The best and worst from Saturday’s Final Four action

April 7, 2013

Michigan is headed back to the national final for the first time in two decades. (AP/Charlie Neibergall)

After 66 games worth of NCAA tournament madness, the matchup for Monday’s national final is set: Top overall seed Louisville will meet Michigan at the Georgia Dome with a 9:23 p.m. scheduled tip-off.

On Saturday, the Cardinals needed a rally to down Wichita State, while the Wolverines overcame some bumps down the stretch to hold off Syracuse.

Here’s a breakdown of what you may have missed:

Best comeback: Louisville over Wichita State

The Shockers were aiming to become the first No. 9 seed to play in the national title game, and they led the Cardinals by 12 points in the second half. But walk-on Tim Henderson canned back-to-back threes to cut the deficit in half, and Louisville wore down Wichita State, which went more than 26 minutes without a turnover at one point, with its press in the waning minutes.

This hustle play from George Mason transfer Luke Hancock to draw a questionable tie-up pretty much sealed the 72-68 victory


Best performance: Michigan’s Mitch McGary

During the first half of Saturday’s nightcap, Twitter gushed with praise for Michigan’s 6-foot-10 freshman forward, speculating on his NBA Draft prospects. McGary added several impressive entries to his personal highlight reel as the Wolverines raced out to a double-digit lead. That pace slowed in the second half as the youngster battled foul trouble and missed a pair of late free throws, but he still ended up with a stacked stat line (10 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four blocks) and a place in the national final. (H/T: Buzzfeed Sports)


Worst call: The Ron Baker-Stephan Van Treese double foul

Ron Baker got smacked in the face on this play with 3:50 left, and the referees ended up ruling a double foul, which switched the possession arrow. That became somewhat important later in the game. The Cardinals got the ball on the last tie up with six seconds left.


 

Best bench: Louisville

Louisville’s reserves combined to shoot 12 of 16 from the field en route to 34 of the team’s 72 points. Hancock provided most of that production with 20 points, but walk-on Tim Henderson hit a pair of three-pointers and Montrezl Harrell added eight points, including this painful bucket.


Best day: Louisville Coach Rick Pitino

Pitino has Louisville headed back to the national title game for the first time since 1986, and Goldencents, a horse that he has an ownership stake in, won the Santa Anita Derby to earn a chance in the Kentucky Derby. Also, he’s expected to be included in the Basketball Hall of Fame’s next class, which will be announced on Monday.

 

Best press conference exchange: Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim and Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com 

The veteran coach hasn’t much enjoyed reporters asking him this week if he’s been considering retirement. Boeheim took special offense after his team’s 61-56 loss to Michigan. (H/T: The Big Lead)

Continue reading
Comments
Show Comments