“One weakness is that neither team gets to the foul line a lot and they rely on jump shots” Donahue said. The Wolverines boast the highest winning percentage (.857) of any program to have played in at least five national semifinal games.
Did Loyola Chicago have these late-game heroics because of the spiritual presence it has with them?
On Monday, two days after leading MI to its second Final Four in six seasons, he remained humble about his good-guy reputation.
After the win against Nevada, Loyola rolled into the Elite Eight against Kansas State University. But Vick’s year has been nearly three separate seasons: the strong opening 13 games, a slide into the background during league play – and a resurgence. And they’re a good defensive team.
Reasons they won’t win: MI can’t afford to go cold now. The final team comes from a mid-major conference that has beaten teams from the ACC, SEC and Big 12 to reach San Antonio.
For the Championship there’s only one favorite and it is Villanova with close to 50% probability to win it all.
In what will quickly become known as the “other” semifinal, it’s an upstart vs. another school that knows this road: No. 11 Loyola-Chicago vs. Two of the marquee players from last year’s draft showed off their stuff in this one, with Boston’s Jayson Tatum, the number three pick, scoring 23 points, while the number four pick in the draft, Josh Jackson, also scored 23 for the Suns.
The other three teams had a much smoother route to the Final Four.
But in the case of college hoops, particularly the NCAA Tournament, the sport got both the hero it needs and deserves in the Loyola Ramblers.
Villanova coach Jay Wright will coach in his third Final Four this weekend, bringing along the team that many believe will cut down the nets Monday night.
The Kansas Jayhawks had a slightly more troublesome campaign, but not by much. In the last three tournament games, Azubuike is averaging 11 points and 8.6 rebounds in 22 minutes a game.
While it’s hard to look at the Jayhawks – a top seed that just survived the tournament’s toughest region by dispatching Duke – as an underdog, Villanova is the best team in America right now.
While the Hemisfair grounds are packed with workers, you can also find many visitors around the three-dimensional bracket located at the corner of Market and Alamo Street. Villanova (1985, 2016) has won two and Kansas has won (1952, 1988, 2008) three.
And plenty figured No. 3 seed MI had a good shot to get to the Final Four as the Wolverines chase their first title since the Glen Rice-led group won the program’s first in 1989.
In the end, though, any bet against the Wildcats will prove to be the wrong one. Last month Louisville was forced to vacate its 2013 national championship, which it won against MI.
Think of all the teams that came into this year with high expectations that didn’t make it this far.
It might seem like nitpicking, but the Wildcats have not been great at defending opposing passers. Villanova is now 34-4 overall this year.
It’s instinct for some bettors to see statistics like that and immediately think, “regression”, as a reason to bet against it continuing. The Jayhawks average a whopping 16.9 assists per contest, the 13th-best mark in the country.
Continuing our theme of Original Six teams that won’t get a shot at the Cup this season, the NY Rangers are in that misery loves company club.
“I was sitting at Frita Batidos in downtown Saturday night, eating dinner, and some guy just rushed into the restaurant and shouted, ‘Michigan is in the Final Four!”.