CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NCAA Final Four outcomes are not shocking

Louisville and Michigan are worthy finalists, but underdog Wichita State deserved a jump ball's chance at a big upset.

ATLANTA -- Florida Gulf Coast was a carnival cruise while it lasted and Wichita State was a hoot, but there will be nothing "mid" about the majors playing for Monday's national title.

The final call is strictly blue grass vs. blue blood.

Louisville, the top overall No.1 team in the tournament, will play Michigan from the Big Ten, the nation's top overall conference this season.

Everyone else — thanks for participating.

In Saturday's national semifinal games in front of a football-sized Georgia Dome crowd, Louisville held off interloper Wichita State, 72-68, then Michigan survived the vortex that had been Syracuse's zone defense, 61-56.

Louisville will be seeking its first title since 1986, and Michigan hasn't won since 1989. The Wolverines got to the title game in 1992 and '93, but then Chris Webber called a timeout he didn't have.

Both of Saturday's games ended with the losing team down by three with a chance to tie the score.

Only one team, though, got a legitimate chance.

In the thrilling nightcap, Syracuse's Trevor Cooney missed his shot and the game ended with a christening slam dunk by Michigan's Jordan Morgan.

Hail to the Victors Valiant!

Wichita State, unfortunately, was derailed not by a player, but by a rule.

Down by three points, Shockers freshman Ron Baker had the rebound in hand and a chance to tie the score with six seconds left.

He was then tied up by Louisville's Luke Hancock and felled by one of the dumbest rules in sports — the alternate possession on a held ball.

It was a bang-bang play, one the officials might let go for another second.

Instead, Louisville got possession on the alternate arrow.

Wichita State had to quickly foul again and Russ Smith, with five clock ticks left, made one of two free-throw attempts to clinch the game.

Are you kidding me?

Not only did James Naismith's original rules of basketball include the jump ball, it called for a jump after every made basket.

The alternate rule was implemented because officials couldn't toss the ball properly.

My advice: Send the refs to "jump ball" camp.

Featured Stories

Advertisement

PLAN AHEAD

Top Trending Videos