ATLANTA Kevin Ware is a national champion. Luke Hancock scored 22 points and Peyton Siva added 18 as Louisville defeated Michigan, 82-76 in the national title game at the Georgia Dome.
Louisville and Ware won the school's third national championship and first since 1986.
Louisville trailed by as many as 12 points, but thanks to Hancock hitting four consecutive 3-pointers over the final three minutes of the first half, the Cardinals grabbed a 38-37 halftime lead.
The Cardinals, who also won a national title in 1980, went ahead for good at 49-47 on a pair of free throws by Chane Behanan, Ware's best friend and roommate, at the 13:50 mark of the second half.
Ware went down with a season-ending leg injury in the first half of Louisville's win over Duke in the Midwest Regional Final. Since, Ware had become a national story for how his injury had inspired the Cardinals to a win over Wichita State in Saturday's national semi finals.
Now Ware, a sophomore and 2011 Rockdale graduate who played in the Class AAAA state high school championship game, has a collegiate national title on his resume.
"These are my brothers," Ware told gocards.com afterwards. "They got the job done. I'm so proud of them, so proud of them."