College basketball fans around the country are fortunate that the national championship game will feature two of the most exciting teams in the sport.
Michigan and Louisville took very different paths to reach this point, but each side is well-deserving of a national title. With talented players, experienced coaches and deep benches, it would not be surprising if either team is able to pull out a victory.
However, there can be only one national champion, so make sure to tune in to watch every second of the action. Here is what you need to know heading into the final game of the year.
Who will win the national championship?
When: Monday, April 8
Start Time: 9:23 p.m. ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Live Stream: March Madness on Demand
Betting Line: Louisville -4 (via Vegas Insider)
Players to Watch
Trey Burke, Michigan
After averaging 18.5 points and 6.8 assists per game for the season, it is hard to argue that the sophomore did not deserve these awards.
However, Burke is now looking past the individual honors and doing everything he needs for his team to win. Michigan was only a No. 4 seed in the tournament, but the squad is now one win away from a national championship, thanks mostly to the point guard.
Then again, he is coming off his worst game in a while, with only seven points and four assists in the national semifinal against Syracuse. He will need to play much better against Louisville if he wants to help his team win.
Russ Smith, Louisville
Although Russ Smith was only named third-team All-America this season, he is still one of the best pure scorers in the country.
He was easily Louisville's leading scorer during year, but he has kicked it up a notch since the NCAA tournament began. In five rounds, he is averaging 25 points per game and has scored at least 20 in every one.
Smith is very quick with the ball and has enough body control to finish at the rim over much taller defenders. When opponents give him space, he can shoot for three like he did four times in the last round against Wichita State.
The junior is the main reason that the Cardinals have reached this point. He was named Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Region, and he is looking to get that award for the Final Four as well.
Mitch McGary, Michigan
If you watch Michigan play during the regular season, you likely barely noticed Mitch McGary. However, you cannot miss him this postseason.
The freshman only averages 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for the year, but he has picked up his play in the NCAA tournament. In five contests, he is averaging 16 points and 11.6 rebounds per game.
McGary has given this guard-heavy team some balance in the frontcourt, and it is a big reason that the squad is still playing basketball. He runs the floor well to get dunks in transition, and he has a great motor to get rebounds on both ends of the court.
Louisville will have to figure out how to contain him, or at least slow him down, in the national championship game in order to come away with a title.