Spike Albrecht, the Wolverines’ seldom-used reserve, played the half of his wildest dreams with 17 points. Entering the night, he hadn’t scored seven in a game, and when he made two three-pointers in the semifinal victory over Syracuse, they were the most he had in a game.
But Albrecht went nuts Monday, making all four of his three-pointers. He tossed in a couple of drives for variety, and the only shot of the first half he missed was blocked.
Albrecht was playing because he was hot and Burke, who scored Michigan’s first seven points, collected his second foul after nine minutes.
The half defied description for Albrecht, a 5-11 freshman who once had to convince airport security that he was indeed a Michigan basketball recruit and not just a young-looking kid playing a prank.
“He may not win the look test, but he can play,” Burke said. “He has a bright future. I wasn’t surprised by this. We see it happen in practice a lot.”
Albrecht cooled off in the second half, coming up short on his only three-point attempt, and he didn’t score after halftime.
But the true difference-maker of the first half was Hancock, who personally kept Michigan from jetting away. With Michigan leading 33-21 with 3:56 left in the half, Hancock scored his team’s next 14 points, including four three-pointers in a 1:59 span.
Hancock had 16 by halftime.
Louisville, which also trailed by 12 in the second half against Wichita State, caught Michigan on a vicious slam by Montrezl Harrell off a lob from Peyton Siva.
The game had changed — and Louisville was on its way to a title — thanks to Hancock.
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