The NCAA Tournament and college basketball season comes to an end on Monday night when the Louisville Cardinals take on the Michigan Wolverines for the National Championship. Louisville and Michigan both survived close games in the Final Four on Saturday to advance to the title game, which will tip off at 9:23 p.m. ET.
The championship game will feature two teams matching strength against strength. The Wolverines, with the nation's top-rated offense face off against the Cardinals, who boast the top-rated defense in the country as judged by Ken Pomeroy's efficiency ratings. Michigan scores 1.22 points per possession, while Louisville limits opponents to just 0.824 points per possession. The Cardinals' defense also ranks among the best in the nation at forcing turnovers, but the Wolverines take care of the ball better than any other team.
Louisville (34-5, 14-4 Big East) heads into the championship as the top-overall seed in the tournament, having barely survived a challenge from Wichita State in the semifinals with a 72-68 victory. The Cardinals breezed through their first four games in the Midwest Region without much of a challenge.
Michigan (31-7, 12-6 Big Ten) is the No. 4 seed out of the South Region and had its own challenge in the semifinals, advancing past Syracuse 61-56. The Wolverines had a bit more of a challenge getting to the Final Four than Louisville, needing a late comeback and overtime win to defeat Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen.
Regardless of how they got there, both Michigan and Louisville are 40 minutes away from becoming champions.