For the second time in three seasons, the Villanova Wildcats are national champions! It was an incredible performance and season that will be defined by the teamwork exemplified from the start of the tournament to the end. Though the Wildcats are not short of talented superstars, the entire roster, including our hero and Big East Sixth Man of the Year, Donte DiVincenzo, contributed in massive ways to make this title happen.
Villanova made history by winning every game in this tournament by double digits since North Carolina did it in 2009, and although Michigan had a miraculous season, the No. 1 seed never left a doubt that this game belonged to them from start to finish.
5. Michigan Had the Right Game Plan, But it Wasn't Enough
Tough, physical defense. That was the key. Force Villanova to play from the outside and shoot wildly much like they did in the semifinal and the game against Texas Tech. Had the Wildcats bench not exploded, there's a good chance this game would have been a lot closer. At first, it looked like Michigan was well in control in the opening minutes of the game, but once Villanova got into a grove, head coach John Beilein and his boys just couldn't contain the array of shots.
4. Michigan Was Admirably Physical, But that Also Cost Them
Though Villanova ended up committing a lot of fouls of their own, the 20 fouls by Michigan was just too much and the Wildcats made every opportunity at the free-throw line count. The free-throw percentage of 75 percent combine with a three-point shooting percentage of 37 was a formula of success for Villanova and disaster for Michigan.
3. Villanova's Defense Once Again Dominated the Floor
It felt like it took forever for the Wolverines to break through in the second half after scoring 28 in the first. When you can't get rebounds and go an abysmal 3-for-23 on three-pointers, it's going to be a long night. It never felt like Michigan could get into a groove, and most of the work was done inside the paint. That obviously wasn't enough to keep up with the fast-paced scoring from Villanova's side.
2. Wildcats Had the Three-Ball Working At the Most Crucial Times
Every time Michigan drove and tried to change the momentum, someone on the Wildcats came up big with a dagger three or a contested two that knocked the wind right out of the Wolverines' sails. The Wildcats went 37 percent from beyond the arc and 47.4 percent in field goals. Mix in the insane amount of offensive boards, there was never that much opportunity for the Wolverines to cash in.
1. Donte DiVincenzo: The Red-Headed, Red-Hot Hero
It was Donte's Inferno tonight, and the Michigan Wolverines were the victim of DiVincenzo's heroic performance off the bench. His 31 points were the most championship points in a national title game since 1990. Perhaps his most memorable moment in the game was his insane NBA-level three-pointer toward the end of the first half that was so far beyond the arc, it was incredible how easy he made it look.