While Butler and Duke might contend that the headline isn’t totally accurate, the game we witnessed on Monday night was more than we anticipate.
We anticipated a lot.
We were on radio shows and our own podcast theorizing that Michigan was the perfect storm for this Louisville team. Length, shooting, athleticism and Trey Burke.
In the end it was Louisville that prevailed. Early foul trouble cooled Trey Burke’s seven-point run to start the game. Louisville was able to overcome the first-half-legendary Spike Albrecht. The were able to take advantage of a possible miscalculation by John Beilein by leaving Trey Burke on the bench while The Ville made a run to end the first. Rick Pitino was able to take advantage of Albrecht’s extended playing time in the second half, keying on mismatch after mismatch.
Louisville’s tough post presence made the difference in the end. Mitch McGeary had foul trouble in the end the Cardinals took advantage.
Rick Pitino showed he had been there before. He showed he understood mismatches and overcame Russ Smith’s flakes final couple of minutes to hang on for the win.
This was a championship that Louisville deserved but this was a game where the fans were the real winners. This was what a championship game should be – a game we would have been happy to see not end.