Michigan lost 82-76 to the Louisville Cardinals Monday night in a disappointing game. In theory big blue fans should be happy to have gotten that far. But as any true fan will tell you, losing a championship is one of the hardest experiences around. Heck, just watching the game can be a traumatic experience.
The Wolverines looked good early jumping to a 12 point lead with three minutes to go in the first half. Much of the credit for the early surge goes to Spike Albrecht who played extended minutes with Trey Burke in foul trouble. Then it all went south. Just like the Syracuse game in the previous round Michigan couldn't keep up the hot shooting and the opposing team remembered they were a good defensive team. By the half Michigan was only up by one point.
I thought Louisville did a great job the last 23 minutes on defense. Michigan also couldn't hit the same shots they did in the first half. Albrecht didn't score again and Burke had a good game but it wasn't enough. Michigan didn't get the ball inside enough to take pressure off their shooters who were constantly harassed by Cardinals defenders. The offense rarely seemed on track. It seemed to be mostly one on one play with no real plays being ran. Again Burke did all he could but Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson couldn't get in a rhythm. And Louisville deserves much of the credit for that.
The last 23 minutes were so hard to watch. After seeing the Wolverines dominate early it was a devastating loss. I'm not sure if all fans are like me but even with the big league it was hard to get too excited. I am never comfortable until the game ends and my team is on top. Still I am glad Michigan got to the game. This was a good team and believe me they could have won this game but Louisville was better and deserved the win. Still I will always play the "what if?" scenarios in my head. At least I get to the shirt in the deal...listening dear?