NCAA Basketball Big 10 BasketballMarch MadnessMichigan Wolverines

Mitch McGary: Michigan’s Most Important Player in the National Title Game

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan hasn’t made a documented national championship game since 1989 because of their school’s punishment and removal of records from the ‘Fab Five‘ years, diminishing the 1992 and 1993 title game appearances.

The Wolverines are one of America’s darlings of the 2013 NCAA Tournament and there is no doubt that there will be people rooting for the underdog on Monday night. Michigan will need their freshman big man Mitch McGary step up if they want a chance at victory in Atlanta.

McGary is a freshman, but lately, he’s been playing like a senior. The freshman forward/center has taken an average regular season and thrown it out of the window. He’s been averaging 16 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in the tourney.

It’s hard to find such a talented, young big man in college basketball bloom at the perfect time like McGary has, and he has turned a team with no post presence into a team with one of the most solid post presences in the tournament.

Although he has given the Wolverines an option down low, the center and forward positions are the opposite of deep. Former starter Jordan Morgan is coming off the bench to give a bit of a boost, but his minutes are sparse and his post play is average at best.

If the Wolverines plan on winning the championship, they will need their freshman sensation to put up big numbers once again and stand his ground against Louisville big man, Gorgui Dieng.

It will be quite the test for such a young player with no tournament experience, but if McGary can slow Dieng down and somehow exploit his defense, the Wolverines will be hoisting a trophy on Monday night.

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.