The two trends that point to a Villanova title

The two trends that point to a Villanova title

The two trends that point to a Villanova title

Michigan, using size to their advantage is a defensive juggernaut and boasts one of the best 3-point defenses in the entire NCAA.

The 2018 national title game between MI and Villanova, airing on TBS, will tip off at 9:20 p.m. ET Monday night in San Antonio. The Wildcats are a true college basketball powerhouse and are looking for their second championship in the past three years.

Deitsch pointed this out on Twitter prior to last year's title game between North Carolina and Gonzaga.

While many have anticipated a possible National Championship birth for the Villanova all season long, Michigan's appearance comes as a bit of a surprise. They won the Big Ten Tournament last month and have stormed through some solid opponents in recent weeks on the way to the NCAA Tournament final. And they've continued that blistering pace during the tournament, knocking down 66 threes (another NCAA record) in five games, including 18 against Kansas (a Final Four record). Win or lose, this MI team will go down as legends in Ann Arbor forever. They have one of the most tenacious on-ball defenders in the country in Zavier Simpson.

Also favored in every NCAA tournament game, MI has gone 3-1-1 against the spread. The last time Villanova and MI faced each other was in the 2014 Legends Championship, a Thanksgiving tournament in NY.

The Wolverines shut down Loyola-Chicago's 3-point shooters in the national semifinals and have been adept at limiting opponents' 3-point attempts by switching and jamming shooters along the arc.

The concern even if they do limit Villanova's 3s: Back-door cuts.

On the flip side, Villanova's Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall can provide matchup problems for MI because they, too, can stretch the floor, but no one matches Wagner's motor. The Wolverines eschew interior D in favor of covering the 3-point line at all costs, and the results have proven him right. He had a historic performance in the Final Four with 24 points and 15 rebounds.


Naturally, both of these methods will be proved wrong someday, just as Syracuse proved both of them wrong in the 2003 NCAA tournament. Michigan's defense is good, but it isn't that good.

Villanova has always run good offense under Wright.

Villanova is 23-2 when it hits 10 or more 3-pointers in a game.

Villanova's scoring leader is Jalen Brunson.

When the three-pointer first appeared, it was more novelty than time-tested strategy.

THE SIDEKICKS: Wagner and Brunson are the headliners for their teams, but both have excellent sidekicks.

Mikal Bridges: Michigan's Bridges problem won't go away just yet. The program has also won 14 games in a row. He's also a superb defender who can guard multiple positions. So were guys like Duncan Robinson, Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole.

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