Although their team did not make it to the NCAA championship game, K-State students watching on Monday night agreed that the battle between Louisville and Michigan was a classic. The Cardinals defeated the Wolverines 82-76.
Pat Robinson, junior in business administration, was part of a group of students who watched the game in the Flint Hills Room of the K-State Student Union while his fraternity Phi Beta Sigma hosted Grocery Bingo.
“It was a great night. Grocery bingo was intense,” Robinson said. “As college students, everyone was excited to win and stock up on groceries. We were playing the game during bingo and it made it hard for people to keep focus. That 12-0 run that Louisville went on during the first half had us all pumped up. We ended bingo at 10 so everyone had to get home as fast as possible, but overall it was a great night.”
Louisville entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed overall and the prohibitive favorite to win the championship, while Michigan seemed to have stumbled into the the tournament after losing in the quarterfinals of the Big 10 tournament.
But that did not stop the Wolverines from making a strong run in the NCAA championship tournament. In one memorable performance, Michigan came back from a 10-point deficit with just over two minutes left to defeat Kansas 87-85 in overtime and advance to the Elite Eight.
While some K-State fans wanted Michigan to win because the team knocked KU out of the tournament, Nick Hisey, freshman in food science, only wanted to see the two teams do their best.
“I didn’t really have a favorite for this game, I just wanted a good game,” Hisey said. “It is safe to say that I got it. [Louisville's] Peyton Siva and coach [Rick] Pitino have built that squad up from the ground, but then to see Tim Hardaway Jr. continuing the legacy of his family for Michigan — it was just an epic game.”
The game had everything a fan could want. Michigan started out on fire before the Louisville Cardinals did as they had done all season and responded with a run of their own. Siva and National Player of the Year Trey Burke, of Michigan, both took over in stretches.
Championship games do not always live up to the hype. Monday night’s title game was different. It featured two teams that played their hearts out, and those who watched witnessed an instant classic.