Villanova 95, Kansas 79 — Postgame Report Card

Wolverines face tough challenge in Villanova

Villanova and Kentucky faced off in the Final Four, and after an intense game, it was Villanova who took home the win!

Three-seeded MI, who was on hand to watch the Wildcats' victory, is going to have its work cut out in the title game. Paschall nailed 4 of 5 three-pointers and Omari Spellman and Donte Divincenzo each had three.

"I would rather win a title", said Matthews, who in five NCAA Tournament games has led the Wolverines with 16.6 points per game. The Wildcats were going to play like an National Basketball Association team, spacing the Jayhawks out and letting it fly from three.

The Wolverines had been the type of team that tried outscoring teams by raining 3-pointers. Remember the AP player of the year Jalen Brunson? Marcus Garrett capped his strong freshman season with another sub-par effort, finishing scoreless with two rebounds and an assist in 18 minutes.

After four successful seasons, Devonte' Graham's time with the Kansas Jayhawks has come to an end. Villanova was beaten on the glass in in three of its four losses, with Butler, St. John's and Providence offsetting misses by combining to average 13.7 second-chance points.

Deflating seems like a good word to describe the feeling opponents have when Villanova makes a couple of 3-pointers in a row, and it's clear the Wildcats' patented avalanche of points is coming. He hit 4 of his 8 attempts from beyond the 3-point line.

Yet there's more beyond the obvious glow from all those deep shots. The Wildcats hit 6 of their first 10 shots from behind the arc. Villanova shot 45 percent from 3. Eric Paschall was dominant in leading the "Cats with 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting". They tied the record (13) in the FIRST HALF. The Jayhawks need to hunker down on defense and keeping chipping away at the deficit.

Case in point: Villanova's Elite Eight win over Texas Tech.

Kansas coach Bill Self's frustrated and nearly helpless reactions said everything about why Kansas' latest Final Four trip would last only one game.

Third-seeded MI doesn't have much support from the public when it comes to pulling off an upset of No. 1 seed Villanova. They excused Miami, Tennessee, Nevada and Kansas State from this NCAA tournament. If Michigan can force it into anything less, we could be in for a national championship game for the ages.

Villanova (35-4) advanced to its second title game in three years by blitzing Kansas 95-79 in Saturday night's second semifinal. "Last night they focused a lot on him, showed him a lot of double teams and he was just making the right play - passing the ball, wasn't forcing anything". MI can play that game and contend out there.

"This is a special group", junior guard Phil Booth said.

How high will they set the record? "They play real well for one another, and they always look for the best shot".

But it's 2018 now, and the Wolverines are winning on the other side of the court.

Kansas and Villanova share a recent history.

But the Jayhawks were a step slow all night in San Antonio, the site of their last national championship a decade ago. "Just doing that every day will make your jumper consistent". But Villanova has an edge in offensive depth.

"It's specifically gratifying to see 33 percent and outrebounding them in the biggest game so far", Coach Jay Wright said after that game.

"Definitely threads", he said. You're just not going to be ready.

"We got spread out, and our game plan went to crap on how we were going to guard certain actions", Kansas coach Bill Self said.

"We just let them shoot like that", senior guard Svi Mykhailiuk said. "And that's something that's similar to our team in '16".

His mother, Tyneeha Rivers, described Bridges as a long-humble kid driven to do any little thing it takes to win games.

The Final Four this year has come down to just that.



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