It's full speed ahead as Louisville beats Michigan for NCAA title

Cardinals' relentless, fast-paced approach pays off in a thrilling title game as they outlast Wolverines 82-76, a win they dedicate to injured teammate Kevin Ware.

ATLANTA — Scoring is down, players leave early and the best action on television today is still probably 1980s replays of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

For one Monday night, though, college basketball stood history on its head and produced high-octane magic in high definition.

Louisville's 82-76 win over Michigan at the Georgia Dome was not just the school's third NCAA title and first since 1986.

It seemed almost a revival and a deliverance of sorts, in front a record congregation of 74,326.

Before the game even ended, with 1.1 seconds left, Kevin Ware exchanged his courtside wheelchair for a pair of crutches and hobbled up the elevated court to hug teammate Peyton Siva.

"Win for Ware" the signs said.

And Louisville did.

Ware, who gruesomely fractured his leg in front of his bench in the Midwest Regional final, watched a different kind of drama unfold in front of his bench.

There were no gasps, or shielding of eyes, this time.

In eight days, a team had rallied around a teammate and fulfilled a promise.

The best team in the tournament became even closer.

"You would think we all came out of the same womb," Ware would say later. "These are my brothers, they got the job done and I am so proud of them."

The NCAA allowed Louisville to lower the basket so that Ware could take his scissor-snips at cutting the net.

He did, with confetti swirling all around, and then raised the net with his right hand.

"It's just amazing," Siva said. "Kevin was playing such a big part of it."

Michigan played inspired and great and all those things you say about worthy competitors.

It got a story-book first half from a freshman backup guard straight from the set of "Hoosiers." Spike Albrecht, a name you almost couldn't make up, out of Indiana, replaced foul-plagued Trey Burke and scored 17 points before halftime.

"That was probably back to high school days," Albrecht said of his performance. "I was just fortunately hitting shots. Teammates were finding me."

His had been averaging 1.8 points per game and his first minute on the court Monday was his 68th of the season. Quickly as he arrived, though, he disappeared into a scoreless second half.

Michigan also got an All-America performance from Burke, who scored 24 points in his foul-limited 26 minutes.