|Louisville's No. 1 defense will take on Michigan's No. 1 offense in the NCAA Championship game tonight. (washingtonpost.com)|
It was close to happening in the BCS National Championship game and was the matchup everyone wanted to see; the No. 1 offense in Oregon against the No. 1 defense in Alabama. But Stanford ended those chances and instead the championship game was a bulldozing victory for Alabama over Notre Dame.
Stanford wasn't around to end this opportunity for college basketball as Monday Louisville, the No. 1 defensive team in the country according to Ken Pomeroy, faces Michigan, who Pomeroy has as the No. 1 offensive team.
Something will have to give when Michigan's athletic guards and rising freshman forward try to break Louisville's stingy pressure defense. John Beilein needs not to look any further than Louisville's game Saturday for examples of breaking the press. Wichita State and coach Greg Marshall handled the pressure beautifully for 35 minutes, and it nearly earned the Shockers a victory.
For Louisville, it's not just about stopping Trey Burke, even though he's the main target and National Player of the Year. Burke only had seven points on 1-for-8 shooting Saturday against Syracuse and the Wolverines still lead comfortably for most of the game. Michigan has so many offensive weapons that it will take a complete defensive performance from every Cardinal on the court to shut down the Wolverines' scoring.
Both coaches are known for preparation, so both teams should be ready when the ball is tipped.
For years people have said that defense wins championships. Monday night will be a great opportunity to test that theory.
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