Maybe I'm missing something.
It was a good game, hard fought. That's what you expect from any NCAA championship game. But the slavish praise for last night's tilt between Louisville and Michigan has been over the top. There was something unsettling about it all, something forced about the kudos.
Sure, there were a few nice stories. Kevin Ware, the guard who suffered that horrific on-court broken leg last week, was on the sidelines with his team. After the win, officials even lowered the rim so Ware could cut the net with his teammates. There was pale, skinny Spike Albrecht making himself an instant folk hero by hitting four straight three-pointers in the first half. We also saw Louisville's Luke Hancock beat that number, going 5-for-5 from the three-point line to fuel Louisville's comeback.
But there was no buzzer-beater win last night. There was no overtime. The game was decided by Cardinal rebounding and Michigan foul trouble. The last few seconds even had a massive coaching goof when Wolverine coach Beilein had his team waiting too long to foul because he thought they were already in the 1-and-1.
Still, ESPN dubbed it a classic. Jim Nantz only got midway through the first half before comparing the match to the 1988 Oklahoma and Kansas game, where the score was 50-50 at halftime. Monday night's halftime score at was a significantly less scintillating 38-37. The Quad at The New York Times said both teams played "at an extremely high level offensively." Greg Anthony declared himself dazzled, never having seen the like. Anthony's own UNLV team scored 103 points to beat Duke in the 1991 title game, but he was stunned beyond words at the Cardinals scoring 82 points? Is this what constitutes thrilling hoops in the age of the vanishing buckets?