03 April, 2018
"It's the national championship so, yeah, they present a tremendous challenge".
The Michigan Wolverines are a quality basketball team. It is a testament to the great coaching abilities of head coach Joh Beilein, as he has his program on the cusp of its second-ever national title.
Junior forward/guard Eric Paschall keyed Villanova's onslaught, finishing with 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting and burying 4 of 5 three-pointers.
But will Nova cover the seven points?
A victory would give Villanova its second championship in three years.
Think about it: The Wildcats, who have made an NCAA single-season record 454 3s, often put lineups on the floor in which all five players shoot 39 percent or better from distance. Omari Spellman made three, as well, in a 15-point, 13-rebound monster game.
John Beilein's team will be looking good uniform-wise, at least.
"Those two are big pieces of our defense because they do a lot for us", guard Phil Booth said. The game plan went to crap. You'd be betting the Wildcats at their absolute highest value, which is never a smart thing to do in any game.
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VMI set that record in 2007. If it's up the billing of the last two between North Carolina versus Gonzaga and North Carolina versus Villanova, then we are in for a real treat.
Wright's team is laying waste to that theory and, at times, making other teams look bad while doing it. Villanova accrues a greater share of its baskets from 3-point range than almost every other college basketball team.
-With six seconds left in regulation, Roshunda Johnson hit a game-tying 3-pointer to force overtime. And what makes defending the 3-pointer against Villanova so tough is that it's not just one or two players taking most of the 3-pointers. He's also a superb defender who can guard multiple positions. The big fella couldn't get there. Those losses came on December 30, 2017 against Butler, who hit 15 of 22 in a 101-93 overtime thriller; and February 24, 2018 against Creighton, who hit 12 of 29 from 3-point range in an 89-83 shootout. Malik Newman, who pushed his game into overdrive during the postseason, had 21. The Wolverines eschew interior D in favor of covering the 3-point line at all costs, and the results have proven him right.
Much of that was credit to the Villanova defense.
Between the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe and other media reports, violations have been alleged at 28 schools, ranging from businessmen taking recruits' parents out to lunch to $100,000 payoffs to get them to sign with certain programs; 17 of those teams were in the March Madness bracket.
Many will be watching the game tonight at a special party hosted by the University at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. Given that Villanova hit a Final Four record 18 3-pointers against Kansas on Saturday and MI hit 14 from three-point range in the Sweet 16 against Texas A&M, it's a bet that this game could be a 3-point content.
"They'll be hard for anyone to deal with", Self said, "if they shoot the ball like that". They have faced a 14-seed, a 6-seed, a 7-seed, a 9-seed and an 11-seed on their way to a match-up with the Wildcats.
Entering the field of 68 as the No.1 seed in the East region, Villanova has been the national title favorite since the tournament began. Totals 36-65 5-7 95.