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Dienhart: 'Paint this season a success'

Michigan’s trip to the national championship game was further validation of the Big Ten’s greatness this season. But, without this journey to the summit of college basketball, I don’t think that would have been true. For a while, it looked like the Big Ten was going to dominate this NCAA tourney. The Big Ten got seven schools in the Big Dance on Selection Sunday. Then, the conference went 10-3 over the opening three rounds, advancing four teams—more than any other league–to the Sweet 16. That’s when some dared to pose the question: Could the Big Ten advance, ahem, four teams

Quick Hit: Michigan denied first title since 1989

With Trey Burke saddled with foul trouble, Michigan was fueled in the first half by none other than Spike Albrecht, who had 17 points. Yes, 17 points. That helped the Wolverines hold a 38-37 halftime cushion, although it could have been more as they led by as many as 12 points. But Louisville turned up the heat in the second half, outscoring Michigan, 45-38, and holding Albrecht scoreless to win its third national championship (1980 and 1986). What it means: Rick Pitino became the first coach ever to win national titles at two different schools. The Big Ten is still

Twitter: Spike Albrecht this, Spike Albrecht that

America, Spike Albrecht. Spike Albrecht, America. The Michigan freshman introduced himself to the nation with an out-of-this-world first half, in which the guard hit 6-of-7 shots and scored a career-high 17 points. His previous best entering the night: Seven. Check out the entertaining Twitter reaction to Albrecht’s unexpected first-half performance. See all the tweets below and hear Trey Burke talk about Albrecht at the end of the video above. Damnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. I'm on the way to the M den for a #2 jersey. — Braylon Edwards (@OfficialBraylon) April 9, 2013 BREAKING: Spike Albrecht declares for the NBA draft at halftime —

Louisville clips Michigan, 82-76, in NCAA title game

Luke Hancock made all five of his 3-pointers and led Louisville to its first NCAA men’s basketball championship since 1986 with a 82-76 victory over Michigan on Monday night. Coach Rick Pitino added this title to the one he won at Kentucky in 1996 and is the first coach to win a championship at two schools. Earlier in the day, Pitino was elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. Hancock scored 22 points and Peyton Siva had 18 for the Cardinals (35-5), who trailed by 12 late in the first half. Trey Burke had 24 points for Michigan (31-8),

Gallery: 2013 NCAA national title game

Throughout tonight’s Michigan-Louisville NCAA title game, we posted all the best photos from the Georgia Dome in this post. Whether it was a shot of fans or celebrities, or of the action on the floor, you can find it in this photo gallery, courtesy USA Today Sports. Click on an image to see a larger version of it and to enter the gallery.

Video: Pregame NCAA championship game interviews

On tonight’s “BTN at the Final Four” prior to the NCAA title game, BTN host Dave Revsine and analyst Jim Jackson sat down with former “Fab Five” member Jimmy King, Heisman Trophy winners Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson and former Wolverine Zack Novak. Watch the King interview here and check out the other three in this post. ** **

Clothes Call: Michigan championship T-shirt

Louisville and Michigan don’t tip off for a few hours, but some vendor(s) have the NCAA championship t-shirts on display at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. See both shirts in this post. Here’s the Michigan shirt: And a look at both teams’ shirts. Which shirt will still be on the shelves later tonight? Track all of tonight’s Louisville-Michigan state here. About Brent Yarina web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of

Dienhart: 9 keys to a Michigan victory tonight

Michigan will take on Louisville tonight, looking for the school’s first national title since the Wolverines knocked off Seton Hall in overtime in 1989. I’ve watched every Michigan game this tournament pretty closely, and plenty more during the regular season. Here are my nine keys to victory for No. 4 seed Michigan tonight vs. No. 1 seed Louisville. 1. Limit turnovers. No team does this better than Michigan, which is good because Louisville will put a lot of pressure on the Wolverines. Ask Wichita State what that’s like. Michigan had just 10 turnovers vs. Syracuse, 11 vs. Florida, 10 vs.

Video: Michigan talks NCAA title game

Michigan will battle Louisville in the NCAA championship game at 9:23 p.m. ET Monday at the Georgia Dome. How are the Wolverines feeling the day before playing for the program’s first NCAA title since 1989? Watch our interviews here to find out. Catch Mitch McGary’s interview here and find Trey Burke and Nik Stauskas’ in this post. [ RELATED: Trey Burke wins Naismith Award ] *** Here’s our photo gallery from Saturday night’s win:

Big Ten Geeks: Winning Ugly

On Friday, Mike predicted that whichever of Syracuse or Michigan scored over a point per trip would win, and he further opined that Michigan was up to the task and would prevail with a five-point win. Turns out, Mike was wildly off. While a point per trip was indeed enough to win (Syracuse managed just 0.93 points per possession), and while the Wolverines did, in fact, win by five points, the final score was 61-56—far afield from Mike’s 65-60 prediction. So, hold off on going to Vegas, Mike. Michigan’s win was one of its most unusual this season. Coming into