Louisville head coach Rick Pitino reacts with his team after Louisville defeated Michigan after the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 8, 2013, in Atlanta.
Oddsmakers are no longer hesitant with which team they prefer as Louisville opened as a 4-point favorite over Michigan at most Las Vegas sports books, including the Superbook and Cantor Gaming properties, on Saturday night.
Attacking Syracuse's suffocating zone defense in the first half with 3-pointers, crisp passing and a fearless attitude, the Wolverines advanced to the national championship game with a 61-56 victory over the Orange in the Final Four on Saturday night.
Luke Hancock came off the bench to score 20 points, walk-on Tim Henderson sparked a second-half rally with a pair of monster 3s and Louisville advanced to the NCAA title game Saturday night, escaping with a 72-68 victory over Wichita State.
Jerry Tarkanian. Hall of famer. That’s the newest title for the legendary coach, who had been trying to receive the distinction for more than 20 years after taking UNLV to four Final Fours, including one national championship. CBSSports.com reported Friday morning that Tarkanian will be a member of the 2013 class inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Rick Pitino reportedly is also in.
For the second straight year, Cheyenne coach Terel Fair will have a particular interest in the Final Four. Last year he watched former Desert Shield Elijah Johnson and Kansas come within one victory of a national title. This year it’s Wichita State’s Demetric Williams making the trip. “(Williams) is the poster child for what you can do when no one else believes in you except yourself,” Fair said.
Mike Rosario had 15 points and Florida is going to an NCAA regional final for the third year in a row after a 62-50 victory over Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 15 seed whose improbable tournament journey ended just before midnight Friday.
Sports book directors around town must have chuckled when first glancing at the NCAA Tournament schedule for Thursday and Friday. The Sweet 16’s most significant game, at least as far as Las Vegas is concerned, ironically landed as the final one to tip off. No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast will look to continue its historic run as a 13-point underdog against No. 3 Florida at 7 Friday night in Dallas.
Offseason changes, storylines and questions come for every college basketball team. The Rebels just hoped theirs hadn’t come so soon. So what’s the team going to look like next year? What needs to change? Who’s coming in?
There’s no glory for teams that go more than 11 minutes without making a field goal in the NCAA Tournament. There’s no parade coming, no more extra attention that comes with playing on the sport’s biggest stage. And there’s not much sympathy, either.
In the off chance that Las Vegas ever gets to host a portion of the NCAA Tournament, it would be most fitting to land a bracket like this year’s East Region. The Entertainment Capital of the World should serve as home to the Entertainment Region of the Tournament. Make no mistake, the East Region will provide by far the most cheap fun of March Madness in 2013.