Cardinals live up to #1 seed, win third men’s national title

On Monday, The Louisville Cardinals defeated the young Michigan Wolverines, 72-68, for the National Championship, despite the efforts of Michigan’s Trey Burke, the consensus player of the year. This game was all about the bench for both teams, having the unexpected players stepping up. These players were Luke Hancock of Louisville, team captain and sixth man, and Spike Albrecht of Michigan, a freshman who previously had averaged 1.8 points a game and under seven minutes of playing time per game. Spike had made every single 3-point shot he had attempted in the tournament, and made four of four 3-point field goals in the first half to help Michigan gain an early and unexpected lead that caught the Cardinals by surprise. Luke Hancock answered as he too shot four for four from downtown in Louisville’s 14-1 run to get them within one at the half. Lindsey Ackerman, a future Cardinal, watched the game and agreed to answer some questions. Lindsey had Louisville winning from day one. She believes they are a hard-working, aggressive team with a lot of passion for the game. I asked Lindsey how proud she was to be able to say she will be a future Cardinal and she responded, “I can’t wait to go to U of L next year! It’s awesome that they won the championship, but to me, the greatest part about the school is the close ties between the university and the city of Louisville. The community and alumni offer so much support and pride towards Louisville.” My next question for Lindsey was who she thought contributed the most for the team. Lindsey replied, “In regards to the tournament, I think that a lot of motivation came from Kevin Ware’s injury, but on the court, I have to give it to Peyton Siva and Russ Smith.” She said she believed they were both natural born leaders and amazing athletes. “As for the championship, the standout was Luke Hancock. He really turned the game around by scoring 14 straight points late in the first half , which led to Louisville’s first half run.” Lindsey expressed how excited she was to see some Louisville games at the new KFC Yum! Center, and said she couldn’t wait to be part of the spirit and energy that is associated with Louisville basketball. Lastly, I asked Lindsey what the term/acronym “L1C4”means to her. Lindsey said, “Well, for those who don’t know, it means Louisville First, Cards Forever. This can be applied to academics or athletics, but I take it as doing everything for the city of Louisville, not just for personal success. “Cards forever” represents the students, athletes, and fans that have supported the Cardinal family.” Lindsey had one more comment, and it was an ecstatic, “GO CARDS!” Brian Poston, a big college hoops fan, also had his face glued to the screen for three hours during the game. I asked him who he thought the X factor was for Louisville and Brian replied, “Chane Behanan. He got a lot of important rebounds down the stretch. He silently had 12 rebounds, 7 of which were offensive rebounds that helped his team get needed second chance points.” My next question was if he though Louisville did right, or Michigan did wrong for the ultimate outcome of this game. “I think Louisville did right. They were down 12 late in the first half but they just kept on playing. Not one player from Louisville gave less than 120% for the full 40 minutes.” I asked Brian if he had any additional comments, and he replied ,“That was by far one of the best games I’ve personally seen in a long time. It was nice to see Rick Pitino get another championship on the same day he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.” Personally, I consider myself to be a die-hard Louisville Cardinals fan. I have been a huge fan ever since I was three years old when I could barely even pick up a basketball, let alone understand the game. To me, the inspiration of Kevin Ware’s horrific injury was the ultimate factor for Louisville to win the championship. Ever since Ware’s injury, the motto was “Win for Ware.” Louisville was playing with a chip on their shoulders against the Wolverines, and proved to be the better team. Rick Pitino had an eventful April 8, as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, won the National Championship, and also found out his son, Richard, had accepted a job offer to coach at the University of Minnesota. By the way, a promise Pitino made to his team was that he would get a tattoo that would say “2013 Champions” on his shoulder if they made it all the way.