After two very intense games in the Final Four, the national championship is set to go on Monday night.
The Louisville Cardinals and Michigan Wolverines will be playing to end both of their tournament droughts. The Cardinals last won an NCAA championship in 1986, while the Wolverines haven’t won since 1989.
This is sure to be an electrifying matchup, filled with NBA prospects and exciting plays. For everyone who is looking for the info on the game, we’ve got you covered.
When: Monday, April 8, 9:23 p.m. ET
Who will win?
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Live Stream: March Madness Live
Spread Info: Louisville (-3.5), Over/Under: 138, via Vegas Insider
Injury Report (via USA Today): Louisville G Kevin Ware, Out, Leg
Players to Watch
Louisville: Gorgui Dieng
The Cardinals barely escaped with a win against the Wichita State Shockers. Dieng struggled mightily, failing to register a point and getting called for four fouls. He was taken completely out of the game, and the Cardinals will need him to shake it off quickly.
Dieng has been a beast all season, especially on defense. He’s averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks this season all while shooting 53.1 percent. His defensive rating of 80.6 is the best in the Big East and third best in the country, according to Sports-Reference.com.
If Dieng is taken out of his game like he was against the Shockers, the Cardinals will be in big trouble. He will need to make sure he doesn’t have back-to-back poor performances. He’s certainly talented enough to do so, but he will need to prove that he can do so on Monday night.
Michigan: Trey Burke
Mitch McGary has been dominant for the Wolverines, and that has kept the Wolverines going even when Trey Burke has struggled. Burke failed to make much of an impact on the game against the Syracuse Orange, scoring only seven points on 1-of-8 shooting.
Burke is arguably the best player on the country, but he didn’t look like it in the Final Four. However, he has done plenty for this team in the tournament so far, including making a deep three-pointer against Kansas to send them into overtime. He scored 23 points in that game and was able to dish out 10 assists as well.
There’s a reason that Burke was the Wooden Award winner. He’s an incredible player, and he certainly has a bright future in the NBA. He will need to play like the top player in the country in order to solidify his college legacy as well as bring the Wolverines a second NCAA championship. If he plays like he did against the Orange, that championship will be in serious jeopardy.
These two teams balance out well. They both have spectacular backcourts as well as exciting players down low. They both excel in transition and use their speed and athleticism to create some truly exciting plays. Russ Smith and Burke will be battling back and forth, as they’re the top scorers in this game. Burke averages 18.5 points per game while Smith averages 18.9.
This game will come down to who can shoot more efficiently and limit their turnovers. The Wolverines shoot 48.3 percent from the field, while the Cardinals shoot 45.6 percent. The Cardinals are one of the best teams at forcing turnovers in the country, forcing 18.4 per game. Meanwhile, the Wolverines do a good job of limiting their turnovers, only turning it over 9.4 times a game.
The Wolverines will take care of the ball, and that will be the deciding factor. It’s going to be a really close game, but Burke has already proven to be a closer. Expect to see some late-game heroics by him, and maybe even a buzzer-beater.
Final Score: Michigan 70, Louisville 67