2013 National Championship: A Battle of the Backcourt

By Anthony Lenahan
Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

When the 2013 National Title game tips off in Atlanta, Georgia tomorrow night, two of the best backcourts in the nation will square off for the prize every team dreamed of getting at the start of the season.

Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. make up Michigan’s backcourt, while Peyton Siva and Russ Smith make up the backcourt for the No. 1 overall seed, Louisville Cardinals.

Trey Burke is the national Player of the Year, but Russ Smith has been the best player in the NCAA tournament.  Hardaway Jr. has been a huge complement to Burke as he can flat out score.  Burke tends to struggle to score at times, but his 20 points per game doesn’t show that.  When he’s not scoring, he is one of the best passers in the nation.

Burke and Hardaway on the season, combined to average 35 points per game.  They are Michigan’s top two scorers and will need to do just that tomorrow.

It won’t be easy, though, as they will be facing another lethal backcourt.  Siva and Smith will try to shut down Burke and Hardaway with their quickness and pressure.  They combine to average four steals a game and with their transition scoring ability, you don’t want to let them get any steals.

Siva and Smith are also very good on the offensive end.  Siva is a fantastic point guard and can really run the offense.  He averages six assists per game to go along with his 10 points per game.  Siva has the ability to attack the basket and kick out to open teammates for easy baskets.

Smith has been spectacular all season and his success has carried into the NCAA tournament.  He has scored 21 points or more in every single game Louisville has played in the tournament.

Smith and Siva vs. Burke and Hardaway will be a battle of the backcourts tomorrow and will provide for a spectacular national championship game.

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