By Gabby Goodwin || Sports Editor
Michigan defeated Cinderella No. 11 Loyola-Chicago 69-57 to reach the national title game. However, this past Monday, Villanova captured its second national championship in the last three years beating Michigan 79-62.
With a phenomenal performance from sophomore Donte DiVincenzo, the 6-5 guard from Delaware scored a NCAA Tournament record of 31 points off the bench to go along with five rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. DiVincenzo was able to hold it down for the Wildcats after SN Player of the Year Jalen Brunson went to the bench with four fouls with more than 10 minutes remaining in the second half.
With 13:56 remaining in the first half, Michigan started off strong, leading 11-8 on the strength of 11 points on 3-for-3 shooting from Moe Wagner. Villanova, however, which set a Final Four record with 18 3-pointers in its national semifinals win against Loyola-Chicago Saturday night, was 0 for 3 from deep to start the game.
At 11:51, Michigan senior guard Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman added seven points of his own, leading Villanova 18-14. However, hit with their seventh personal foul in the first, Villanova was able to reclaim the lead at 6:08 23-21 with a 3-pointer from DiVincenzo.
Into the second half, at 12:33, Michigan’s Charles Matthews added another two, however, Michigan stills trailed the Wildcats 53-38. At 10:51 in the second was when Brunson picked up his fourth foul. Unable to capitalize on their close opportunity however, with a 40-53 score, Michigan couldn’t quite finish their chances.
To put the final touches on the win with 3:51 left in the game, Villanova’s Mike Bridges sunk a 3-pointer from the wing to seal the deal.
Sophomore Gabby Goodwin is the Sports Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.