Last night, Louisville outlasted Michigan to win the national championship game. A few thoughts as we awake from our Rick-Pitino-is-getting-a-tattoo nightmares:
- Three hours before tipoff, CBS announced the game outcome and final score. They got the former right and weren’t far off on the latter. I don’t understand why that’s data that’s ever entered into a computer before the game begins.
- Rick Pitino, as everyone knows, has had a heck of a weekend. Named to the college basketball hall of fame; son gets hired as the head coach at Minnesota; horse wins the Santa Anita Derby; celebrates wedding anniversary; becomes first coach to win a national championship with two schools, although both are in the state of Kentucky, so this is under review and also a nice jab at John Calipari who did it first but had the wins vacated due to various infractions.
- While we’re on the topic of Pitino’s ghastly demeanor, let’s recall the nightmare fuel that is the coach’s making good on a promise to his players to get a tattoo if they won the championship.
- Luke Hancock, pictured above, shot his team back into the game at the end of the first half and all the way to being named Final Four MVP, the first non-starter to earn such honors.
- With Trey Burke in early foul trouble, Michigan rode the hot hand of benchwarmer Spike Albrecht, who lit up the Cardinals for 17 points in the first half.
- Doug Gottlieb got lit up on twitter for saying at halftime that Spike was “fool’s gold,” but in a rare moment, he (Gottlieb) didn’t deserve it, as the backup point guard seemed to have tricked his coach into playing him too much in the second half, when he had zero points and a dash of turnovers.
- After a hot start in the opening minutes, Burke spent much of the game in foul trouble. (Gottlieb rightly was criticized by everyone for saying that Burke only had two fouls at the end of the game, when he actually had four.)
- I don’t know Michigan’s roster well enough to know to whom they should’ve gone in the second half, but Burke couldn’t carry the load alone, and Albrecht was dead weight on the floor as a 2-guard after halftime.
- Two Michigan starters, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway, Jr., also did not carry their weight last night. The media frenzy over McGary was particularly egregious given the totality of his performances, and he failed to establish any sort of consistent inside game last night, finishing with four fouls, six points, and only six shots in twenty-nine minutes. Hardaway turned the ball over on consecutive possessions at the end of the first half, and, a pretty dunk or two aside, was unable to help Burke create offense for the Wolverines down the stretch.
- Setting aside Spike’s first-half performance and a couple bombs Burk sunk from Buckhead, the three ball wasn’t there for Michigan last night when they could’ve used it to regain momentum in the second half, especially without a post game.
- The winner of the overall ESPN.com bracket challenge was “Lennay Kekua’s Entry,” which is decently great. Watch for updates on the ALDLAND bracket challenge from Brendan later on.
- [Insert your #ATLshotsfired celebration jokes here.]
How did our first-in-the-nation Final Four preview stack up against reality? Turns out we had the wrong city altogether. Joke’s on me, I guess. See you next year in Arlington, VA, or wherever.