The Louisville Cardinals will take on the Michigan Wolverines for the men’s basketball national championship on Monday night. The Cardinals are the number one overall seed in the tournament while the Wolverines will most likely play the role of the underdog. What are some keys to look at when trying to determine who will win this game?
Michigan Will Have To Continue To Hit Three Point Shots
The biggest reason why Michigan won on Saturday against Syracuse was due to their ability to hit shots from a long distance. This allowed them to overcome many of the obstacles presented by the 2-3 zone defense that the Orange like to run. It also caused Syracuse to deal with some confidence issues as they were not able to hit shots in response. If the Wolverines can rattle Louisville on Monday, it could be enough to get them a victory.
Louisville Needs To Play Pressure Defense Throughout The Game
The Cardinals will need to play consistent defense throughout the game. When they take their foot off of the throat of their opponents, they tend to give up points in bunches. If they are in a competitive game with Michigan as they were with Wichita State on Saturday, they may not be able to grind out a victory. Instead, they need to establish their defensive presence early and run out to an early lead.
Trey Burke Needs To Step Up For Michigan
Burke only had seven points for Michigan against Syracuse. Although he had three steals, he only had four assists during the game. If this is the kind of effort that can be expected from the leader of the team, it probably won’t be enough to get them past Louisville. In fact, everyone on the Wolverines squad needs to play better if they want to win against the Cardinals. It will be difficult to win when the majority of your team is held to single digits in scoring.
Louisville Should Force The Ball To Tim Hardaway As Much As Possible
Hardaway shot 30 percent from three point range and hit only 25 percent of his shots overall for the game. If he is expected to take a lot of shots for Michigan on Monday, that could be another issue that does them in. This is where Louisville can use their pressure defense to force Hardaway to shoot a lot of shots where he may not feel comfortable taking them.
Fouls Could Be A Problem For The Cardinals
Louisville is a deep team that have a lot of guys capable of playing at any time. On the one hand, this helps them overcome their foul issues. On the other hand, foul trouble can take key guys out of the game at the worst possible times. For example, Gorqui Dieng has fouled out of three games this season and has gotten four fouls in multiple other games. If Michigan can get the ball underneath the basket, there is a good chance that he could run into foul trouble. Peyton Siva is another big contributor for Louisville who tends to get himself into foul trouble quite often.
This is going to be a great game between two teams that deserve to play for a national title. Although Louisville will be the favorite, there is no doubt that Michigan will give them everything that they can handle. It will be one of the classic national title games that will most likely come down to the final shot.
Be sure to visit our friends at FansEdge right after the game for NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Gear.They will be updating their site with fresh Champions products as soon as the winner is decided.