After some thrills, upsets, classic performances and magical rides by underdog programs, we are down to two fortunate universities in tonight’s NCAA Men’s College Basketball championship game.
Jay Wright Is the Littest Coach
No coach has won more NCAA Tournament games than John Beilein since 2013, but Jay Wright is a more dominant coach with a flair for the dramatic in championship situations. Wright doesnt lose many big games. Michigan is 1-5 all-time in NCAA championship Games. When Villanova gets to the Finals (1985, 2016) they win it.
Whats more impressive for Jay Wright & Villanova? 134 wins last 4 seasons. Most over 4 year span in NCAA history 3rd Final Four trip in 9 years. Only Kentucky has more since 09 Havent lost back to back games in 5 years #VillyVilly #NovaNation #FinalFour
Nova Offense Trumps Michigan Defense
The great Wolverines defense which is currently No. 3 in the country in defensive efficiency will not be able to contain an equally efficient Wildcats offense that has already set 12 program records, has set records for making 3-pointers: for the season (454), the NCAA Tournament (66).
Villanova has the most efficient offense we’ve ever seen in the college ranks, and they run “about five plays.” The inside story of how this offense was built, and why Jay Wright is credited with changing basketball for the better. https://t.co/AKzAskn34A
Big Tens Two-Decade Drought Continues
Its been 18 long years since Tom Izzo and Michigan State took down Florida to claim the 2000 national championship. Thats tough for an elite conference such as the Big Ten to swallow. Mateen Cleaves led MSU to National Championship prominence and Trey Burke came close with Michigan in 2013. Since then, the ACC has claimed seven national titles, the Big East five, the SEC three, and the Big 12 and the American Athletic one a piece.
Thanks to AndyH
The Big Ten would love to win another one, Beilein said. But its not like any of us are saying, well, Big Ten is not very good. We havent won a national championship. The Big Ten is as strong as any league is out there. The breaks havent gone our way.”
Nova Is Simply Too Good For Michigan
Michigan was a No. 3 seed who benefited from some upsets to advance to the championship. Villanova has steamrolled the competition and proved why they were No.2 in the nation and a No. 1 seed in the East entering the tourney.
The Nova machine is led by National Player of the Year Jalen Brunson and has won all five games by double digits, by an average margin of 17.8. The last champion to win all six by double figures was North Carolina in 2009. They thrashed a powerful Kansas squad with a barrage of treys and smothering defense.
Villanova’s 18 three-pointers set a new record for three-pointers made in a Final Four game. Watch every one of the Wildcats’ 18 three-pointers. Watch highlights, game recaps, and much more from the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament on the official NCAA March Madness YouTube channel.
The title game in San Antonio’s Alamodome will be the first time in this NCAA Tournament the Wolverines (33-7) face a top-five seed. They beat the Nos. 1o4, 6, 7 and 9 seeds in the West Region before overcoming a 10-point deficit after halftime Saturday night to beat super Cinderella Loyola-Chicago, only the fourth No. 11 seed to make to the Final Four.
Michigans luck will run out against a superior Nova squad.
Free Throw Ineptitude Will Bury Michigan
Michigan has weaknesses that they wont be able to overcome against Nova, especially down the stretch of a close game. Michigan doesnt get to the freethrow line with frequency, ranking No. 258 in free-throw attempts per field goal attempt. When they do get to the foul line, the Wolverines rank No. 326 out of 351 teams in the country at 66.1 percent from the free-throw line. Thats abysmal.
Guard Charles Matthews gets to the line the most for Michigan and he shoots 57 percent. In a close game, Wright will have the advantage of knowing that he has as good a chance of making Michigan miss by sending them to the foul line as he does defending a shot attempt.