Villanova Captures Title
The red hot Michigan Wolverines entered Monday night’s matchup with Villanova riding a 14- game winning streak. The Wolverines, who were not expected to make a run through the tournament, advanced to the Final Four with victories ranging from a one- point win over Houston in the second round, to a 27- point victory over Texas A&M in the Sweet 16.
Villanova on the other hand, came into the game with an average margin of victory of almost 18- points per contest in the prior five games leading up to Monday night’s National Championship game.
In a matchup of the best 3-point shooting team in Villanova and the team that led the nation in 3-point defense in Michigan, the Wolverines held their own midway through the first half and led 21-16.
Michigan knew to have any chance they would have to control the tempo and force the Wildcats into a half court slugfest.
Enter Donte DiVincenzo.
The sophomore sharp shooter from one of the smallest states in the country, Delaware had the biggest game of his career in a state symbolized by the star, Texas.
DiVincenzo scored 18 of his team’s first 32 points and finished the night 10 –for -15, while hitting 5 of 7 from beyond the arc, as top seeded Villanova led by 9 at the half on their way to a convincing 79-62 victory over Michigan.
Senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led the Wolverines with 23 points and Junior forward Moritz Wagner had 16 points as Michigan was making its second appearance in the title game in the last six years.
The Wildcats captured their second title in three years under Coach Jay Wright, who is building quite the powerhouse in Philly.
Villanova has won 134 games the past four seasons, and Wright is one of 14 coaches to have won at least two titles. He joins Hall of Famers Dean Smith, Henry Iba and Denny Crum with two, and if he captures a third he will join Roy Williams, Bob Knight and Jim Calhoun, who all have three titles on their resumes.
With the majority of his team underclassmen, Wright has Villanova poised to dominate college basketball for the next few years.
During a time when college basketball is sitting under the dark cloud of the NCAA, and some powerful programs like The University of Arizona and Louisville have to face the FBI, programs like Villanova will hopefully shine a more positive light on a truly great sport.