tinyfav.com April 21, 2018

NCAA tournament final: Comparing Villanova and MI off the court

03 April 2018, 04:46 | Jermaine Blake

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Villanova’s Omari Spellman battles for a rebound against Kansas’s Udoka Azubuike during the first half in the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament Saturday

Remember last week, when I said the smart money was on Kansas? They are only the fifth team to reach the championship game that way since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

A victory would give Villanova its second championship in three years. This Bridges is just as good as the one who dons the green and white.

How important is the style to Villanova's success? It's another to be a great player.

In four losses, they have shot 28 percent.

The Wildcats were the best team in the country before the tournament and they have done nothing to alter that opinion.

That 3-centric approach has powered Villanova to offensive heights never before seen in the college game. The elite characteristic of this team lies in how they can shoot so poorly yet still grind out the victory with their lockdown defense.

In a few moments, we will share the Michigan Wolverines vs. Villanova Wildcats live starting lineups, in addition to the latest information that surges from the Alamodome Stadium.

On the other side of the ball, Loyola was a bundle of nervous energy and on multiple occasions their players tripped and barreled into one another, causing mayhem on the court. MI was down as much as 10 to Loyola-Chicago in the semifinal, but Beilein and his staff just kept coaching and teaching - he's a stickler for fundamentals - encouraging to Wolverines to trust that shots would start to fall, and they'd be OK. We knew by the end of those seasons that their Week 6 ranking was more valid than the fact they were unranked in the preseason.

So, the matchup is set. The event was scheduled to take place as the Wolverines play Villanova in San Antonio. Vegas has MI as a seven-point underdog, and after Saturday's matches, it's hard not to see why.

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The numbers from the 2017 National Championship Game backed Deitsch up.

It's April 2, but March Madness is still in effect for one more game.

Then again, one might expect this natural advantage in scoring margin for the No. 1 seed to be somewhat offset in this particular national championship game.

For Michigan, Moritz Wagner is the key player. Villanova is not the fastest team, coming in at 160 in tempo, but it's still a huge difference. And with Jalen Brunson penetrating and creating, the Wildcats get their share of easy layups as well.

MI achieved plenty of success against opposing three-point shooters, as it ranks 50th in the nation in defensive three-point percentage.

Not by a long shot.

Villanova's Jalen Brunson, left, celebrates with Donte DiVincenzo after the team's NCAA college basketball game against Providence in the Big East men's tournament final Saturday, March 10, 2018, in NY.

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. The Wildcats were able to rout the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday night by 16 points to advance.

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