Villanova has been college basketball's best and most consistent team all season, and point guard Jalen Brunson might represent the Wildcats' biggest edge in the NCAA championship game against MI. But if Villanova is seeing the Alamodome rims as it was on Saturday, it's still going to likely come out on top. The Wildcats defeated Georgetown 66-64 on April 1, 1985, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., and beat North Carolina 77-74 on April 4, 2016, at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Villanova hasn't needed any buzzer-beating shots so far in this NCAA Tournament.
Of course, Brunson, Bridges, and the rest of their Villanova teammates face a whole new level of pressure heading into the championship game since a second title in three seasons would make Jay Wright's team worthy of earning the dynasty label. Both teams have been impressive during March Madness, but one stands out as the clear favorite with college basketball's national championship on the line.
Villanova does a fairly good job of limiting turnovers themselves, averaging just 10.6 giveaways per contest, a number which places them 14th best in Division I. The junior guard is averaging 16.6 points in the NCAA Tournament despite struggling on 3s - 4 for 17 - and is Michigan's second-leading rebounder at 6.8 per NCAA game. But the fact that Loyola only scored 12 points in the last 12 minutes of the game was a huge part of the victory. Michigan's first trip to the national title game since 2013 has been keyed by a smothering defense that often sparks a less reliable offense. During the NCAA tournament, Michigan's opponents are 18-of-75 (24.0 percent) from beyond the arc.
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Villanova University and the University of MI, which will play for the NCAA men's basketball championship Monday night, both have proud basketball traditions.
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That last yard would end up being the Wolverines' 15th straight win. Florida State and Texas A&M were both held five attempts below their season averages in losing to MI in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova is not the fastest team, coming in at 160 in tempo, but it's still a huge difference. They have one of the most tenacious on-ball defenders in the country in Zavier Simpson.
So why does the college basketball National Championship Game start so late? Nova, in search of their second NCAA title in the last three years, is favored by 6.5 points heading into tonight's game, which will air on TBS at 9:20pm ET.
The German-born big man is unlike any frontcourt player the Wildcats faced this season, as he possesses the ability to drift out behind the three-point line and knock down shots.
If you're looking for a live stream of MI vs. Villanoa, you can find it at NCAA March Madness Live.
Villanova is one of the greatest 3-point shooting teams in college basketball history, breaking season and NCAA Tournament records.
MICHIGAN'S D: If there is a team that can slow 'Nova's 3-roll, it could be the Wolverines.