By CAMERON NIXON
This year’s NCAA Final Four featured four really good teams, and three great, competitive games. Wichita State was only three points away from another big upset against a much higher seeded team after winning against Ohio State in the Elite Eight while Michigan shot apart Syracuse’s zone, and survived one last run at the end.
Led by sophomore Trey Burke, who was named Naismith player of the year after averaging 18 points and almost seven assists during the season, and a group of four dynamic freshmen, the Wolverines entered the championship game as the clear underdogs, even after upsetting Kansas with an amazing buzzer beater. Louisville had much more experience in comparison, with senior guard Peyton Siva leading them and other dynamic players, Russ Smith, Luke Hancock, Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanan playing huge roles.
In the championship game, a big run in the first half by Michigan seemed to put them in the driver’s seat, yet Louisville responded with a run of their own in the waning minutes and pulled within one point of the Wolverines. Burke didn’t disappoint, totaling 24 points, four rebounds, three assists, and a block in only 26 minutes, even though he had to sit for 12 straight minutes in the first half. Yet, the story in the first half was bench player Spike Albrecht and his four straight threes in Michigan’s run. Louisville’s run was also punctuated by four straight three-pointers from Luke Hancock, another bench player.
With a little over 14 minutes to go the game was tied 47-47. Louisville finally took hold of the game and went on to win 82-76. Luke Hancock was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player after scoring 22 points on 5-6 shooting.