The Villanova Wildcats faced the Michigan Wolverines in the March Madness final, and after an amazing basketball brawl, Villanova was crowned the NCAA Men’s Division I basketball champions!
It was a showdown in the Alamodome on April 2! In San Antonio’s world famous arena, the Villanova Wildcats and University of Michigan Wolverines squared off in the climax of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament. It was the epic finale to one off the more bizarre March Madness events in recent memory, and fans tuned into see the Villanova Wildcats take home the trophy! With a 79-62 victory against the Wolverines, this is the second time the Wildcats won a national title in three seasons. Their last win was in 1989. Donte DiVincenzo was the leading scorer for the winning team with 31 points in the game.
Although Michigan has a good start at the beginning of the game, they were quickly outscored by Villanova, which ended their 14-game winning streak. It’s the second loss in five years at a national championship game for Michigan. Their first was in 2013 when they were defeated by Louisville.
This was quite the March Madness. After University of Maryland, Baltimore Conty pulled off the historic upset, sending No. 1 seed University of Virginia packing, it seemed like anything was possible (except for millions of NCAA basketball fans to win their office pools, since all their brackets had been busted wide open. Though UMBC was bounced in the second round, 11th seeded Loyola-Chicago went on a run that turned everyone into believers. They even made it to the Final Four, along with third-seeded Michigan, and No. 1 seeds, Villanova and Kansas.
Many favored Villanova to steamroll Michigan in this game, especially after watching Nova’s manhandling of the Kansas Jayhawks in the semifinals. Villanova tied the record for 3-pointers in the first half, before breaking it nearly 21 minutes into the game, according to Yahoo Sports. Nova netted 18 three-pointers, which also broke the record for most three-pointers in a NCAA tournament. “I feel bad for Kansas,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said after the game. “They’re a great team; we just made every shot. And that happens sometimes.” Villanova advanced on a score of 95-79, and many who picked Nova in their brackets were excited to see them face the Wolverines.
Michigan ended the Cinderella run of Loyola Chicago Ramblers. The 11-seeded team made it as far to the Final Four, and looked to go all the way until a late surge by Michigan ended this storybook March Madness run. Despite this win and playing their way to the March Madness final, many fans and experts expected Michigan to get blown away by Nova. “Everything’s back to normal. We’ve been underdogs throughout the whole season,” Michigan guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman said, per the Detroit Free Press. “We’ve tried to prove people wrong every game.”
For Villanova, this was the second time in three years that the 2016 NCAA champs made it to the March Madness final. The last time Michigan got to the title game was in 1993 and the last time they tasted championship gold was even longer. Prior to this opportunity, the Wolverines last raised the trophy in 1989.