Monday, April 8, 2013

Louisville vs. Michigan Preview

And then there were two. Louisville survived a tougher than expected Wichita State. Michigan overwhelmed Syracuse with excellent shooting/passing/youth. I'm ready for an exciting title game tonight.

I've been a fan of watching the Cardinals set up their full court press and execute it masterfully. I've a fan of Russ Smith and Michigan's Trey Burke. I love Gorgui Dieng protects the hoop and alters shots. I love Mitch McGary blossoming and showing his energy/post presence.

Michigan was a team I really liked at the beginning of the season and Louisville's replaced them at this point in the season. In a year where parity has reigned and no team really distinguished themselves, it's great to see two teams that play exciting both ways instead of teams who show why college basketball was way down this year.

Not to pat myself on the back either, but I predicted Louisville getting to the finals and Michigan in the Final Four. It's why I'm in shape to win 2 of my brackets. Not that you readers care or anything but it's cool to me.

Here are my keys.

1. Can Michigan get Dieng in foul trouble? Mitch McGary has channeled some parts of Chris Webber wearing his No. 4 and set himself up for NBA talk or preseason All-American watch next year but this will be his toughest test and perhaps his moment to shine.

2. Burke and Hardaway already handled a pressing team in VCU in the Round of 32. Will that help them against Louisville? Or will the Cardinals with better defenders make it tougher?

3. Whose depth wins out? Both teams won Saturday thanks to their role players and I think that'll be a bigger factor since Burke/Smith could cancel each other out.

I'm sticking with my bracket pick Louisville in a thriller and Rick Pitino finishes off a great weekend where he gets elected to the Hall of Fame and makes history winning national titles at two different schools.

However, I'll be happy if Michigan wins because it'd be a nice way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Chris Webber's timeout in the final. This team is young just like the Fab Five were and the way they play, I know it has to make them proud as much as Kentucky did last year.

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