Since the NCAA Tournament began naming a No. 1 overall seed in 2004, the top seed has only won the championship twice. The Louisville Cardinals will try to become the third to pull off the feat as the tournament favorite in Monday's championship game at the Georgia Dome against the Michigan Wolverines.
The Cardinals, who eked out a 72-68 win over the Wichita State Shockers in the national semifinals Saturday, will try to do what the Florida Gators did in 2007 and the Kentucky Wildcats did last year: Win six games as the No. 1 overall seed. Until Saturday, the Cardinals went largely untested in the tournament. Other than a 77-69 win over the Oregon Ducks in the Sweet 16, Louisville's other three tournament wins before the Final Four were all been by double digits, including an 85-63 win over the Duke Blue Devils in the Elite Eight.
If anyone's going to test Louisville, it seems Michigan has the tools. Point guard Trey Burke swept the major national player of the year awards, and the Wolverines' offense has experience ripping through a full-court press defense in this tournament. In the round of 32, Michigan topped the VCU Rams — known for their full-court "havoc" defense — by 25, 78-53.
It's been well over 20 years since either Michigan or Louisville won the title. Michigan won its only championship in 1989, and Louisville won the 1986 crown. The Cardinals were also champions in 1980.
The game tips off on CBS at 9:23 p.m. ET.