Michigan Ready to Take On Villanova

Apr 03, 2018, 02:46
Michigan Ready to Take On Villanova

While the Wildcats carry a 35-4 record into championship Monday, the Wolverines are not far off at 33-7.

If you read many NCAA basketball experts online, or watch podcasts by sports stations like ESPN, CBS Sports, SI and various others, they will lead you to believe that the Michigan Wolverines have zero chance to win this game. But experience counts, and this is Villanova's second national championship appearance in three years.

But why Nevada? People have made bets on the big game.

For the Wildcats this season, that number is clear: It's 75. JayVaughn Pinkston sealed the Villanova win with a bucket and a block in the final minute (60-55).

MI has only scored more than 75 points once during this tournament, when it beat Texas A&M 99-72 in the Sweet 16.

MI has been impressive in March Madness, as well, ending No.11 Loyola-Chicago's Cinderella story in the Final Four with a 12-point win.

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According to oddsmakers at YouWager, Villanova is favored in this game, as the Wildcats are getting odds of -7 points against MI. -Goliath story. The last two teams standing are usually among the very best and, roughly, equals.

The only others to do it since the NCAA began compiling the stats were Ohio State in 1960 - and Loyola of Chicago in 1963.

While Villanova looked unreal Saturday, I think this game goes down to the wire, and the Wildcats win in a classic final.

FIRST TOP 5: The Wolverines have made it through the NCAA Tournament without facing a top-5 seed - until now.

MI wasn't the only big preseason poll whiff: Virginia ended the regular season ranked No. 1, and the Cavaliers were also unranked to start the season.

Gillespie's record-setter gave Villanova a 22-4 lead, and at that point, Kansas had as many turnovers as points and had taken as many timeouts as it had field goals. The Wolverines eschew interior D in favor of covering the 3-point line at all costs, and the results have proven him right. Jalen Brunson is an incredible talent and Nova is probably the best 3-point shooting team in the country. In their win against Kansas, the Wildcats hit a Final Four record 18 three-pointers, with 13 of those coming in the first half. This is largely a credit to guards Zavier Simpson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. The Wolverines won 25 regular-season games and held off a tough IN team to win the conference.

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Now Michigan faces its biggest challenge yet: trying to stop Villanova's horde of long-range shooters in Monday night's national title game.

Go ahead and crown Villanova champs for the second time in three years.

Bridges played as a reserve on Villanova's 2016 national champion, then averaged 9.8 points in his first year as a starter as a sophomore.

This meeting on Monday night will come down to strength against strength. Given that Villanova hit a Final Four record 18 3-pointers against Kansas on Saturday and MI hit 14 from three-point range in the Sweet 16 against Texas A&M, it's a bet that this game could be a 3-point content.

Wagner was on a bus to Hamburg for a game when MI lost to Louisville in the Final Four that year.

"There's a process of going through the season that you have to experience one, two, three times before you can really have this type of success under this pressure in March", Michigan coach John Beilein said.

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