TALE OF THE TAPE

NCAA Championship Game: #1 Louisville Vs. #4 Michigan

#1 Louisville
#4 Michigan
Louisville v Wichita State
Michigan v Syracuse
Coaching
Winner Rick Pitino has been here before, after making his 7th Final Four appearance, he's now in his third go-round in the title game. He's got plenty of experience on the big stage and he has the Cardinals playing high level basketball at the right time.
John Beilein has now accomplished two personal firsts in this tournament. His first Final Four appearance and first shot at the title. Michigan has been tearing through the tournament looking like the team that was No. 1 earlier this season.
Offense
The Cardinals have the highest scoring offense in the tourney averaging 79 PPG. They've gotten scoring throughout the line-up, but one concern: Peyton Siva was 1-9 with seven points in the game against Wichita State.
Winner Michigan isn't far behind the Cardinals averaging 75.2 PPG. They've gotten a huge boost in the tournament from Mitch McGary who has averaged 16 PPG 11.6 RPG on 69.8% shooting. He has been a force inside and will put Gorgui Dieng to the test.
Defense
Louisville is averaging 11.2 SPG and 4.2 BPG in the tournament. Their full court pressure style has bottled opponents in every game they've played. It really tires teams out late in games.
Winner Michigan has held opponents to an average of 61.8 PPG in the tournament. If you take out the 85 points they gave up to Kansas that number drops to 56 PPG. They've been downright stingy.
Bench Depth
Winner Luke Hancock and Tim Henderson provided big 3's late against the Shockers and Montrezl Harrell continues to be a spark off the bench, but this team's depth took a hit when Kevin Ware went down with an injury.
Chris Levert gave the Wolverines big minutes in the Final Four, and Joshua Morgan has been a presence defensively all season. Spike Albrecht may be one of the most underrated pieces of this team. He gives Trey Burke the chance to play off the ball and get a breather from the point guard duties.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Louisville v Wichita State Michigan v Syracuse

This game is about as good as we can ask for in the national final. Michigan has seen a defense similar to Louisville's already when they played against VCU's patented chaos D in the Round of 32. But Rick Pitino is a master at making adjustments to force teams into uncomfortable positions. If Trey Burke and Michigan can protect the basketball though, they will win this game. Look for a game in the mid-70's with Michigan getting the win by 4.
-Ryan Mayer, College Basketball Contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 20:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks to throw a pass against the New England Patriots in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

    The Colts are still alive for the playoffs while the Jets are just playing out the string.

  2. OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for several yards on the quarterback keeper during the second quarter of an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

    The Panthers travel to Seattle for a date with the Seahawks.

  3. TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the third quarter of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passes against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers

    The Bucs are in second place in the NFC South and look to keep pace with the Falcons as they match-up with a tough Chargers team.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS New York

BUY TICKETS NOW
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Listen Live