Grueling Truth's of the 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament

Rosemary Collier
April 5, 2018

It is the Wildcats' second national championship in three years, and while it is a younger team than the one that beat North Carolina with a buzzer-beater in 2016, it is unquestionably better.

"Sometimes I think about whether I'm a good defender, because in practice, he makes me look bad", said junior Mikal Bridges, who likely made this his final audition for the National Basketball Association with a 19-point night on 7-for-12 shooting.

DiVincenzo scored a career-high 31 points during the Wildcats' 79-62 victory over MI in the national championship game Monday night. And Mikal Bridges, another former redshirt, scored 19 points.

I don't know and don't care if they've earned a spot in a made-up club with subjective prerequisites. "And Omari [Spellman] was setting great screens and getting me open". The Wolverines had a 19-14 lead in the first quarter but it did not take long for Villanova to find their magic and assert themselves on MI.

Their two closest games in the tournament were 12-point wins over West Virginia and Texas Tech. Villanova also has a reliable freshman guard in Collin Gillespie, who helped spell Brunson late in the second half due to foul trouble.

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In 2013, MI head coach John Beilein walked off the court in Atlanta in defeat, falling to Louisville and then-head coach Rick Pitino 82-76. "I wish we would have maybe gone out and doubled him or something".

"I really can't get my mind around it", Wright said on the TBS broadcast.

DiVincenzo was 5-of-7 from the 3-point line.

That wasn't a sure thing, even after the Wolverines reached the Final Four in 2013 and won a conference title the following year. "It was an incredible performance".

"All he wants to do is play", DiVincenzo's mother, Kathy, told The New York Times after her son was named the Final Four's most outstanding player.

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MI had about 15 good minutes to start, largely thanks to Beilein's gameplan to limit the Wildcats' 3-point shooting prowess while taking advantage of 6-foot-11 Moe Wagner's defensive mismatches. The second one was the highlight; he pulled up in transition for a contested shot from about 23 feet. We'll also remember it is as his finest hour, the year you could truly say a staff extracted everything and more from its roster.

Most legends make it hard to see what's coming. "We have full confidence in him to take that shot; and when he got hot, we kept giving him the ball".

We had an excuse for not recognizing the Wildcats' greatness until it nearly was too late: Villanova wasn't Villanova until the end. The Wildcats held their opponents to 62 points or less in four out of six tournament games, including the championship.

With Bridges probably heading to the National Basketball Association and Brunson and potentially Spellman following him, DiVincenzo could become the go-to guy on next season's Villanova team.

Isaiah Livers was in that starting lineup, and fellow freshman Jordan Poole made the winning shot in a memorable NCAA Tournament game against Houston that put MI in the Sweet 16.

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