Final Four 2013 Schedule: What to Watch For in Saturday's Epic Clashes

Ethan GrantAnalyst IApril 6, 2013

Mar 31, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Trey Burke (3) is congratulated by Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) in the second half against the Florida Gators during the South regional final of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 Final Four schedule has been in place since the Elite Eight games were over, but that doesn't mean the analysis stops with game times and TV locations.

Syracuse, Louisville, Wichita State and Michigan are the lone four remaining in the 2013 NCAA tournament, and the quartet will square off in two separate games for the chance to represent their schools in the NCAA championship on Monday night in Atlanta.

You've likely seen all the analysis you can handle over the last week.

That being said, sometimes a simple look at two teams is the best way to understand what each is up against. Advanced stats help us understand how things work, but sometimes it's more about matchups and how each team plays to its strengths.

With that in mind, here's a last-second look at what you should watch for in Saturday's Final Four games. Check out the schedule, game time and TV information for both to ensure you don't miss any of the action from the first two of the season's final three games.



No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 9 Wichita State

When: Saturday, Apr. 6, at 6:09 p.m. ET

Where: Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: March Madness Live

Betting Line: Louisville -10 (via SportsBook)



What to Watch for

The big story heading into this game is the underrated Shockers having a chance to again shock the world.

Wichita State is one of the few Cinderella teams to ever make it to the Final Four, and has a chance to knock off its second No. 1 seed (as they beat Gonzaga in the round of 32) en route to the championship game.

The Shockers have underrated playmakers in Malcolm Armstead, Cleanthony Early and Carl Hall, and a balanced scoring attack that has given opposing coaches problems. It's hard to game-plan for the Shockers because their ball movement is outstanding, they get after it on the glass and have timely scoring from all significant contributors.

On the other side, the added layer of emotion for Louisville is going to be thick.

Not only are the Cardinals eager to avenge a loss to eventual champion Kentucky in this exact spot last season, they now have the added weight of what happened to guard Kevin Ware in the Elite Eight against Duke.

Ware, who was cleared to travel with the team to Atlanta (via ESPN), will be a silent contributor from the bench on Saturday night, but it's painfully clear that Louisville is playing for its fallen comrade after the scene following the win over Duke.

Throw in standout guard Russ Smith (averaging 26 points per game in the tournament), Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng, and Louisville has a legitimate claim to the NCAA throne with experience, timely offense and a vaunted defensive press.

As Wichita State tries to play spoiler, Louisville has more motivation (as if it needed any) to reach the championship game. Look for the emotion of these Louisville players to be a big factor from the tip off on through the end of the game.



No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 4 Syracuse

When: Saturday, Apr. 6, at 8:49 p.m. ET

Where: Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: March Madness Live

Betting Line: Michigan -2 (via SportsBook) 



What to Watch for

It's three-point defense versus three-point offense in this one.

Michigan averages 40.2 percent shooting from downtown so far in the tournament behind a balanced shooting effort from each of their starting four guards. On the flip side, Syracuse's 2-3 zone has been effective, limiting opponents to just 17.2 percent shooting so far from the outside.

Which side will win out?

Elsewhere, look for the point guard matchup between Michael Carter-Williams and Trey Burke to be for more than just bragging rights. There's a good chance the player that outshines the other will cement his place in the NBA draft lottery, while the other might slip a little bit because of the one-on-one matchup.

Both players have been incredible in the tournament. Carter-Williams has stepped his game up on offense as Syracuse found a way to score during its first four tournament games, while Burke's epic three-pointer to send the game against Kansas to overtime will live on in tournament lore.

It could be the best one-on-one matchup of the tournament.

Another big matchup is Syracuse's length against Michigan's scoring ability. One way the Wolverines will try to combat that idea is with freshman Mitch McGary, who has been one of the best players of the entire tournament so far. If McGary can break down the zone early, it should open up chances for shooters late.

All in all, Syracuse and Michigan is a battle of differing styles, and those matchups always have a tendency to be must-see TV. Don't miss either of the 2013 Final Four games, as each will be in prime time on Saturday night.


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