In a rematch of the 2013 Championship game, the results were reversed as two-seed Louisville was defeated by seven-seed Michigan 73-69 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Cards had a good first half offensively, using their advantage in the paint with their big men and offensive rebounding to gain six or seven-point leads several times in the first 20 minutes.
The Wolverines battled back each time though, and the game was tied with a minute and a half left to go in the first. Then two three-pointers by Donovan Mitchell and Deng Adel and two Mangok Mathiang free throws made up an 8-0 run that gave the Cards a 36-28 halftime lead.
But in what has frustrated legions of Louisville fans in the past, the second half was quite different.
Michigan fought back using their own big men, better shooting and exploiting bad matchups to go toe-to-toe with the Cards and gain the lead as part of their own scoring run.
The Wolverines lead by as many as six with five minutes left to go, and entered the last minute with a four-point lead before a steal and Donovan Mitchell layup closed the gap to two points. The Cards were forced to foul, but Michigan made their free throws and closed out the game.
The Cards had three players score in double figures for the game. Mitchell led Louisville with 19 points, five assists and seven rebounds. Adel put up 16 points and five boards, and Mathiang had 13 points and four rebounds.
Other players that the Cards had looked to in past games underperformed. Quentin Snider had zero points on 0-9 field goals and 0-7 three pointers and only one rebound.
The Cards finish with a 25-9 record. This is the first time Louisville has lost in the Round of 32 in seven years. Except for last season when they sat out of the NCAA tournament, they had reached the third round five times in the last six years.
Michigan goes on to play the winner of the Rhode Island-Oregon game in the Sweet 16.
Chris Acree joined The Cardinal Connect as a contributing writer in August of 2016.