Gorgui Dieng: Louisville’s Most Important Player in the National Championship

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Louisville Cardinals got their second straight crack at the Final Four after making it to the national semifinal a year ago before losing to eventual champion Kentucky.

A big reason for their wealth of success for the past couple of seasons is the defense. Louisville has had suffocating defense throughout the season and as well in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

The Cardinals are looking for one player in particular to step his game up for the national championship game in order for them to win it all. Gorgui Dieng is that player and he has all the tools to help Louisville win its first national title since 1986 and turn the corner from a solid basketball program into one of the all-time greats.

Rick Pitino has had many solid teams as the head coach of Louisville, but this may be his best.

In fact, this team is so solid that they have accumulated the most regular season wins (34) in school history. Dieng is, without a doubt, one of the best big men to ever put on the Louisville uniform under Pitino. He is also the most important player for Louisville in the national title game, averaging nearly a double-double per game while being a defensive beast.

As it has been well documented, the Michigan Wolverines feature one of the nation’s best freshmen big men in Mitch McGary. The 20-year old freshman has been put up monster numbers in the tourney, averaging 16 points and 11.6 rebounds in the 2013 tournament and looking unstoppable in the tournament.

If Louisville is going to win the whole thing, Dieng is going to have to step up and stop the newly-appointed star big man from Michigan. Dieng’s presence looms large for Louisville.

Connor Muldowney is a College Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

Around the Web