Louisville In 3 of the Top-5 College Basketball Games of '12-'13


1. Louisville captures national title

Why it was memorable: Very few national championship games turn out to be must-see, but this one was scintillating from start to finish. Little-known freshman Spike Albrecht came off the bench to torch Louisville for 17 first-half points. Fellow reserve Luke Hancock brought the Cardinals back from a 12-point deficit with four 3-pointers in a two-minute stretch. And despite Trey Burke's heroics to keep Michigan competitive in the second half, the trio of Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanan each made enough big plays to help Louisville pull away for an 82-76 victory.

2. Notre Dame outlasts Louisville in 5OTs

Why it was memorable: A mundane Big East battle that appeared destined to be forgotten suddenly became captivating when Notre Dame's Jerian Grant scored 12 points in 31 seconds to rally the Irish from an eight-point deficit with less than a minute to go. One overtime turned to two, two turned to three ... and pretty soon the two teams were playing deep into the night. Nine players fouled out in Notre Dame's 104-101 five-overtime victory, and the hero of the game didn't play a minute in regulation. Garrick Sherman entered the game in the first overtime and hardly left the court thereafter, scoring 17 points and grabbing six rebounds.

3. The birth of Dunk City

Why it was memorable: The reason Florida Gulf Coast's upset of Georgetown is so high on this list isn't because the Eagles became only the seventh No. 15 seed ever to topple a No. 2 seed. It was the way they did it that resonated. Bombing threes, throwing lobs and attacking in transition at every opportunity, FGCU extended a two-point halftime lead to as many as 19 points and never let the Hoyas any closer than four points down the stretch. The Eagles rode the momentum from their first upset to a victory over San Diego State in the next round, becoming the first No. 15 seed ever to reach a Sweet 16.

4. Michigan's Sweet 16 comeback

Why it was memorable: How you remember Michigan's thrilling 87-85 overtime victory over Kansas in the Sweet 16 probably depends on which team you support. The Wolverines will recall a thrilling comeback from a 10-point deficit with two and a half minutes to go capped by a Trey Burke 25-foot dagger to force overtime. The Jayhawks will remember an epic collapse in which they squandered a game they controlled for 37 minutes in a hail of defensive miscues and Elijah Johnson turnovers. Regardless, those three minutes altered the rest of the tournament because it could easily have been Kansas playing for the national title in Atlanta and Michigan watching from home.

5. Louisville ends Brittney Griner's career early

Why it was memorable: An unlikely run to the national title game from the Louisville women started when the Cardinals did the impossible: they made Brittney Griner a non-factor. Raining down threes from the perimeter at a record clip and double- and triple-teaming Griner in the paint whenever she touched the ball, Louisville effectively neutralized Baylor's 6-foot-8 center. Guard Odyssey Sims spearheaded a furious Baylor rally from a 19-point second-half deficit, but Louisville guard Monique Reid hit two free throws with 2.6 seconds left to lift the Cardinals to a stunning 82-81 Sweet 16 victory.

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