Two years ago, when Villanova won the national championship, it took a buzzer beater from Kris Jenkins. But in crunch time Wright went with upperclassman Dylan Ennis instead of the hot hand, and Villanova lost 71-68. Before it could come down, the confetti was falling.
"Sometimes I think about whether I'm a good defender, because in practice, he makes me look bad", said junior Mikal Bridges, who likely made this his final audition for the National Basketball Association with a 19-point night on 7-for-12 shooting. All contained course language, such as "D-k at its finest" in 2012; "To my dad I'm a p--y now? That's what they take pride in".
The Wolverines kept working but couldn't get closer than 12 for the game's remainder. The redhead from Wilmington, Del., fractured his foot and even once it healed, his role that first season on campus was to prepare the starters. "He finds the right players with the right character who really want to be a part of this family and this tradition", said Brunson, who had to wait his turn to star behind Josh Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono. Even watching DiVincenzo's postgame interviews, it's clear that three years of college have begun to shed off a persona that would've made Vanilla Ice proud.
They were back together like they imagined. "It all starts with him". On the biggest stage, he played like the first (and sometimes only) option.
Wagner ended with 16 points and seven rebounds for the Wolverines (33-8), who had won 14 straight entering the NCAA Tournament championship game on Monday night.
DiVincenzo hadn't cooled in the second half, at one point hitting back-to-back threes to increase Villanova's lead to 62-44 with 7:48 to go.
DiVincenzo had nailed a three from just beyond the edge of the center-court logo.
The No. 3 seeded Michigan Wolverines, led by Moritz Wagner, meet the No. 1 seeded Villanova Wildcats, led by Jalen Brunson, in the 2018 NCAA Tournament championship on Monday, April 2, 2018 (4/2/18) at Alamodome in San Antonio Texas. MI made one run late to cut the lead to 12.
Points in the paint were controlled by MI, with 42 points, compared to Villanova's 30.
"Oh, man, don't worry about me", Beilein said. "And I just made sure Arike was literally coming to the ball before I passed it to her". "If someone is hot, feed him". Mikal Bridges is a redshirt junior, and DiVincenzo is a redshirt sophomore. Redshirt freshman Omari Spellman, who might also be off to the National Basketball Association, grabbed 11 rebounds and chipped in eight points.
Slater will be joining a Wildcats team that figures to again be loaded next season, even with the expected departures of Bridges and Brunson. The key here might be a popular motto of Wright's, which he echoed in a tweet early Tuesday: "We play for those who came before us". Despite limiting Villanova to just seven assisted field goals, MI was never closer than 12 for most of the second half-the same margin as the Wildcats' smallest victory in the tournament. The two #1-seeds opposite the Wildcats that had a route to the final, Virginia and Xavier, possessed an elite (if not historically great) defense and offense, respectively.
He was also dogged by several other irresponsible posts, screengrabbed by internet sleuth @CollegeT0wn before they were deleted.