What time does the National Championship game start?
03 April, 2018, 04:44 | Author: Julian Swanson
Villanova was No. 1 in the Week 6 AP poll in December.
Villanova is making threes at record-setting levels this season, and with a win over MI in Monday's title game, might lay waste to the last vestiges of the once-sacrosanct notion that nobody could win big by lofting up the long shot without maintaining an inside game.
The Wolverines trailed the bracket-rambling Ramblers by seven at halftime, found the right gear in the second and have a title-game appearance no one outside of Ann Arbor saw coming when they were middling in the Big Ten just a month ago. The Wolverines needed a second-half surge against Loyola to turn a 10 point deficit into a 12 point victory. Villanova (35-4) also has 454 3-pointers this season and 66 during the NCAA Tournament, both records.
Villanova 86, MI 70: Wildcats Wolverines.
Three by three, the Wildcats kept knocking down shots, making sure Kansas wouldn't get in their way. 'Nova crushed Kansas 95-79 behind a Final Four record 18 threes on Saturday night. The dribbling was uncomfortable to watch at some points, and neither team made a particularly convincing argument that they should be in the championship match. They played down with West Virginia for 30 minutes, but then snapped out of it and won easily.
Michigan, Villanova and all the ingredients for a memorable NCAA championship game.
MI coach John Beilein compared Villanova to the NBA's Golden State Warriors because of the Wildcats' bevy of players with versatile skill sets.
Charles Matthews was Michigan's second-leading scorer during the regular season, but has upped his game in the NCAA Tournament.
Also favored in every NCAA tournament game, MI has gone 3-1-1 against the spread. MI was 39th in the preseason poll balloting, behind seven ranked teams that wouldn't even end up making the NCAA Tournament - No. 10 USC, No. 14 Notre Dame, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 16 Louisville, No. 19 Northwestern, No. 22 Saint Mary's, No. 24 Baylor. MI will need its stellar seniors to get into a rhythm to have any shot at taking down the Wildcats.
Junior forward/guard Eric Paschall keyed Villanova's onslaught, finishing with 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting and burying 4 of 5 three-pointers. "They have some great offensive players and they're great defensively".
The Wolverines will want this to be a grinding, low-scoring game and prevent Villanova from getting run-outs or 3-pointers in transition.
Put it this way: Freddie Banks would love this Villanova team. Whether it's his 40% 3-point shooting or his sneaky good post-game, this kid can beat you in every way.
MI may have a better answer than the Jayhawks had. They have one of the most tenacious on-ball defenders in the country in Zavier Simpson. Hail! to Michigan! Being a Yooper (that's a born-and-raised resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, north of the Mackinac Bridge), I have to cheer for Michigan in this particular matchup. "It's how we like to play, as well, but it doesn't mean we can stop it".
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