Last year, the International Olympic Committee ruled that a member of Jamaica’s 400-meter relay team at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing had tested positive for a banned stimulant.
The IOC stripped the gold medals from the Jamaicans and gave them to Trinidad & Tobago’s runners. As far as history is concerned, the team from Trinidad & Tobago is the champions from the Summer Games in Beijing.
I bring this up because the Louisville men’s basketball program on Tuesday lost an appeal with the NCAA of its sanctions and has to vacate wins during the 2011-12 through 2014-15 seasons, including its 2013 NCAA Tournament title.
The Cardinals beat Michigan 82-76 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament championship game, so some were saying the Wolverines were the new national champions.
Alas, it doesn’t work that way.
Louisville won by an average of 19 points in its four games that earned the Cardinals a spot in the Final Four that year. Wichita State nearly upset Louisville in the Final Four, but the Shockers fell 72-68.
Louisville then beat Michigan 82-76 in the national championship game. But there is no way of knowing if the Shockers (or some other team) would have taken down the Wolverines in the title game.
According to the New York Times, by vacating the victory, the game basically never was played. Louisville has to take its banner down, but Michigan can’t raise one. As far as history is concerned, there is no 2013 national champion.
That didn’t stop some Michigan and Wichita State fans from trying (hoping) to claim that 2013 national championship: