Villanova Clinch 2nd NCAA Title With Dominant Win Over Michigan

Ignacio Smith
April 5, 2018

His season cut short because of a knee injury, he was healthy enough to run the scout squad for Villanova during its first title run.

They won all six games by double digits, joining the rare air of great teams such as Michigan State in 2000, Duke in 2001 and North Carolina in 2009. I don't know if we know how to handle this. "I enjoy it better that way".

That brings us to Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats. Their last title win ended with spectacular drama when Kris Jenkins drained a deep 3-pointer to give them a win over UNC two years ago.

"We needed to play better", Wolverines coach John Beilein said, "but even if we had played at our best, it would have been very hard to win with what DiVincenzo (was doing)".

"When they signed Herschel Walker, they had a press conference and the Stars sent me up to represent them", Wright said.

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I don't know and I don't care, nor should you. But when the media calls you a blue blood, we're not turning it down.

In a tournament of UMBC and Buffalo, of upsets and outright jolts, and of Loyola-Chicago and Sister Jean's magical ride, Villanova whisked through Radford, Alabama, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas and MI by 26, 23, 12, 12, 16 and 17 points.

He should know they can: The Wildcats set a program best in wins (36-4) and won an NCAA-record 136 games over a four-year span. The interesting fact is that this percentage is good for sixth on the Villanova team and that DiVincenzo, who did start 10 games, became a selfless player trusting Wright's judgment and the Villanova system.

In a season when it appeared there was no clear-cut dominant power, on the final night of the season the Wildcats were not only dominant, but superior and mostly because DiVincenzo was nearly unstoppable. "Whenever that happens we go back to work". "And we both love having guys that are pros, too, but we want guys that want to be part of a program".

He'll also never stop preparing for his next chance to go after the one trophy he doesn't have - and doesn't really need. The Wildcats missed guard Phil Booth for seven games (broken hand.) They were without forward Eric Paschall for two games (concussion).

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"We don't really look at it that way", Wright said.

"He never takes his foot off the gas", DiVincenzo said of his coach. "But he did it in an all - first of all, he made himself a lot of money".

The Wolverines (33-8) led 21-14 with 11 minutes left in the half, but Villanova answered with a 9-0 run capped by a Jalen Brunson three-pointer for a 23-21 advantage. "We're very intelligent on and off the floor".

— In the last five seasons, the Wildcats have four regular-season Big East titles, three Big East tournament titles and two national championships. ESPN draft scribe Jonathan Givony rated him as only the 63rd-best prospect in this year's potential class before the NCAA tournament, and another year with the Wildcats - this time as a starter - could be even more beneficial to his credentials than his massive game against MI.

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