CHICAGO — It was not a make or break situation, but when you walked into the gym for the NBA pre-draft camp on Chicago’s west side - filled with scouts, general managers, coaches, media and everyone in between – you could feel the intensity in the air.
Congratulations to Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals for winning the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship. This year’s tournament, like many before it, had its share of highlights, buzzer beaters, and breakout stars.
Every year, prospects use March to springboard into the draft and surge up boards — but at the same time several players’ hurt their lofty draft stock with poor or inconsistent performances. With a focus toward June’s NBA Draft, here is a breakdown of the prospects that helped their stock the most with great performances (or in the case of the player listed first, non-performances) in the Big Dance.
With no NBA games slated for Monday, everyone tuned into the National Championship game between Michigan and Louisville. With Louisville trying to take the trophy for Kevin Ware and Michigan receiving the support of the Fab Five (all five of them), there was plenty of drama heading into this one.
With the world watching, the two teams turned in one of the most incredible college championship games ever seen.
Michigan came out blazing, with Spike Albrecht looking like an unlikely hero, hitting four 3-pointers in the first half. Louisville, however, quickly erased a double-digit deficit with the aid of Luke Hancock, who also hit four 3-pointers in the half.
From there, stars like Peyton Siva and Trey Burke took turns displaying their skills for their respective teams – one possession after another. The players were moving at blazing speeds at just about every possession, making the game a nonstop blur. At the end of the day, it appeared the game came down to some bad officiating (as you’ll see below) and Michigan’s inability to keep Louisville off the glass – the team grabbed 15 offensive rebounds to Michigan’s eight.
The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is pure mayhem; games begin and end simultaneously, buzzers sound from TV’s, iPads, iPhones, and computers, celebrations are loud … and defeat is inevitable for more than three-quarters of the field…
Which brings us to these next four days of college basketball: Games are fewer than the week before, but the stakes continue to rise as the Sweet Sixteen turns into the Elite Eight, and, eventually the Final Four.