Villanova has found the Wright way to win an NCAA title

04 April, 2018, 02:09 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • A ball got stuck on the rim during the title game thanks to a pair of Donte Di Vicenzo blocks

While the Wildcats don't have any seniors on this year's roster, they will likely lose junior stars Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson to the National Basketball Association (and Most Outstanding Player Donte DiVincenzo might test the draft waters following his 31 points Monday night) - but they have several key players returning and a strong recruiting class coming in, including one of the D.C. area's top high school stars. It's possible that there's some nostalgic bias: Nova doesn't compete against traditional rivals like Notre Dame and Syracuse anymore, and as successful as their new adversaries like Butler and Xavier have been, the conference's makeup lacks the reach and tradition of the old days.

In this title gamer, on a team with AP player of the year Jalen Brunson and potential National Basketball Association lottery pick Mikal Bridges, DiVincenzo was the go-to guy. Villanova would not relinquish the advantage for the remaining 26:08 of the game.

Michigan's Jordan Poole cries in the locker room after the championship game of the Final Four against Villanova on Monday in San Antonio.

To win it for the second time in three years, 'Nova, who is the top-ranked team in adjusted offensive efficiency on, will have to find a way to score the ball on MI, the third-ranked team in defensive efficiency. He'd broken his foot eight games into his freshman season, and spent the rest of the year running the scout team.

There's no question that what Wright has built is now bigger than himself.

All things considered, Wright realizes just how special of a program he has developed with the Wildcats, and to walk away right now when they are finally at the elite level he's been waiting for all these years would be foolish. "We have so many talented dudes that can just get going".

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MI was said to be the team of destiny a year ago, after its plane slid off a runway before the Big Ten tournament, igniting a furious winning streak that ended in the NCAA's Sweet 16. We legitimately never know who it's going to be.

Most importantly, at least in their coach's estimation, they won not by trying to become one of the best teams in history, but simply by trying to get better every game. But they are also, undoubtedly, the best team. "And I was just feeling it". He has a point. "Cuz I don't want to play fucking soccer".

After six weeks of highs and one dizzying low, Beilein didn't sound particularly interested in sliding into the offseason at all.

While Brunson was voted the nation's best player by the AP and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, DiVincenzo won the Big East's sixth man award.

"I blame Jalen", DiVincenzo said. It lapped the field. While his teammates hit just five of their first 17 shots, Di-Vincenzo rallied the Wildcats to the nine-point halftime lead. They played with poise, purpose, and offensive intricacy that is the byproduct of cohesiveness that is hard to come by when you just slap a bunch of vaunted recruits together each year (see: Calipari, John).

MI was 9-5 this season when trailing at halftime, including Saturday's comeback victory against Loyola-Chicago, which propelled the Wolverines to the national championship game for the first time since 2013, when they lost to Louisville.


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