Villanova's Latest Championship Run Has Many Immediately Thinking Of Them As One Of The Most Dominan
The Villanova Wildcats (36-4) finished a magical season by defeating the Michigan Wolverines (33-8) 79-62 to win a second National Championship in three years. The Wildcats dominated the vast majority of its games throughout the tournament and is the undisputed champion of NCAA basketball for the 2017-2018 season. While the Wildcats has an entire offseason to celebrate the third National Championship in school history, here is how they entered March Madness as one of the top favorites and finished the tournament on top of the college basketball world.
First Round - (1) Villanova 87 vs. (16) Radford 61 The Wildcats entered the tournament as favorites and did not disappoint against the overmatched Radford Highlanders with an 87-61 victory. The Wildcats made 14 three-pointers, as the Highlanders had no answer to their all-around team performance. Jalen Brunson led the team with 16 points as the Wildcats easily won their first-round matchup.
Second Round - (1) Villanova 81 vs. (9) Alabama 58 The second round matchup with Alabama wasn't much of a contest as the Wildcats cruised to an 81-58 victory. The Wildcats entered halftime with only a five-point lead but pulled away by knocking down their first six three-pointers, as Mikal Bridges led the team with 23 points. Donte DiVincenzo wasn't too far behind with 18 points, as the Wildcats advanced to the Sweet 16.
Sweet 16 - (1) Villanova 90 vs. (5) West Virginia 78 The West Virginia Mountaineers were much tougher competition compared to Villanova's earlier opponents and were only down by two points at halftime. However, the Wildcats three-point shooting was relentless as the team made 13-of-24, while also making 23-of-27 free throws. Jalen Brunson scored a team-high 27 points as the Wildcat's high-powered offense was too much for the Mountaineers.
Elite 8 - (1) Villanova 71 vs (3) Texas Tech 59 Unlike the previous games, the Wildcats struggled to score and only shot 33% from the field. However, Texas Tech did not fare much better and were unable to take advantage of the low scoring. Despite the poor shooting, they had five players score double digits, with Eric Paschall scoring 12 points and 14 rebounds. The Wildcats dominated the first half with their stingy defense that enabled them to go into the break with a 13 point lead. Texas Tech could never recover in the 2nd half, as the Wildcats reached the Final Four for the second time in three years.
Final 4 - (1) Villanova 95 vs. (1) Kansas 79 The Wildcats entered the Final Four with a top matchup against the #1 seed Kansas Jayhawks from the Midwest Region. While the matchup looked good on paper, the Wildcats dominated Kansas throughout the entire game and set a Final Four record by draining 18 three-pointers. Eric Paschall was nearly unstoppable as he shot 10-of-11 from the field and led the way with 24 points. Omari Spellman finished the game with 13 rebounds and 15 points, as the Wildcats cruised to another easy victory and advanced to the championship game.
NCAA Championship Game - (1) Villanova 79 vs. (3) Michigan 62 The Wildcats controlled the pace from the opening tipoff and held a comfortable lead throughout the entire game. Redshirt sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo came off the bench and scored a career-high 31 points, as the Wolverines were unable to contain him. DiVincenzo shot 10-of-15 during the game and made 5-of-7 from downtown, as he was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Teammate Mikal Bridges scored 19 points with 15 points coming in the second half, as the Wildcats offense was too much to handle for the Michigan Wolverines.
The Wildcats finished a dominant run throughout March Madness, as they beat opponents with a barrage of three-pointers while playing team focused basketball. They won each game by double digits and is the fourth team to have ever accomplished that feat in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats finished out on top and will be remembered as one of the most dominant teams in NCAA Basketball history.