2013 March Madness

Picking 12 Losers in the 2013 NCAA Tournament

March Madness ended with few shining moments for Indiana, the Mountain West and more
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Legacies are made in March. Or in this case, unmade.

For all the accomplishments for coaches, players and teams through the 2012-13 season, so much of the perception and reputations are built on the stage of the NCAA Tournament.

Picking 12 Winners in the 2013 NCAA Tournament

The Week of Pitino, the rising stock of McGary and more highlighted this year's March Madness
<p> The Week of Pitino, the rising stock of McGary and more highlighted this year's March Madness</p>

Only one true winner will be happy at the end of the NCAA Tournament, so the cliche goes.

That much may be true. All but one locker room at the end of the tournament will have its share of sad faces and tears.

National championship instant analysis: Louisville claims title

The Cardinals defeat Wolverines in thrilling title game for first championship since '86
<p> The Cardinals defeat Wolverines in thrilling title game for first championship since '86</p>

Video: Michigan's Spike Albrecht lights up Louisville

Albrecht a surprising hero with 17 first-half points against the Cardinals
<p> Video: Michigan freshman Spike Albrecht lights up Louisville</p>
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Shortly before CBS cut to Trey Burke receiving the Naismith Award as the top player in the country, the Michigan point guard wasn’t even the best point guard on his own team in first half of the title game.

With Burke on the bench with two fouls, seldom-used freshman Spike Albrecht stole the show in one of the most thrilling halves in a title game in recent years.

Albrecht, whose only other scholarship offer came from Appalachian State, scored 17 points in the first half for the Wolverines as Michigan took a 38-37 lead.

College Basketball National Championship Preview: Louisville vs. Michigan

Both programs are seeking their first national titles since the 1980s
<p> Both the Cardinals and Wolverines are seeking their first national titles since the 1980s</p>

Despite the wild ride of the Final Four, the national championship game feels like a heavyweight bout.

On Saturday, Louisville walk-on Tim Henderson and Michigan’s little-used freshman Caris LeVert combined for 14 points. In a national semifinal.

11 Amazing Stats from the Final Four

Breakout performances from Mitch McGary and Luke Hancock carry Michigan and Louisville to title game
<p> Breakout performances from Mitch McGary and Luke Hancock carry Michigan and Louisville to title game</p>

For two athletic programs that are among the most successful in the country, the 2013 national title game will end droughts for both.

Louisville is playing in the national championship game for the first time since winning the title in 1986, a span that has included three Final Four appearances that came up empty. Meanwhile, Michigan is playing in its first title game since the end of the Fab Five era in 1993.

Final Four Preview: Louisville vs. Wichita State

How each team can win and key players for the Cardinals and Shockers
<p> How each team can win and key players for the Cardinals and Shockers</p>

Louisville and Wichita State endured gut-checks in the form of three-game losing streaks earlier this season. Until the Final Four, that’s one of the few things the Cardinals and Shockers have had in common.

Ranking the Top 15 players in the Final Four

Louisville has the top team, but Michigan's Trey Burke takes the top spot
<p> Louisville has the top team, but Michigan's Trey Burke takes the top spot</p>

The cast of characters in this year’s Final Four covers a wide range of careers and personalities, and pretty much all are at the top of their games.

NCAA Tournament: How the Final Four teams were built

Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse and Wichita State took different paths to building winners
<p> Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse and Wichita State took different paths to building winners</p>

Being a Missouri Valley team and a No. 9 seed isn't the only way Wichita State is an outlier in the Final Four. Gregg Marshall’s roster is an anomaly in this year's national semifinals.

Unlike the the other three Final Four teams, Wichita State leaned on transfers -- from junior college and Division I -- and grizzled veterans to reach the final weekend of the basketball season.

10 Amazing Stats Leading into the Final Four

Key numbers for Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse and Wichita State as they head to the Final Four
<p> Key numbers for Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse and Wichita State as they head to the Final Four</p>

The field is set for the 2013 Final Four, and three quarters of it managed to surprise us.

Michigan and Syracuse struggled near the end of the regular season, but the Wolverines’ freshmen and the Orange’s defense carried the way to the national semifinals. And Wichita State couldn’t overtake Missouri Valley champion Creighton during the regular season, but took over its region.

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