The images of the 2013 NCAA Championship still sting for Michigan fans. That was the last time the Wolverines were very close to the sweet taste of a National Championship. That amazing run by the 2013 squad was a positive sign for what kind of program Coach Beilein was building. Their last trip to the Sweet 16 was in 2014 when they lost to Kentucky in the Elite Eight.
We assume you have not watched much of No. 2 Louisville, so don't worry because we'll give you caught up on everything you need to know before the matchup.
The Matchup History
Louisville has won all 3 games against Michigan.
Last matchup was in the 2013 NCAA Championship with Louisville winning 82-76.
About Louisville’s Season and Program History
The Louisville Cardinals got an at large bid after losing 3 of their last 5 games and a No. 2 seed in the Mid-West region. Their 25-8 record includes a 73-70 win against Kentucky on December 21 and a 88-81 loss against Wake Forest on March 1. They finished the regular season at No. 10 in the AP and Coaches poll.
Their last appearance in the tournament was in 2015, due to the 2016 season self-imposed ban due to NCAA violations.
Their NCAA tournament history includes 43 appearances, 10 Final Fours, and 3 national championships (2013, 1986, 1980)
Rick Pitino’s record is 416-142 in 16 seasons at Louisville and 770-270 overall in his 32 season career.
Louisville has won 8 of their last 12 heading into the tournament, averaging 79.8 points per game and shooting 47.9 percent.
Since Michigan lost to Ohio State on February 4, they've won 11 of 13 and are on a six game winning streak playing like one of the best teams left in the tournament.
Their 92-91 win on Friday against Oklahoma State had four players in double digit points with Walton Jr. 26 pts, Wilson 19 pts, Irvin/Abdur-Rahkman 16 pts. The Wolverines also had a program tournament single game record of 16 three-pointers with 11 in the second half.
After Louisville’s 78-63 win on Friday against Jacksonville State Coach Pitino talked about Michigan saying, "We're playing against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. I've never seen shooting like that since I've been a coach. It's incredible the way they shoot the basketball."
Walton Jr. was the first player to reach 24 points and 11 assists since Dwayne Wade in 2003.
Derrick Walton, Jr. is your player of the day! #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/dcf5XtZEut— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 18, 2017
Walton Jr. averages in the last 3 games are some of the best by any player:
Points: 25.66 Assists: 9 Rebounds: 5.33
The Wrap Up
While both teams may not be at the same level of athleticism they were in 2013, this matchup is certainly a revenge game for the No. 7 Wolverines. The winner will move on to the sweet sixteen to take on the winner of No. 3 Oregon and No. 11 Rhode Island.
Louisville is favored by 2.5 points and is set to tip tomorrow at 12:10pm on CBS.