2013 National Title: Can John Beilein Beat Rick Pitino?

By Trevor Lowry
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Before the Final Four game between the Syracuse Orange and Michigan Wolverines, John Beilein was 0-9 against Jim Boeheim. Well, can Beilein now pull off the victory against Louisville Cardinals Rick Pitino in the 2013 NCAA Tournament championship game?

To do so, Michigan will have to beat the best team that it has faced the entire tournament, which is saying a lot, since the Wolverines have beaten No. 1 Kansas, No. 3 Florida and No. 4 Syracuse. However, Louisville is the No. 1 overall seed in the Big Dance and all.

The Wolverines have one of the best backcourts in the game, but the same has been said about Louisville’s backcourt.

If Beilein really wants to get ahead fast in this game, he will have Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas put up plenty of three-point shots. However, even with a big lead, it will not be easy to pull off the victory. Beilein could also go with his big man in Mitch McGary. McGary has been great in the dance, but he will be going up against a very good defense and Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng is not an easy player to go up against in the post.

If Beilein can coach the Wolverines to victory, he can say that he beat Shaka Smart, Billy Donovan, Bill Self, Jim Boeheim and Rick Pitino in this year’s NCAA Tournament. That is one heck of a feat no matter who you are.

Michigan was able to get past Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, giving Beilein his first victory over Boeheim, so I don’t see why the Wolverine’s couldn’t do the same against Louisville and Rick Pitino.


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