Michigan vs. Louisville: Your Initial Thoughts (9:23p tip)

Submitted by Mr. Yost on April 7th, 2013 at 1:15 AM

I know some of us are still coming down from that fact that we're even IN the Championship Game. But hey, we're not done yet. Survive and advance, we've got business to take care of on Monday.

That said, what are your early thoughts about the matchup?



April 7th, 2013 at 2:18 AM ^

I had Michigan over Louisville in the only bracket I filled out this year.  Unfortunately, Wiscy was my dark horse and I had Indiana making it to the Final Four, too, so my bracket sucked early.  My point: I have felt all along that this team could make it this far.

My thoughts are the same as they were after the Penn State loss; Michigan is a young team that is learning something new every game, and peaking at the right time.  All of the losses we stewed over were necessary to help this team perform as it has in the tournament.  

I think Michigan should win on Monday, pulling away for a 15-point victory in the second half.  Louisville had an emotional victory over WSU, who continued to play at an obscenely good level, untli they finally ran out of gas and Louisville's talent showed through.

The determining factor: Louisville lost Kevin Ware, while Michigan has found Mitch McGary, Caris LaVert, and Spike Albrecht.  I am not saying that Michigan couldn't beat Louisville if Ware hadn't been injured, but I am saying that their depth is compromised, while Michigan is getting quality minutes from both LaVert and Spike, while Mitch has become a force during the tournament.

79-61 sounds about right to me, but I would gladly take 79-78, as long as Michigan comes out on top. 


April 7th, 2013 at 3:06 AM ^

I used to post here, but I couldn't remember my screenname.


I will preface this with I am a MSU alumnus - both undergrad and grad. With that said I congratulate your university on making it to the championship - even though Trey Burke cost me a lot of money in bracket winnings.

With that said, congrats on making the final four and the championship game, it is truly something to be proud of.

I am not sure how you guys match up with Louisville, they have the full court press defense, but you also have the best PG right now. It will be a great game to watch.

I have to say I am cheering for Michigan to win the title.

With all this said if we can return Payne, and somehow keep Harris, we will have at least two great matchups between our teams.

As much as it paynes (yes our player) to say this, but go blue!


April 7th, 2013 at 8:10 AM ^

This may be a stretch but M has played very well in games 2 and 4 of this tournament. Second game of each weekend. Maybe that bodes well for game 6 Monday night?


I've been expecting them to lose since VCU so I have no idea what to expect anymore. Just enjoying the ride.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:19 AM ^

My initial and ongoing thought is it sucks living in Shanghai for this game. Tip is at 9:20 AM on Tuesday and there is no way I can miss work. I can block out a portion of game time and sling box it in my office. I have a very important meeting about the time there will be 10 minutes left in regulation. There is a good lesson about priorities somewhere in here but I can't find it.

Sunday (today) was a regular work day in China as determined by the government but I was able to watch the game and go in to work late. It was hard to remain focused. Great win!


April 7th, 2013 at 8:32 AM ^

Initial thoughts: 

This is a game Michigan can win. Louisville looked vulnerable in their game and were lucky to win. Michigan can beat anyone when everyone is on their game. 

The most startling fact was that Burke and Stauskus had bad nights, and Michigan still won. Michigan is the definition of teamwork. Other players pick up the slack, take care of business, and help win the game. And that's something Syracuse couldn't do effectively last night. 

We'll see what happens, but Michigan certainly has a strong chance to win the title. 


April 7th, 2013 at 8:40 AM ^

...courtesy of TeamRankings:

Michigan Louisville
Points/Game 74.5   74.3
Avg Score Margin +11.7   +15.9
Assists/Game 14.4   14.5
Total Rebounds/Gm 35.4   37.3
Effective FG % 54.4%   50.5%
Off Rebound % 30.2%   37.6%
FTA/FGA 0.279   0.401
Turnover % 12.5%   15.3%
Opp Points/Game 62.8   58.3
Opp Effective FG % 47.9%   44.4%
Off Rebounds/Gm 9.1   12.3
Def Rebounds/Gm 23.1   22.8
Blocks/Game 2.8   4.2
Steals/Game 6.2   10.8
Personal Fouls/Gm 12.7   18.1

Even though Massey's site gives us only a 23% probability to beat Louisville, I do like our chances as well based on some of these numbers above. If we can play as we have and get some of the great rebounding that we've seen in the last few games as well as defense like last night, then I think we are in a good position to be riding high on Tuesday morning. In any case, this will likely be a very uptempo game and very exciting to boot. 


April 7th, 2013 at 8:45 AM ^

Be aggressive early and get Siva and Russ in foul trouble they don't have any good guard subs that have the quality of defense those two play. McGary has to be extra active Dang is a great athlete and plays very well away from the ball. Dang is an underrated shot blocker. Inside behanan and blackshear aren't the tallest guys but are strong and physical it will be a tough matchup strength wise for GR3 but at least these guys are his height. Burke has to make Siva's life or smiths life tough. The harder they have to work on offensive end the more grind it will have on them and their pressure. Lastly Hankcock don't jump when he attempts to shoot delay the jump because he will get you in the air and jump into you and draw the foul. He's very much like Nik. THJ should have a size advantage all game he should be able to get his shot with ease. They're offense is like ours flat ball screens. I like the matchup.


April 7th, 2013 at 9:15 AM ^

I had this matchup picked in my bracket solely on potential. When we are on and playing go our potential, we win. Scary thing is that we haven't seen a game yet this tourney where everyone is really on. Versus Syracuse it didn't seem like anyone was on. We just did enough to win.

Louisville is a much better matchup for us. Their guards are a more manageable size for Burke. With that being said, early in the game he needs to drive the lane and dish to the shooters. Or pick and roll game with McGary. Get Dieng with a couple fouls and it opens the lane up for us. Defensively, we need to lock down Smith. Their other shooters aren't as scary as he is. Smith ja their Fair. That being said, I think Michigan wins fairly easy. 79-68

An Angelo's Addict

April 7th, 2013 at 9:22 AM ^

I expect many of the analysts to once again pick Louisivlle to win, and once again Michigan will overcome all the odds to bring home the National Championship. What Sayeth THE_KNWOLEDGE!!?

Drunk Uncle

April 7th, 2013 at 10:54 AM ^

My initial thoughts are: Lagunitas IPAs, Ernie's the best pizza in N. Denver, a couple buddies at my house. I might take the day off tomorrow, maybe Tuesday as well.


April 7th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

Hardaway is key for this matchup. If we can post him up against the 5'2 110 pound smith and draw fouls. It would take smith out of the game which kills them on offense and defense. 


April 7th, 2013 at 10:55 AM ^

What a special year for this team. I can't stop thinking about how great this is for recruiting in all Michigan sports! No matter the outcome, this is a BIG win. Go Blue!!! One more time to enjoy this amazing team that will forever be remembered...


April 7th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

I'm trying really hard to not get overly optimistic, but the truth is I love this matchup. Louisville isn't stronger than us. They aren't longer than us (overall). They don't have playmakers on the bench. Their guards are tiny. They don't shoot well. They rely heavily on turnovers and transition points (much like our previous 4 opponents). The only glaring advantage I see for them is shot blocking. However, shot blocking doesn't worry me as much after playing Syracuse & Kansas). Our most unfavorable matchup will be at the 4 (sound familiar?). I think this is a game that Burke can take over and win for us. Hopefully he can find his range on the pull ups and floaters, because that could be the difference. Hardaway & Nik have to take advantage on the glass. One of them will have an undersized guard on them. The key to the game is ball control & rebounding (sound familiar?). Dieng gambles a lot on block attempts, so we should get good looks at offensive rebounds. Hardaway & Nik should be able to get good looks over Siva/Smith/Hancock. Trey should be able to get the elbow pull up jumper whenever he wants it. Trey will have to get a good feel on when to push it and when to pull it out. Louisville is a million times more dangerous in transition. Their halfcourt offense is very suspect. I also like the fact that the average weight on their team is about 160 lbs. They won't be winning very many tug-of-war matches on field days. If the Big Ten really is more "physical", then this would be the game to flex muscle. Wichita State out muscled them noticeably. I don't want to come off as arrogant like Syracuse, Kansas, & Florida players did before the games ... but its hard to not like our matchups. If Trey and Tim just play to their averages, we should be in GREAT shape ... and NOBODY is coaching better than Beilein right now. We are heading into a National Championship game, and the best player in the country is on our side; what's not to like? GO BLUE!


April 7th, 2013 at 12:09 PM ^

I am going to add on to what "GREAT" mentioned as I agree Ware not in the rotation will be big.  This is a quick turnaround game.  Both teams get only 48 hours of rest.  Thus fatigue is going to be a factor like the Florida game.  Ware was the 1st guard off the bench and reason why Silva/Smith averaged only 30 minutes a game.   Both averaged 35 in the WSU win.  If Louisville presses, they will expend a lot more energy then Michigan.  The press is not really useful if the defenders are tired or slower.

If Louisville presses with Silva/Smith playing 35 minutes I believe it will not be sustainable as they will get tired faster.  They will tire because they are forced to play more minutes and they are tired from Saturdays game.  If Louisville chooses to press with Silva/Smith getting less rest, it will not be as effective as the other G/F's or Henderson are not going to be as effective.

My prediction is Pitino will attempt to pick & choose when he presses to attempt to generate a point run.  I believe he knows that on short rest an all out full court press will exaust his team. Without the constant pressing, Louisville is not the same threat.  They are pretty average in scoring out of the half court offense.  When we are in our half court offene one of the munchkins will have to guard one of our 6 foot 6 shooters.  I am not going to predict a Michigan win as lots of varience in tournament ball with the clash of conference styles.  But I think we have a pretty good chance of winning.  Michigan plays a style of ball where their starters can stay in for 35+ minutes a game.  

Mr. Yost

April 7th, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

Ware was also the reason they started in zone, they wanted to protect their guards from foul trouble.

We have to attack and Burke is GREAT about drawing fouls when you pressure him (even though he fouls just as much, just gets away with it).

The only small guard that has been able to stay on the floor with Burke is Craft. L'ville doesn't have Craft.

Der Alte

April 7th, 2013 at 1:06 PM ^

Can we really expect U of L, like Syracuse, to go 3 for 14 (21%) from 3-point land? Syracuse is not comprised of great shooters, but they gave M a great assist by shooting so poorly from outside. This woeful performance helped to offset a similarly bad (i.e, nonexistent) shooting night by Mr. Stauskas. We need Nick against U of L.

But during the tournament Nick's shooting woes seem to have occured every other game. My recollection is that he was off against KU, caught fire against FL, then was off again against 'Cuse. He's due on Monday night.


April 7th, 2013 at 5:33 PM ^

This dude has been our X factor and it isn't a stretch to expect at least a double double along with 2 blocks and two steals. He changes us from a good team to a great team. Dude is the truth, son.