Not in the Cards: Maize & Blue Unable to Complete NCAA Title Run
Spike Albrecht

April 8, 2013 | Behind the Scenes | Storify | Season in Review
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Site: Atlanta, Ga. (Georgia Dome)
Event: NCAA Tournament (Final)
Score: #2 Louisville 82, #10 Michigan 76
Records: U-M (31-8), Louisville (35-5)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 10 AP, No. 11 Coaches) led by as many as 12 points in the first half -- on the strength of 17 points from freshman guard Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon [Mass.]) in the opening 20 minutes -- but Louisville (No. 2 AP, No. 2 Coaches) rallied to take the 82-76 victory in the NCAA Tournament final on Monday night (April 8) inside the Georgia Dome.

The backcourt tandem of sophomore point guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) and junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) took a backseat to Albrecht, who stole the show in the opening 20 minutes, scoring a career-best 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting in 16 minutes. He nailed four three-pointers, had a pair of driving layups and knocked down one free throw.

Burke finished the game with a team-best 24 points and three assists in the contest. Hardaway contributed 12 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Albrecht finished with 17 points in the game. Freshman forward Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) was held in check due to some foul trouble, posting six points and six rebounds against the Cardinals.

Burke took command at the outset and scored the first seven points for the Wolverines. He penetrated the lane for two buckets and nailed a three-pointer. When Burke left the game at the 16-minute timeout, Albrecht entered and knocked down three triples to give Michigan's point guard 16 of the team's first 20 points. Michigan led 20-13 at 12:05 of the first half.

After a mini spurt by Louisville, U-M went on a 6-0 run to grab a 26-17 lead at 8:13. Albrecht dropped a floater into the basket followed by a three-pointer by freshman guard Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) in transition and one-of-two free throws by Albrecht.

Albrecht continued his stellar first-half play with his fourth three-pointer that gave Michigan a 10-point lead, 31-21, at the six-minute mark. He extended the advantage to 12 points, 33-21, with another layup that forced a Louisville timeout at 3:51.

Louisville went on an 11-3 run after the timeout to cut the deficit to 36-32, before head coach John Beilein called a 30-second timeout at 1:37. All 11 points for Cardinals were scored by Luke Hancock -- on two free throws and three triples. Hancock added his fourth triple with 60 seconds remaining in the half, and a fast-break dunk by Montrezl Harrell gave the Cardinals a 37-36 lead with 22 seconds left. Freshman forward Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) was fouled with 2.5 seconds remaining, and he calmly drained both free throws to send the Wolverines into the locker room with a 38-37 lead.

Michigan had the lead despite Burke playing just six minutes in the half after picking up to early fouls. He finished the half with seven points, and Hardaway was limited to two points, on a driving layup.

The Wolverines came out of the locker room and were efficient on offense, hitting their first three baskets. U-M gained points from four different players as Hardaway converted a free throw to extend the lead to 46-42 at 16:54.

The Cardinals then went on a 5-0 run that provided their first lead of the second half, 47-46, and brought their advantage to 54-49 at 12:47. The 12-3 run ended when Burke nailed a three-pointer at 12:08 to pull the deficit to 54-52. The Cardinals maintained their tenuous lead until the eight-minute media timeout. Burke scored on a driving layup and was fouled. He knocked down the free throw to pull the deficit to 63-61 at 7:57.

Louisville went up 71-64 following a basket by Gorgui Dieng, who converted a hook shot after Robinson converted 1-of-2 free throws to bring the advantage to 73-65.

Hancock hit a three from the corner to give Louisville a 10-point lead, but Burke scored quickly. Burke attacked again following a defensive stop and went to the line and converted two free throws to make it 76-70. Burke hit another pair of free throws after a Cardinals basket, and Robinson added two free throws to make it 78-74 with 80 seconds left in regulation. After a pair of free throws from Hancock with 29 seconds remaining, the Wolverines scored on a Hardaway layup to cut it to 80-76, but two more Louisville free throws sealed it.

Albrecht, McGary and Burke were named to the all-tournament team following the contest.

Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423

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