Villanova Wins Second Championship in Three Years


Villanova beat Michigan 79-62 in the National Championship. Photo from ESPN

After a month of shocking upsets, Cinderella stories, and dramatic moments, this year’s March Madness tournament ended on a bland note. For the second time in three years, coach Jay Wright lead the top-seeded Villanova Wildcats to a 79-62 win against the Michigan Wolverines, a three seed.

Wright’s squad coasted to the championship game, winning each of their contests by more than ten points. Player of the Year, Jalen Brunson spearheaded a dangerous offense that proved difficult to stop. Although his performance in the final game was disappointing, scoring only nine points on 13 shot attempts, redshirt sophomore Donte DiVincenzo more than made up for it. DiVincenzo scored 31 points in an inspired performance that captivated people all over the country.

“Throughout the tournament, Villanova looked like they were 10 steps ahead of everyone else,” Nate Barcus said. “I’m sure their opponents had a very tough time strategizing against everything they do so well. They had very few weaknesses.”

Coached by John Beilein, the Michigan Wolverines came into the tournament as the hottest team in the country. Fresh off a Big 10 tournament win, the team was a dark-horse pick to win it all. Lead by big man Moritz Wagner, the Wolverines played each minute of every game with an intensity that few teams could match. While their journey to the final game wasn’t easy, many were convinced that they would be the team to figure out how to stop Villanova’s offense.

“I really thought they had it,” Josh Cohen said. “They had been shooting the three pointer so well the past few months, I thought the hot streak would continue into the championship. Villanova was too good to beat.”

Michigan did jump out to an early lead, but it wasn’t sustainable. Villanova finished the first half up 37-28, and they never looked back.

Next year, both of these teams expect to remain competitive. While players like Michigan’s Moritz Wagner and Villanova’s Mikal Bridges are expected to enter the NBA Draft, both teams will retain most of their core players. Could a finals rematch be in the cards? As this year’s tournament showed, anything can happen in March Madness.