Louisville, the top Value Add team, goes up against the top Value Add player in Trey Burke and Michigan Monday at 9:23 p.m. for the national title. Russ Smith dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 in the rankings after the Wichita State game. The Value Add of the match-ups of each of the top 8 players by position are shown below, with Louisville having the edge due to a stronger bench:
|PG||Peyton Siva||32||6′ 0||Sr||<||Trey Burke||1||6′ 0||So|
|SG||Russ Smith||6||6′ 0||Jr||>||Tim Hardaway||182||6′ 6″||Jr|
|SF||Wayne Blackshear||264||6′ 5″||So||T||Nik Stauskas||237||6′ 6″||Fr|
|PF||Chane Behanan||144||6′ 6″||So||<||Glenn Robinson||80||6′ 6″||Fr|
|C||Gorgui Dieng||34||6′ 11″||Jr||>||Mitch McGary||137||6′ 10″||Fr|
|B1||Luke Hancock||223||6′ 6″||Jr||>||Jordan Morgan||683||6′ 8″||Jr|
|B2||Montrezl Harrell||350||6′ 8″||Fr||>||Spike Albrecht||848||5′ 11″||Fr|
|B3||Stephan Van Treese||615||6′ 9″||Jr||>||Jon Horford||905||6′ 10″||So|
Key to Columns: Position, Louisville’s player at that position, the National Value Add Rank of Louisville’s player at that position, Height, Year in School, who has the Edge at the position (e.g. Trey Burke is greater than Peyton Siva, etc.), then all repeats for each Michigan player.
PG Michigan. There is no substitute for having the best player in the country running the point guard in Trey Burke, but Peyton Siva is much better than the 32nd best player in the country come tournament time.
SG Louisville: Russ Smith is the No. 1 player in the country according to www.kenpom.com, but he slipped from No. 4 to No. 6 in Value Add with trouble getting started against Wichita State. While he has the clear edge over 182nd ranked Tim Hardaway, Hardaway is six inches taller and could impose his will.
SF toss up: Both Wayne Blackshear and Nik Stauskas are in the top 300 of all players (out of 4000), and Stauskas’ very slight edge in Value Add makes them a toss up. Blackshear can be overpowering inside, while Stauska is a great fifth option scoring.
PF Michigan: Glenn Robinson is in the top 2% of all players in Value Add (80th of 4000), with an edge over a very similar player in 6-foot-6 power player Chane Behanan.
C Louisville: Mitch McGary has been unbelievable as he has risen through the ranks to now be the 137th best player in the country according to Value Add. However, he is going up against one of the best centers in the game in the versatile Gorgui Dieng, who would rank even higher than 34th if it were not for a broken wrist early in the season.
The teams look very even through the starting five, with Michigan having the edge in size but Louisville in speed. Michigan needs to pound and draw fouls like Wichita State did, while Louisville needs to turn Michigan over, score, and press.
However, Louisville has the edge on the bench. Even though Michigan’s bench has played well, and Kevin Ware is out with a broken leg, Louisville is loaded on the bench. Luke Hancock is now the 223rd best player in the country, better than most starters, and he showed this by scoring 20 against Wichita State. Jordan Morgan, Michigan’s best bench player, is not as good as any of the Cards’ top eight, as the 683rd best player in the country.
The Cards can also offset Michigan’s size advantage off their bench to give Dieng a break or help if he is in foul trouble. Louisville looks like they have just a little too much.