With a lineup full of tall, athletic players who can create their shots and drain them, Villanova is recalculating the risk-reward equation of the three. A victory over MI would give Villanova its second national title in three years after prevailing over North Carolina in 2016. Kansas never saw another lead. First one to double-digit 3-pointers will be in good shape.
How important is the style to Villanova's success?
When talking about this game, it's important to acknowledge that Kansas played great.
In four losses, they have shot 28 percent. It wasn't until Duncan Robinson hit a crucial 3 to pull MI close to Loyola that anyone besides Moe had done anything on offense. It's clear Loyola was underseeded, though they weren't among the nation's elite teams.
According to KenPom.com's advanced stats, Villanova is the most efficient offensive team in the country, and the Wildcats generate 40 percent of that offense from 3-pointers, which ranks 15th in the country. The other one sounds more like mere superstition at first, but actually makes more sense upon further review.
So, the matchup is set.
The Wolverines might be hard-pressed to defeat Villanova without with a similar performance from their best player. Vegas has MI as a seven-point underdog, and after Saturday's matches, it's hard not to see why.
Since Florida won back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007, only Duke, North Carolina and UConn have more than one title to their name. The team that hits - and defends - the 3-point line best will be in business.
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Since Spellman and Paschall are strong outside shooters in their own right, they are going to draw Wagner out of the post on a few occasions.
Jalen Brunson of Villanova during a college basketball game.
But will Nova cover the seven points? He's also a superb defender who can guard multiple positions.
It's also worth noting that Villanova has a top-15 rated defense, and is pretty adept at shutting other teams down. MI showed against Texas A&M it can get hot, but the Wolverines have struggled on offense in four of their five tournament games.
Not by a long shot.
Who will come away with the cover in tonight's NCAA Tournament Championship as Villanova and MI collide? The pavilion has a capacity of 20,662 spectators but it once hosted 39,000 fans for a Spurs' playoff game. The Wildcats were able to rout the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday night by 16 points to advance.
MI is in search of its first championship since 1989, when Glen Rice led it past Seton Hall at the Kingdome in Seattle. Anything can happen, and it's sure to be a good one, but in my mind the Vegas line seems correct. He is now the Editor-in-Chief of Campus Sports. His editorial work can be found on PopDust, The Liberty Project, and All Things Go.