Why the college basketball National Championship Game starts so late
Apr 03 2018 by Johnnie Parsons
The 2018 NCAA tournament March Madness champion will be crowned on Monday night, when MI faces Villanova at the Alamodome in San Antonio. But so is MI, which is seeking its first national championship in 29 years. The New Jersey junior averages 19.2 points per game, 80.2 FT% and has a 52% field goal percentage.
BIG-TIME BRUNSON:Villanova will have the best player on the floor Monday night in Jalen Brunson. The over/under total opened at 145 points.
A popular comparison to the Wildcats is the Golden State Warriors, and yet while Wright agrees he has patterned some of his team's style after the defending National Basketball Association champions and all their versatile stars, he points further back to the Phoenix Suns teams of the mid-2000s, then coached by Mike D'Antoni. The Wildcats are listed as the favorite.
In addition to the national feed on TBS, Turner Sports will also produce "homer" broadcasts including the national television feed paired with announcers catering to fans of one the two teams. MI has recorded a (quite excellent in its own right) scoring margin of 0.17 points per trip. Michigan's defense is very good, and I love this Wolverines team, but I just don't see anyone beating the Wildcats the way they're playing right now.
MI can't count on the Wildcats having trouble in the categories that doomed Loyola-Chicago (3-point shooting and turnovers), which is where Villanova's big-game experience becomes a factor. U-M is 3-1-1 against the spread in the tournament and has yet to be an underdog. You just gotta hope you can minimize his influence on the game. During Michigan's 14-game winning streak, no opponent has hit more than seven threes in a game.
Derek Stevens, who is a MI alum and CEO of the D Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, is poised to win $1 million if the Wolverines come away with a big win.
Villanova head coach Jay Wright talks to this players during a practice session for the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Friday, March 30, 2018, in San Antonio.
None of this is that surprising given that Villanova is a No. 1 seed, has won by double-digits in each NCAA Tournament outing, and made Kansas look like a jayvee squad Saturday. 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.
It's all come down to just the one game after five previous rounds of insane competition.
At the risk of jumping on board an already crowded bandwagon, I would only add that Jay Wright's team is also the pick of not one but two methods that have successfully predicted and/or screened every title game victor since 2004.
"Wow. If you put it like that, that's probably cool", Wagner told reporters after Saturday's win. Villanova is the most efficient offensive team in the country and will find answers to John Belein's vaunted defense. "Most of Michigan's points came down low, with Moe Wagner using his enormous 6' 11" frame to dominate the paint. They've also managed to outpace Loyola, a team that had stayed close enough to defeat other opponents in the tournament, to get here. They can't struggle on offense tonight. See more details at the specific sites for any offers, as well as how to sign up and watch the MI vs. Villanova game live streaming online tonight. Get $60 worth of FREE premium member picks.