NCAA Championship Game: #1 Louisville Vs. #4 Michigan 1

#1 Louisville
#4 Michigan
Louisville v Wichita State
Michigan v Syracuse
Winner Rick Pitino has been here before, after making his 7th Final Four appearance, he's now in his third go-round in the title game. He's got plenty of experience on the big stage and he has the Cardinals playing high level basketball at the right time.
John Beilein has now accomplished two personal firsts in this tournament. His first Final Four appearance and first shot at the title. Michigan has been tearing through the tournament looking like the team that was No. 1 earlier this season.
The Cardinals have the highest scoring offense in the tourney averaging 79 PPG. They've gotten scoring throughout the line-up, but one concern: Peyton Siva was 1-9 with seven points in the game against Wichita State.
Winner Michigan isn't far behind the Cardinals averaging 75.2 PPG. They've gotten a huge boost in the tournament from Mitch McGary who has averaged 16 PPG, 11.6 RPG on 69.8% shooting. He has been a force inside and will put Gorgui Dieng to the test.
Louisville is averaging 11.2 SPG and 4.2 BPG in the tournament. Their full court pressure style has bottled opponents in every game they've played. It really tires teams out late in games.
Winner Michigan has held opponents to an average of 61.8 PPG in the tournament. If you take out the 85 points they gave up to Kansas that number drops to 56 PPG. They've been downright stingy.
Bench Depth
Winner Luke Hancock and Tim Henderson provided big 3's late against the Shockers and Montrezl Harrell continues to be a spark off the bench, but this team's depth took a hit when Kevin Ware went down with an injury.
Chris Levert gave the Wolverines big minutes in the Final Four, and Joshua Morgan has been a presence defensively all season. Spike Albrecht may be one of the most underrated pieces of this team. He gives Trey Burke the chance to play off the ball and get a breather from the point guard duties.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Louisville v Wichita State Michigan v Syracuse

This game is about as good as we can ask for in the national final. Michigan has seen a defense similar to Louisville's already when they played against VCU's patented chaos D in the Round of 32. But Rick Pitino is a master at making adjustments to force teams into uncomfortable positions. If Trey Burke and Michigan can protect the basketball though, they will win this game. Look for a game in the mid-70's with Michigan getting the win by four.
-Ryan Mayer, College Basketball Contributor


  1. Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At San Diego Chargers

    The high-powered Pittsburgh offense was a bit out of sync against the Ravens in Week Four without Ben Roethlisberger, but it seemed like Mike Vick was pretty close to finding success.

  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: San Francisco 49ers At New York Giants

    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders

    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

See All Tales of the Tape