NCAA Tournament 2013: Schedule for Final Four

Andy Lyons

It has been a wild ride to Atlanta as Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan and Syracuse will battle in the Georgia Dome to take home the NCAA championship.

The Wichita State Shockers find themselves in a place they haven't been in a long time as they take on Louisville Cardinals in the Final Four in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday.

The Shockers last made the Final Four back in 1965, where they fell to the UCLA Bruins, 108-89, en route to coach John Wooden's second NCAA title in as many years.

On the other side of the bracket, two No. 4 seeds that many people wrote off as the regular season winded down face off in what should be one of the more exciting offensive and defensive battles in the tournament as the Syracuse Orange take on the Michigan Wolverines.

For more on the story, visit MID MAJOR MADNESS and CARD CHRONICLE

The Cardinals have been steamrolling the competition as the overall No. 1 seed should. Louisville has beaten their opponents by an average of approximately 22 points a game. Their emotional 85-63 win over the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils cost them backup guard Kevin Ware to a horrible leg injury, but also provided even more fuel for their national title run.

Meanwhile, the Shockers are the little school that could. Wichita St. laid a beat down on Pittsburgh, topped a No. 1 seed in Gonzaga, sent the other Cinderella packing in La Salle, and gutted out a tough victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Shockers might have had an easier path to the Final Four than Louisville, but it isn't just dumb luck to end up in Atlanta. The Shockers are the fifth team seeded ninth or higher to reach the Final Four since seeding started in 1979 and the team gobbles up coach Gregg Marshall's mantra of playing angry.

For more on the story, visit MAIZE N BREW and TROY NUNES IS AN ABSOLUTE MAGICIAN

Prior to the start of the tournament, the Orange and the Wolverines were both limping to the finish line of the regular season. Syracuse went 5-7 in its final 12 games, the Wolverines a tad bit better at 6-6. But wins and losses during the regular season don't mean much if you get hot in March, which is exactly what both Syracuse and Michigan have done.

It will be a clear contrast between the two teams. Michigan's offense is the most efficient according to Kenpom's adjusted ratings. Syracuse's famed zone has done what it always does, confound opponents and completely take them off their game. Kenpom ranks the Orange as the fifth-most efficient defense in the nation.

The point guard matchup alone is enough to drool over. Michigan sophomore Trey Burke and Syracuse sophomore Michael Carter-Williams have stepped up in big ways when their teams needed them most. Both players will most likely be NBA lottery picks in the upcoming draft, and it'll be interesting to see who ends up with the bigger game. Carter-Williams led all scorers with 24 points in Syracuse's win over No. 1 Indiana. Burke scored all 23 of his points in the second half, including the long three to force overtime in the Orange's win over the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks.

No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 9 Wichita State, 3:10 p.m. ET, CBS

No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 4 Syracuse, 5:50 p.m. ET, CBS

More in College Basketball:

Chasing Cinderella: Dunk City, USA

Steve Alford leaves New Mexico for UCLA

Wichita State just latest mid-major to crash Final Four

USC interested in Florida Gulf Coast’s Andy Enfield

Printable bracket for March Madness

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