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Villanova Cruises To 2nd NCAA Title In 3 Years

Villanova entered Monday’s NCAA title game at the Alamodome as the biggest favorite since Kentucky in 2012 — both 6.5 point favorites.

And just like their fellow Wildcats, Villanova didn’t disappoint.

Donte DiVincenzo came off the bench to lead all scorers with 31 points, helping Villanova claim its second championship in three years with a 79-62 win over Michigan. 

"I did not think that I was going to have this kind of night, because every night I come into a game, I just try to bring energy," he said.

Mission accomplished.

Credit Vince Kong / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Villanova sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo is presented the game's most outstanding player honors by commentator Jim Nantz.

DiVincenzo, who earned the game's most outstanding player honors, scored 18 points in the first half to help the Wildcats erase a seven-point first half deficit. Trailing 21-20 at the 7:32 mark, a 3-pointer from the sophomore guard gave Villanova the lead for good. The basket was part of a 30-9 run, which was in stark contrast to how the Wildcats began the game, missing 8 of 9 from beyond the arch.

When asked for the key in getting out of the slump, DiVincenzo smiled.

“Just keep shooting if we have open threes," he said. "We can’t catch the ball and look to drive it every single time. We have to keep them honest with catch and shoot. And if we have open looks, we knock them down.”

Villanova became just the fourth team to notch double-digit wins in each of its six tournament games, while setting multiple shooting records. The Wildcats' 18 threes in its semifinal win against Kansas on Saturday night set the single-game mark in the Final Four, and their 76 3-pointers is the most ever in tournament history.

Credit Vince Kong / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Michigan standout Moritz Wagner is swarmed by Villanova defenders. Wagner was kept in check with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Meanwhile, Michigan coach John Beilein had nothing but high praise for Villanova.

"It's a tremendous basketball team," he said. "That team right there, could win a lot of Final Fours not just the 2018 one.” 

This was Michigan's seventh trip to a national title game.

Joey Palacios contributed to this report

Vince Kong can be reached at vince@tpr.org or on Twitter @teamvincek