Photo: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Championship Game: Villanova Runs Away From Michigan 79-62

Michigan's run came to an end Monday night.

April 02, 2018 - 11:31 pm
Categories: 

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (97.1 The Ticket) - For the sixth time in school history, the Michigan men's basketball team came up just short.

No. 1 seed Villanova beat the No. 3 seed Wolverines 79-62 in the NCAA Tournament National Championship Game Monday night in San Antonio, Texas, to claim its second title in three years.

The Wolverines hung tough for most of the first half, but Donte DiVincenzo was too much to handle. The sophomore guard provided the Wildcats with a massive spark off the bench, scoring 18 of his 31 points in the first half en route to winning the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player Award. He went 5-for-7 from distance to lead a Villanova three-point attack that the Wolverines got a glimpse of Saturday when they made 18 long balls.

Michigan fans were having flashbacks to the 2013 title game with DiVincenzo's scoring explosion, similar to what Louisville's Luke Hancock did to the Wolverines when he scored 22 points off the bench on a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range.

Michigan didn't get nearly the same spark off its bench, seeing only three points come from freshman Jordan Poole.

Moritz Wagner started out hot for the Wolverines, scoring nine of his 16 points in the first half. Muhamad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led the team with 23 points and Zavier Simpson had 10.

Michigan led by as many as seven points in the first half, thanks to some staunch defensive pressure that disrupted the Wildcats' offensive flow. After leading 21-14, Villanova closed the half on a 23-7 run and never looked back.

A pivotal moment came with under a minute to go when DiVincenzo blocked a shot from Simpson, pinning it between the rim and the backboard. It appeared to hit the glass before DiVincenzo got to it, but the officials called a jump ball instead of a goaltend. Villanova got possession and Associated Press Player of the Year Jalen Brunson buried a three-pointer to expand on the lead.

Brunson finished with nine points, while Mikal Bridges was the only starter in double figures with 19.

This is Villanova's third title in school history, and it is the first school to win two titles in a three-year span since Florida went back-to-back in 2006-07.