Why Louisville will beat Michigan

Pitino's squad has the defense, and offense, to take down the Wolverines

Updated: April 8, 2013, 11:33 AM ET
By John Gasaway | ESPN Insider

LouisvilleRobert Deutsch/USA TODAY SportsWill the Louisville Cardinals be celebrating again on Monday night?

The national championship game is now set, and if you're among the 1.4 percent of contestants in ESPN's Tournament Challenge who picked both Louisville and Michigan to make it this far, allow me to congratulate you. I, on the other hand, have to be satisfied with half credit, as my bracket had the Cardinals facing Indiana in the title game.

That same bracket picked Rick Pitino's team to win it all, and I'll stick with that prediction. Mind you, I'd feel a whole lot better about my forecast if Mitch McGary were still merely a normal Division I basketball player, as he was three weeks ago, and not the terrifying combination of Anthony Davis (12 rebounds) and Trey Burke (six assists) that we saw against Syracuse. Can you believe McGary picked up four fouls in eight minutes and scored just two points in his team's final regular-season game? No, neither can I.

Still, even factoring the new-look first-ballot Hall of Famer McGary into the equation, I say Pitino's team cuts down the nets after 40 more minutes of hoops. Here's my thinking:

Louisville doesn't need to force turnovers to win
You may hear that this game is a "bad matchup" for the Cardinals because their offense starts from their defense and, more specifically, from opponents' turnovers. Don't believe it.


To read John Gasaway's full take on why Louisville will win on Monday night, you must be an ESPN Insider.