Last night, the Louisville Cardinals won the 2013 NCAA Tournament. They’re now in the rare company of schools that have won a BCS bowl and the men’s NCAA basketball tournament in the same season; throw in a trade-up to the ACC and that school has had quite a year.
It has now been back-to-back years that I got the NCAA Tournament champion correct in my bracket, but even if you did, too, don’t feel so special: a lot of us had Louisville, just like we all had Kentucky last year.
The Cardinals were the best team and they definitely earned their championship, but in a season with such upsets, I suppose that in a way, it was a little disappointing that the eventual title winner wasn’t an “upset” team itself. It was definitely the safe pick to suggest that the tournament’s top overall seed would win it, which is also what happened in 2012, but part of me really did think a team like Wichita State, a 9-seed, would win the day and cap off a crazy season with an improbable run. Alas, it was not to be.
Still, as far as that goes, look back on this tournament with a little fondness. We saw a 15-seed (Florida Gulf Coast) get to the Sweet 16 for the first time ever and a 1-seed (Gonzaga) that half the country thought would be gone before the second weekend, which they were. It may not have been the wildest March Madness I’ve ever seen, but we’ll remember this tournament for several notable teams and a legitimately great championship game between Louisville and the Michigan Wolverines.
What’s even crazier is that thanks to their women’s team, we might be congratulating Louisville again tomorrow.