With the "Fab Five" watching from the Georgia Dome stands, Michigan met a familiar fate in the national final Monday night. The Wolverines suffered a third straight title game defeat and dropped to 1-5 in the championship game, losing to Louisville 82-76 in a contentious affair.
Michigan cruised to a comfortable advantage early in the matchup, leading Louisville by double digits during the first half. The Cardinals clawed back with a furious late first-half rally and kept up the pressure throughout a torridly paced second half.
The Wolverines rebounded from a disappointing final stretch of the regular season to reel off a series of sensational victories that set the squad up for a date with destiny Monday evening. Michigan met top-seeded Louisville every step of the way until the Cardinals closed out a memorable national championship run with timely free-throw shooting and post defense.
Coach John Beilein and company have laid the foundation for a new era of Wolverines basketball in Ann Arbor and will seek to use this spring's success toward a brighter future on the hardwood. Here's a peek at how Michigan should fare in the immediate future.