NCAA Tournament
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Behind 31 points from Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova captured their second NCAA Tournament title in three years with a 79-62 win over Michigan.

When people have talked about Villanova during this NCAA Tournament, they have talked about their ability to beat you in different ways with different players. Tonight, it was Donte DiVincenzo’s night to be the leading star for the Wildcats at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The Big East Sixth Man of the Year had 31 points for the Wildcats (tied a season-high) as they claimed their second title in three years under head coach Jay Wright with a 79-62 blowout win over Michigan.

From the beginning of the game, Michigan was able to take the lead with Moritz Wagner dominating inside along with strong perimeter play from Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. The Wolverines led 21-14 with 10:53 left in the first half, but then the Wildcats and DiVincenzo found their form with a 23-7 run.

That’s when DiVincenzo found a way to take over. The sophomore and Most Outstanding Player (MOP) had 18 of his points in the first half to help Villanova take a 37-28 lead to the locker room. He was a big key on the offensive glass to go with his scoring. His three offensive boards were second on the team (Omari Spellman had four).

Speaking of rebounds, Villanova was able to dominate on the boards with a 38-27 edge over Michigan. This included a 12-6 edge on the offensive end, which allowed ‘Nova to get more second-chance opportunities.

In the second half, as Michigan was trying to make a comeback, Jalen Brunson picked up his fourth foul with 10:51 left in the game. With Brunson on the bench, DiVincenzo found the great touch from beyond the arc as he scored the next 11 points for the Wildcats to put the game further out of reach.

The problem for Michigan in this game was that they did not have enough scoring from their supporting cast to keep up with the high-powered Wildcats offense. Abdur-Rahkman and Wagner had 39 of Michigan’s 62 points and they were 14-of-25 from the floor.

As for the rest of the Wolverines, they only made ten of the remaining 30 field goal attempts. Plus, the Wolverines were 3-for-23 from downtown as a team (13 percent).

Meanwhile, on the Villanova side, they were able to get points from other scorers. Mikal Bridges had a rough start to the game, but he had 15 of his 19 points in the second half and he was 3-for-7 for the game from downtown.

As a team, ‘Nova shot 38.5 percent from three-point range (10-for-26), but their success in this game wasn’t solely determined by their perimeter shooting. They shot 49.1 percent from the floor despite their frontcourt only making five shots.

Throughout this NCAA Tournament, Villanova was dominant in every round as they won each of their six games by double-digits. The last team to accomplish that feat was the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2009.

With their second title in three years, Villanova has proven to be one of the best programs in college basketball and Wright is one of the best coaches in the sport without any doubt. They have been the gold standard not only for the Big East, but for the rest of college basketball.

Even on a night where Brunson only had nine points, Villanova always finds a way to get the job done and they’ve been doing that in the Big East since the conference changed back in 2013-14.

While the Final Four and the National Championship didn’t have the drama and close games, it was still a great tournament highlighted by UMBC’s historic upset and Loyola-Chicago making the Final Four. Thanks to everyone who has followed all of our coverage during this great event.


I graduated from St. John's University with a degree in sports management. I previously wrote about the Johnnies at Rumble In the Garden.