The somber mood in Michigan’s locker room after the NCAA Tournament championship game had no outward effect on John Beilein. It was the second time Notre Dame’s women have won the title.
In the NCAA Tournament, Michigan shot 29 percent from 3-point range, with only a blowout win over Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 standing out as an impressive offensive showing. You might even say the ball was in their court. “Our goal is never to win a national championship”, he said. This one was only lovely to one team.
The Wildcats went 31 years between their first title in 1985 and their second one two years ago in Houston. We recruit guys that just want to be in college. And by the time we all got healthy, we had a way better team.
The Villanova Wildcats embarrassed elite programs Kansas and MI in San Antonio to claim their second men’s basketball National Championship in three years. Villanova, while winning the championship in 2016 as well as on Monday night, doesn’t have the same college basketball name recognition like Duke or UNC. When the smiling 65-year-old coach stepped into the Alamodome hallway, he looked nothing like a man who had just missed a golden opportunity to reach his only remaining professional goal.
From a historical standpoint, this is the first time a city has been home to both the Super Bowl Champion and the victor of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Our guys graduate. You see these kids are great kids to coach.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to minister”, he said. “They jumped on us, and I should have known better with John”.
The Augustinian-run university boasts several standouts with local Catholic-school connections.
But early, as Villanova sputtered and started 1 for 9 from behind the arc, the defense – along with the start of DiVincenzo’s 31-point barrage that made him the Final Four’s most outstanding player – got things turned around.
Wright got interest from the Phoenix Suns after Villanova’s 2016 national title. They had seen it through from their loud quadrant of the Final Four dome, among other places from here to that city of winners known as Philadelphia, and they had seen it right down to the mastery Villanova showed when it wriggled out of an early little thicket against MI and rode its superior skill to a 79-62 win.
Neumann-Goretti High School product Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, also a freshman, contributed limited time in which he grabbed a rebound. “(Jalen) Brunson hit a big 3 to put them up by nine at the half and they put on some points coming out of the half that put up a big barrier”.
The 2018 NCAA Tournament is complete and it was one of the most exciting in the long history of the Tournament. “He’s become the new era…[Villanova] is a team that rings bells now”.
But the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers and their beloved Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt were the biggest story of the tournament.
The Catholic basketball dominance is in sharp contrast to its football performances, where only Boston College and Notre Dame have powerhouse teams. “There isn’t a day that goes by that we’re not in some form of communication”. The Musketeers seemed to have the game against Florida State firmly in hand until star guard J.P. Macura got in foul trouble because of two bad calls by the officials.
“What stood out to everybody”, James said in response to the question.
But DiVincenzo and coach Jay Wright’s Wildcats adjusted and ran away, turning the final minutes into a dismal exercise for the frustrated Wolverines.