Villanova dominates MI to win 2nd national title in 3 years

Dean Simpson
April 4, 2018

If the streak had reached 15, a significant trophy would have been added to the Crisler Center display. The Wolverines weren't even ranked. They make you forget you're good at this sport, too.

Initially, though, the Wildcats started cold Monday night, and the Wolverines grabbed a 21-14 lead. The Wolverines have won only one, beating Seton Hall in overtime in 1989. It's great that we got here.

"We love Coach, and we really wanted to win this for him to get that first championship", said teary-eyed freshman Jordan Poole, who expects to be back to try again next season.

Teske did not recite that with a smile on his face. "Obviously, I'm not with the whole college thing so I don't care about that".

If nothing else, this serves as a reminder that social media can be a risky toy.

When the second half started, DiVincenzo lasted all of 52 seconds on the bench. The women's championship concluded Sunday on a buzzer-beater, a special kind of gut punch.

In a tournament of UMBC and of Buffalo, of Florida State and of Nevada, of upsets and outright jolts, of Loyola Chicago and Loyola Chicago and Loyola Chicago, Villanova had whisked through Radford, Alabama, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas and MI by 26, 23, 12, 12, 16 and 17, without any of the last-minute dramatics that capped their previous title, their 77-74 win over North Carolina two years ago east down Interstate 10 in Houston.

We'll have up-to-the-minute scoring and stats here throughout the game. "But Coach (Beilein) is great with the big picture approach". Coach K is the No. 1 coach of the expansion era which began in 1985 when the NCAA Tournament grew to 64 teams.

The same golf cart brought Beilein back to the hallway outside the locker room, where he met with local reporters.

There are no "One-and-Dones" on this roster, but there are a handful of players we'll be watching in the NBA: Brunson, Mikal Bridges (19 points), Omari Spellman and, quite possibly, DiVincenzo one day.

MI played smart, aggressive perimeter defense against Villanova's outside shooters, preventing the Wildcats from using a barrage of 3-pointers to jump ahead, as they did against Kansas two days earlier.

"I can't put this into words", Brunson said. "I would love to win a national championship for those guys and the University of MI, all those great students and our alums".

"I don't think they were saying that when I first got to Nova", Booth said Sunday of the possibility of being considered the best program in the country. "You have these highlights, and then all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, your season is over, and there's sadness". We legitimately never know who it's going to be. On Monday night, as Brunson struggled with foul trouble and missed shots, DiVincenzo was simply the next man up.

DiVincenzo's outburst made beating Villanova just about impossible.

Beilein and his Villanova counterpart, Wright, might not have imagined the way that offense would evolve when they first crossed paths, in tiny high school gyms in upstate NY in 1984 - Wright as a first-time assistant at the University of Rochester, Beilein a 41-year-old journeyman coach at Division II LeMoyne College.

DiVincenzo hadn't cooled in the second half, at one point hitting back-to-back threes to increase Villanova's lead to 62-44 with 7:48 to go. And a few weeks before that in NY. Eric Paschall (six points, eight rebounds) was named to the All Final Four team after a 24-point performance against Kansas.

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