The NCAA tournament started with 68 teams, and now only two remain to see who will be the 2013 national champions. The Louisville Cardinals will be facing the Michigan Wolverines on Monday night, and the game has plenty of storylines to talk about.
Everything that you need to know about the upcoming game can be found right here. If you are trying to find the spread or need a quick breakdown of the game's key players, we have you covered.
When: Monday, April 8, 9:23 p.m. ET
Where: Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia Dome
Live Stream: March Madness Online
Spread Info: Louisville (-3.5), Over/Under: 138, via Vegas Insider
Michigan Injuries (via USA Today): None
Louisville Injuries (via USA Today): Kevin Ware, G, Out, Leg
What’s at Stake?
This is what every team plays for, as the winner will be bring a national championship back to its school.
Both of these programs have had pretty long droughts since their last national title. The Cardinals last won in 1986 (they also won one before in 1980). The Wolverines have only won one other title back in 1989.
A win for Rick Pitino would make him the first ever head coach to win a national title at two different programs. He won his first with the Kentucky Wildcats back in 1996. Another title would solidify Pitino as one of the greatest coaches in NCAA history.
Meanwhile, John Beilein will be pushing for his first ever national title. He became the head coach for the Wolverines in 2007, and helped put the program on the track to victory.
Players to Watch
Louisville: Luke Hancock
Hancock may not be a star player on this team, but he has stepped up when the Cardinals needed it. A prime example of this was in the Final Four game against Wichita State. He was able to score 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting as well as getting a critical jump-ball call near the end of the game.
The transfer student from George Mason will be expected to play just as well against the Wolverines. A lot of the focus will be on Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng, which will likely leave Hancock open on more than a few possessions.
Michigan: Nik Stauskas
He may only be a freshman, but Stauskas has already proven himself as one of the best shooters in the country from long range. He’s averaged 11.2 points per game this season, with a lot of his shots coming from behind the arc where he shoots 43.9 percent.
Stauskas went off against Florida in the Elite Eight. He scored 22 points while making all six of his three-point attempts. However, he struggled against Syracuse, missing all four of his shots from downtown and failing to register a single point.
The Wolverines are hoping that Stauskas will have another game like the one against Florida and not like the one against Syracuse. He’s certainly a streaky shooter, but he can put up points in a hurry when he’s hot.
Even though the Cardinals came into the tournament with the No. 1 overall seed, it doesn’t feel like they’re the heavy favorites in this game. The Wolverines feature some really good players, including a couple of potential NBA prospects.
The battle of the backcourts will be important. Russ Smith and Peyton Siva of the Cardinals will be going against Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Wolverines. The star power of Burke and Hardaway Jr. will overpower the strong backcourt of the Cardinals, but it won’t be by much.
This game has all the elements to be a classic. There’s electrifying athletes, true scorers, big men and so much more. It’s hard to pick the winner, but Michigan has the brighter stars that will shine under the lights in Atlanta.
Predicted Score: Michigan 72, Louisville 70
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