And with that, it’s all done.
In what has been one of the most memorable matches in recent memory, the Villanova Wildcats took home their second national championship in three years as they defeated the Michigan Wolverines by a score of 79-62.
“This one is really fulfilling, really humbling,” he said. “The first one was overwhelming: you never did it before and then he hits a shot at the buzzer and the confetti comes down that you’d never had before. Well, the confetti came down this time, and I knew it was coming.
“You just get to enjoy everything (with the second). You win it the first time and you’re like, ‘What do I do next? What am I supposed to do, where am I supposed to go, what am I supposed to say?’ This one, you know what it is … I loved getting all the former players up on the stage. I was thinking if we won I wanted to get all those guys up there with us, because that’s what it’s all about.”
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 3, 2018
This game, as many predicted, was a one-sided affair. The Wildcats controlled the game for its duration, running away with it in the second half by a stellar performance from Donte Divincenzo.
Divincenzo netted 31 points on the night, marking the most points scored from a player coming off the bench in national championship history. Eighteen of these points came in the first half, which helped the Wildcats build up their lead early on.
On the night, Divincenzo stuffed the stat sheet:
10/15 field goals
6/10 free throws
While the hype around this game surrounded Divincenzo, the unsung hero of this national championship win was the Wildcats collective defensive effort that limited a very hot Michigan team coming in.
“Honestly, if we get credit or not (for defense), it is what it is,” junior guard Jalen Brunson said. “We won a national championship. I think we had gotten so much defensively as the year ended.
“Obviously we had the ability to outscore people just how talented we are offensively. But when shots aren’t falling for us, like what are we going to do? Are we just going to say we didn’t make shots and that’s how we lost? Or are we going to grind it out and play defense?”
The basketball world has slept on Villanova for years now. If they have anything left to prove, I do not know what it would be. This team is very talented and they have all the assets to be a perennial power for the years to come.