Last April 9, March Madness ended.
As the way it should be, number one ranked Louisville Cardinals took home the 2013 NCAA title over a gritty Michigan Wolverines squad, 82-76, in a highly entertaining and competitive dogfight. Some say it was the best in recent years, but we feel the Duke-Butler game in 2010 was more memorable (Gordon Hayward almost sent the game into overtime but his half court heave at the buzzer rimmed out). That, however, doesn’t take anything away from the Cardinals, who won their third ever crown and finally broke their 27-year dry spell (there’s a sexual joke somewhere in there).
So what have we learned from the 2013 NCAA championship game? We list down 10 of them!
1. Rick Pitino had a good day
Okay, that's an understatement. He had one hell of a great day.
We mean, just look at him!
Just hours after being elected into the hallowed Hall of Fame, Pitino steered the top seed Louisville Cardinals to the NCAA championship. Thanks to his experience and acumen, his boys never wavered despite Michigan’s near-flawless first half. He became the first coach in NCAA history to bag titles with two different schools, having won at Kentucky in 1996 (led by Antoine Walker). He may have been showered with boos during the introductions last Tuesday, but he's sure basking in glory right now. Oh, he also promised to get a tattoo if the Cardinals claimed the crown. A little heart with an arrow, perhaps?
2. Luke Hancock can shoot.
Duh! It’s usually silly to compare college players to established NBA guys (remember hailing Adam Morrison as the next Larry Bird?) so we won’t go the Luke Hancock-is-a-young-Kevin Love route. Besides, he doesn’t even play inside. But man, those hands! Smooth as the criminal in that Michael Jackson song. He single-handedly kept Louisville afloat in the first half with four three-pointers. If not for those, Michigan could’ve blown the game wide open. His fifth and final trey with about three minutes left in the game was the blow to the collective groins of the Wolverines. With his exploits, he became the first non-starter to be named Outstanding Player of the Final Four since 1939. Check out the ESPN video here.
3. Trey Burke is definitely NBA-ready
Just some of the words thrown around when discussing the 20-year-old jitterbug from Michigan: cat-quick, terrific playmaker, deft outside touch, athletic, explosive, etc. Try Googling “Trey Burke” and “NBA” together, and you’ll get 3,090,000 hits—proof that everyone’s anticipating his entry to the big league. He could easily battle for the starting PG spot of more than half of the teams. With the likes of Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Damian Lillard, and even Isaiah Thomas finding success this early in their pro careers, it's difficult not to picture Burke also making an immediate impact in the NBA, even if he suits up right at this very moment. The lottery teams are going ape-shit over this kid.