 percent from three, but it was not enough to best a Louisville team that made half of its threes and was led by a 22-point performance from Most Outstanding Player Luke Hancock.
Michigan led by as many as 12 in the first half behind Albrecht's early shooting, but Louisville got back into it behind three consecutive threes from Hancock. The Cardinals trailed by just a point at halftime.
In the second half, Louisville took the lead for good on two free throws from Chane Behanan at the 13:50 mark. Another Hancock three made it a ten-point game with 3:27 to go and the Cardinals held on behind a few made free throws down the stretch.
More in College Basketball:
• 10 things to know about Michigan vs. Louisville
• Pitino vs. Beilein: A contrast of styles
• 5 thoughts on Final Four Saturday
• Spencer Hall: A field guide to Atlanta
• Louisville, Michigan fans out in full force
• Living and playing basketball with cancer