Villanova Wildcats Win NCAA Championship Game – Men’s Basketball

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Villanova Wildcats
SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 02: Martin Luther King Jr. is honored prior to the 2018 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the Michigan Wolverines at the Alamodome on April 2, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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The 2018 NCAA Championship men’s basketball game lived up to expectations for what has been an exciting tournament.  As advertised on the court, the “Road Ends Here.”  The Villanova Wildcats were tough as nails and won their second NCAA Championship in three years.  The final score was 79-62, with the Wildcats beating the Michigan Wolverines.

Villanova Wildcats Win NCAA Championship Game – Men’s Basketball

The Michigan Wolverines and Villanova Wildcats. The Wildcats were seeking their second NCAA Championship in three years and despite a valiant effort by the Wolverines could not be denied.  Villanova head coach Jay Wright had his team prepared for every game in the tournament.

Donte DiVincenzo Wins Most Outstanding Player for Final Four

Donte DiVincenzo won the Most Outstanding Player for the Final Four with 31 points. DiVincenzo’s 31 points were the most in a championship game since 1989.

First Half Initial Struggles for Wildcats; DiVincenzo’s Brilliance

Villanova started slowly this game, unlike their game against the Kansas Jayhawks. The Wildcats went one for the first eight three-point shots. Moritz Wagner scored nine quick points and ended up with 11 for the half. However, the Wildcats started to nibble back at the initial deficit with tight defense. Both teams were aggressive on both ends of the floor.

Wildcat Donte DiVincenzo came off the bench to electrify the crowd and energize the Villanova squad.  DiVencenzo attacked the basket and had 18 points in the first half.  Villanova ended the first half on a 23-7 run.  The halftime score was Villanova 37 and Michigan 28.

Second Half

The second half opened with the Wildcats increasing their lead to 14 points and causing the Wolverines to call an early time out two minutes into the half.  Wagner helped the Wolverines stop the bleeding, but Wildcats hung on to a 15 point lead with 15 minutes left.  Wagner and Omari Spellman were assessed technical fouls after things started to get chippy on the court.

Villanova pulled out to an 18 point lead with 14 minutes left. Charles Matthews helped cut the lead.  Three Wildcats got into foul trouble with 13 minutes left in the game.  With ten minutes left, DiVincenzo had a brilliant block on Matthews, but Brunson ended up picking up his foul.

Just when Michigan was feeling good cutting the lead to 12 points and Brunson on the bench with four fouls, DiVincenzo exploded again with nine straight points for a total of 27 points.  Every time Michigan would make a run, Villanova countered with a timely 3 point shot.  There was not much Michigan Head Coach Jon Beilein could do.  The Wildcats were just too powerful for the scrappy Wolverines.  Villanova won 79 to 62.

Final Four Game Results to Get to the Championship Game

(3) Michigan Wolverines vs. (11) Loyola Chicago Ramblers

The Wolverines defeated the 11th seeded Loyola Chicago Ramblers 69-57. The two teams had the most exciting storylines. The game did not disappoint. It was a close game until the last few minutes.

As predicted, Loyola struggled with Michigan’s 6-foot-10 Wagner. Wagner proved that he is an elite defensive rebounder and a solid offensive player who can shoot the three-point shot as well put the ball on the floor. The Wolverines ended the Ramblers’ Cinderella story and Sister Jean’s hopes by 12 points. Michigan was just too talented for the Ramblers.

Villanova Wildcats vs. (1) Kansas Jayhawks 95-79

The Wildcats thoroughly beat the Jayhawks to earn their second NCAA Championship game in three years. Villanova started quickly and buried the Kansas squad with three point shots. The Villanova team tied a Final Four record with 13 three pointers. Villanova then went on to made five more to set the record going 18-for-40 from the three point line.

Six Wildcats had six players score in double figures. Jalen Brunson scored 18 points with six assists and Omari Spellman had 15 points and 13 rebounds. However, red-shirt junior Eric Paschall was the most impressive scoring 24 points with three rebounds and three assists. The Villanova squad were simply too much for the Kansas team.

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