San Antonio, TX – Villanova pulled away from Michigan to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship with a 79-62 victory. Donte DiVincenzo had one of the best performances in an NCAA title game in quite some time, finishing with a game and career-high 31 points. Mikal Bridges added 19 points for the winners. Mohammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led Michigan with 23 points. Villanova won every game they played in the tournament by double-digit
Villanova extended a nine-point halftime lead quickly in the second half helped by DiVincenzo. After both Jalen Brunson and Eric Paschall went to the bench with their fourth fouls, DiVincenzo took control. His back-to-back three-pointers gave the Wildcats an 18-point (62-44) lead with 7:58 remaining and Villanova coasted to the victory from that point. The Wolverines had no answer for the athletic DiVincenzo who played the point much of the time while Brunson was on the bench with foul trouble. 6-10 center Omari Spellman grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Wildcats to a +11 advantage on the boards. Michigan shot only 3-of-23 from long distance. Villanova shot 6-of-14 in the second half to finish at 10-of-27 (37 percent).
Michigan came out of the gates hot and ran off to a 14-8 lead helped by nine quick points from 6-11 Moritz Wagner. Wagner, coming off a career 24-point, 15-rebound performance in the semifinals connected on his first four points. Michigan extended their lead to 21-14 at the 11-minute mark on a Wagner lay-up. Villanova then started to mount a comeback helped by DiVincenzo. DeVincenzo scored 11 of the Wildcats next 15 points. His three-pointer capped a 9-0 run to give Villanova a 23-21 lead. From then on Villanova took control of the half. They finished the half on a 14-5 run and took a 37-28 lead into halftime.
Neither team shot particularly well from deep with Villanova at 4-of-13 and Michigan at 2-of-13. Villanova started off 1-for-9, a far cry from their spot-on three-point shooting against Kansas. DiVincenzo connected on 3-of-4 from deep and led the Wildcats at the half with 18 points. Wagner led the Wolverines with 11 points and five rebounds. Villanova had a +6 advantage on the boards with a 6-2 edges on the offensive glass.
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