NCAA tourney notebook: Michigan gets big boost from freshman Albrecht

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ATLANTA — Spike Albrecht shined while Trey Burke sat.

With Burke on the bench in foul trouble, the 5-foot-11 backup freshman point guard made all four of his three-pointers in the first half last night and had 17 points for Michigan in a 82-76 loss to Louisville. Not bad for a freshman who was averaging 1.8 points and whose main job was to relieve some of the ballhandling pressure from Burke.

“That was honestly, probably back to high school days,” Albrecht said, remembering when he has had a stretch like that. “Coach (John) Beilein doesn’t play guys with two fouls in the first half, so I knew I was in the rest of the half, and I was fortunately hitting shots. Teammates were finding me. That’s about it.”

While Albrecht had the time of his life early, he went scoreless in the second half.

Hancock’s performance special for ailing dad

With an aching heart and a shot that couldn’t miss, Luke Hancock helped Louisville win the national title.

Given increased playing time and more shots because of Kevin Ware’s injury, Hancock went 5 of 5 from three-point range and finished with 22 points to add to the 20 from Saturday’s semifinal.

It was quite a treat for Hancock’s father, Bill, who is gravely ill, but made the trip from Roanoke, Va., to see his son become the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

“We needed a rally, and we’ve been doing it for a couple of games straight, being down,” Hancock said. “We just had to wait and make our run.”

Emotions run high

Michigan made quite a run for a fourth-seeded team that stunned No. 1-seeded Kansas.

“I’ve had a lot of really good teams over the years, and some emotional locker rooms, and that was the most emotional we’ve ever had,” Beilein said. “The team unity we had, the sacrifice we had from five seniors who did not get to play very much, to these young guys buying into the team concept.”

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