We do not root for schools or teams, but we do pull for people and stories, and from this view, this MI team has some of the best of both. We saw that come into play when Loyola had difficulty finishing at the rim or shooting over these MI defenders during the second half of their game.
He was team captain and MVP. He loses the core of his team except for McCowan and Holmes, who will be seniors next season. And they’ll have to keep the ball moving while racking up assists with a deep well of shooters on the ready, something they’ve done almost all year.
If you missed it, we announced our first KMAland Athletes of the Week earlier this morning.
After Michigan wrapped up the first national semifinal game Saturday by finally putting away Loyola, the favorite underdogs with Sister Jean on their side, Beilein didn’t get a chance to tune into the Villanova game until after halftime.
Fortunately, the round by round game is still alive, and we have a mostly clean slate!
Yaklich said Loyola was a good tuneup for preparing for Villanova.
Now, it’s doing so on a historic level.
“I think I heard the analogy, he plays like an old man”, Michigan coach John Beilein said Sunday, ahead of trying to solve Brunson and his considerable teammates in the Michigan-Villanova national title game Monday night. That was five less than the previous mark for futility set by Syracuse in 2016 against UConn.
The Rebels in that game against in also attempted a semifinal-record 35 3s. Kansas threw some zone at Villanova and got buried. They’ll have to do a better job rebounding than they did in some of their few losses. As punishment, 113 wins from that time, including two Final Four appearances, were vacated by the school. We watch all of the National Basketball Association and how everyone picks parts of that stuff.
In 35 wins this season, the Wildcats have shot 42 percent on 3s. They limited the Red Raiders to 33.3 percent from the field. They played down with West Virginia for 30 minutes, but then snapped out of it and won easily. Basketball people persistently refer to the vast range of his capabilities and details, which extend, of course, to being whom Kansas coach Bill Self called probably Villanova’s best post-up player. They have hit 66 three-pointers in the tournament and a record 454 threes on the season.
Notre Dame scored just three points in the second quarter, an NCAA championship game low for a single quarter.
“We recruit guys that just want to be in college”, Wright said.
“We didn’t get two stops when we needed to get stops”, Blair Schaefer said.
“We don’t pride ourselves on shooting the ball well”, Spellman said after Saturday’s 95-79 humiliation of Kansas in the semifinal. It’s another to be a great player. The last time Villanova and MI faced each other was in the 2014 Legends Championship, a Thanksgiving tournament in NY.
As of Sunday afternoon, Wright and his staff were still devising a plan to deal with a big man who is second on the Wolverines in scoring in the tournament (14.8 ppg), leads MI in rebounding (7.4) and is tied for the team lead with Duncan Robinson in 3-point field goals made (nine).
MI head coach John Beilein admitted to media leading up to the game that his team “has work to do”. “This is Draymond Green-type stuff where they can all shoot, pass, do everything”. Going into this contest, MI will be under an huge amount of pressure as the Wolverines have failed to bring home a National Title in their previous three appearances in the Championship Game.