Counting down to “One Shining Moment” …
Louisville and Michigan will tip off in the NCAA men’s basketball championship game at 9:23 p.m. EDT tonight in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.
The pregame show on CBS starts at 9 and the game also will be streamed live online at March Madness on Demand.
The storylines, The Post’s Alex Prewitt writes, are abundant:
The Wolverines’ Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III boast the NBA names and genes. Cardinals guard Russ Smith has become college basketball’s most fascinating figure, equal parts brilliance and blunder. Michigan point guard Trey Burke might need a closet to stock his treasure trove of national awards. Throw in NCAA tournament standouts Mitch McGary and Luke Hancock, and the talent pool starts to overflow. And that’s without mentioning injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware, whose seated courtside presence filled every dead space on the CBS telecast of Saturday’s national semifinals.
“I think you got a lot of great players on that court,” Louisville Coach Rick Pitino said Sunday. “You don’t know which ones are going to step up. . . . A lot of teams when you watch them, you get nervous a little bit because they do so many things well. You have fun watching Michigan play basketball. The way they pass, cut, shoot, it’s a John Beilein team. They’re fun to watch. As a coach going to play them, I really enjoy watching them on film.”
Then there’s Pitino himself, whose hour-long media session Sunday contained a story about how he nearly became Michigan’s coach, passing references to two movies and several cracks at smiling center Gorgiu Dieng, sitting three seats to the left. In the past 72 hours, Pitino secured a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, a horse that qualified for the Kentucky Derby and a third appearance in the national title game.