They’ll face each other from the Alamodome in San Antonio on Monday night at 9:20pmET.
Yet nothing seems to faze the Wolverines (33-7), who’ve won 14 games in a row. They rank third nationally in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 0.9 points per possession.
STRUGGLING GUARDS: Michigan starting guards Zavier Simpson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman were a combined 2-of-17 shooting for seven points in the national semifinal win over Loyola-Chicago.
Villanova (35-4) has won 10 straight and faced little resistance along the way.
At the end of a practice before the NCAA Tournament began, Matthews called his teammates back to a huddle.
While the Wildcats assailed the Jayhawks with long-range jumpers, what head coach Jay Wright’s team accomplished in defending any such counterattacks proved just as crucial in a 95-79 victory that sent Villanova to the national championship game. The Wildcats made a Final Four single-game record 18 3-pointers against the Jayhawks and dominated nearly from the opening tip.
Villanova can establish a miniature college basketball dynasty by beating MI in the national championship game at the Final Four on Monday. Yes, there is a significant possibility that Michigan’s perimeter defenders compel a poor shooting night from Nova. Villanova was 18 of 40 from the three-pointer, a 45.0 percent shooting.
SportsLine has the Wildcats as a 6.5 point favorite over the Wolverines. Villanova eventually slowed down, making only five second half threes to finish 18-for-40 from beyond the arc on the night, but the Jayhawks never cut the lead to single digits after Villanova’s 22-4 run to open the game.
“This is an incredible group and we’re so excited for this ride”, MI forward Moritz Wagner said. Only one of those passes led to a 3, with 3:38 left in the second half and the game all but decided. MI has only given up more than 65 points once in the tournament, and that was a game the Wolverines won by 20 over Texas A&M.
One by one, Villanova keeps winning games and getting closer to another national title.
Whether you’re in the stands or on the court, the Kansas-Villanova game Saturday night won’t be one for the faint of heart. “So it was hard to get to this point where we are”.
MI struggles in a lot of areas that you just can’t if you’re trying to keep the score close against Villanova. If shots aren’t falling, they can always win with defense. It’s basically that simple.
When Villanova’s Jalen Brunson and MI guard Charles Matthews were high school standouts in Illinois, Brunson beat out Matthews for the state’s Mr. Basketball award. In addition to that shutdown defense, MI is among the nation’s most deliberate offenses, rating 324th of 351 Division I teams in KenPom’s adjusted tempo index. Loyola Marymount set it in 1990 playing against MI. The Wildcats are a No. 1 seed that’s played like the second coming of the 1972 UCLA Bruins. Every guy in Villanova’s rotation has an effective shooting percentage of at least 56, well above the national average of 51.
Villanova deserves to be favored, and by a decent margin.
On defense, Villanova will need to contain Wagner in the post.
Spellman may have to focus more on the painted area Monday, with Wagner, Jon Teske and Isaiah Livers occupying that part of the court for MI. That’s now the longest active streak in Division I. The Wildcats shoot 77.9 percent from the line, which is tied for eighth in the nation.
Ken Cross, the self-proclaimed “CEO of College Hoops”, has a plethora of experience over a 20-plus year period in both print and broadcast journalism as a free-lancer on the east coast and in the Charlotte, NC area, in particular.
That’s what this Villanova offense does.
MI is third in the country in Adjusted Efficiency (Defense).
But Brunson and Bridges didn’t have to outshine their Kansas counterparts individually to have an overwhelming edge between the two teams since they had lots of help from their supporting cast. The problem is that the Wolverines haven’t faced a team seeded higher than sixth in this tournament. Sports and many others.