Villanova vs. Michigan: What to watch for in NCAA title game

03 April, 2018, 04:45 | Author: Rita Burton
  • Final-Four-Basketball-1

Villanova University and the University of MI, which will play for the NCAA men's basketball championship Monday night, both have proud basketball traditions.

The Wildcats and their horde of long-range shooters are playing for their second title in three years, a chance to establish a mini dynasty.

Deitsch pointed this out on Twitter prior to last year's title game between North Carolina and Gonzaga.

And still, to win, MI has to hope and pray Villanova players don't continue to resemble the NBA's most explosive team. If the Wolverines can pull an upset on Monday night and beat the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament championship game, the biggest reason is likely to be their ability to force Villanova inside the 3-point line. They are a deadly shooting team, having already set an NCAA Tournament record for three-pointers made.

Michigan's goal will be to get Villanova away from the 3-point line and redirect shots.

MI rode its defense into the title game. The Wolverines' victory against Loyola Chicago on Saturday extended their school record for wins in a season.

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The concern even if they do limit Villanova's 3s: Back-door cuts. Barring foul trouble, it appears that the Wildcats, not the Wolverines will be the ones who dictate how this game is played.

MI 73, Villanova 72: If no one else is going to pick the Wolverines, I will. Providence and St. John's showed the best way to discombobulate the Wildcats is through tough perimeter defense - they held VU to a combined 11-for-53 shooting from long range in their upsets. Whether it's his 40% 3-point shooting or his sneaky good post-game, this kid can beat you in every way. He can score inside and out, as evidenced by his 24-point, 15-rebound performance on Saturday where he hit three threes, and scored on putbacks.

Villanova hasn't needed any buzzer-beating shots so far in this NCAA Tournament. "As a point guard, and one who wants to be elite at the next level, who wouldn't want to look forward to a matchup like Brunson that's a national player of the year and things like that?" During Villanova's 10-game winning streak, they've 13 or more treys in seven of those games and been below eight just once. If the Wildcats win, it will likely mean their shots were falling, and 7-point spread doesn't seem so large when 3's are dropping left and right. Most cable and satellite customers can also log into the TBS website for a live stream feed, or use the NCAA.com website or compatible apps to see the game.

If both teams are on ...

Mikal Bridges is that player for Villanova. They're also never afraid, no matter how close the defender is, to take a deep shot and go for three. So were guys like Duncan Robinson, Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole.

The Wildcats are 4-2 in games where they allowed 10 or more 3-pointers in a single game.

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