Michigan was a real threat all season, and Louisville was arguably the best team in the nation; so the 2013 March Madness final will have it all as the Wolverines take on the Cardinals, this Monday at 9:23 PM ET.
Louisville had an amazing comeback win over Wichita State as Luke Hancock had 20 points and four rebounds. “It was like, ‘Man,'” Russ Smith said. “I was actually waiting for our run. And it happened. Luke exploded. That was actually what I was waiting for. Then Chane exploded. Then Peyton made a big layup. Then Tim Henderson. It just kept going and going.”
“There’s a reason our starters played poorly because Wichita State is that good,” coach Rick Pitino said about the game, and how the bench won it for him.
Russ Smith became the first player since Shane Battier and Jason Williams in 2001 to score at least 20 points in each of the first five tournament games.
Michigan had an equally emotional game against Syracuse. The Orange zone defense was as good as it ever been, but Mitch McGary was able to crush it. “We’ve been a team all year,” said coach John Beilein.
Point guard Trey Burke had a difficult game, but the team managed to deal with it. “We know Trey is our leader, and sometimes he’s not going to have a game like he’s had all season,” said Tim Hardaway Jr., who led Michigan with 13 points. “That’s when our team stepped up.”
Louisville is a four point favorite over Michigan, and the game total is 138.
“It’s going to be a great matchup,” said McGary. “They’re a team like Syracuse that also plays in Big East and they remind me of VCU the way they trap and can turn over the ball, so it should be a great matchup.”