Michigan Wolverines or Villanova Wildcats? Who will walk away as the 2018 National Champions? Tonight these two teams face off in the final game of the NCAA Tournament. Both of these teams have had great runs to this game. From game winners to blowouts, it’s been fun to watch the journey of both teams. Unfortunately, one team’s journey to a title will come to an end. What do these teams have to do to walk away with a victory? What might hold them back?
Why They’ll Win: They’re the better defensive team
Michigan has been in some close games throughout the tournament, but their defense has always kept them in it. Michigan ranked 8th in the country on defense. They’ve been playing lock down defense every game. The most points they’ve allowed in the tournament is 72. In their other games they allowed 47, 63, 54, and 57 points. Against Loyola-Chicago, Michigan was down at half time 29-22 before coming back in the second half. Their defense allowed them to generate points on the offensive side of the ball, which led to their 12 point victory.
Why They Won’t: Offensive Struggles
Referring to the same game against Loyola-Chicago, Michigan struggled in the first half. 22 points in the first half isn’t a formula for winning a championship. They had a much better second half, scoring 47 points. The inconsistent offense can’t happen if they want to win this game against Villanova, who is the best offensive team in the country. I’m not worried about them playing well on defense throughout the game, but their offense is a concern. They have to play well throughout the entire game to keep up with Villanova’s deadly scoring attack.
Why They’ll Win: They’re the best offensive team in the Country
Villanova’s offense is the best in the country. They’ve scored 80+ points in four out of their five tournament games. In two of those games they scored 90+ points. They’re led by player of the year, Jalen Brunson, who averaged 19.2 points per game. They also have likely lottery pick, Mikal Bridges, who averaged 17.6 points per game. Brunson and Bridges are the two high scorers, but Villanova also has four other players who average 10+ points. With so many capable scorers, it’s been almost impossible for teams for guard them.
Why They Won’t: Three Point Shooting
This may come as a surprise after the 3-PT performance Villanova recently put up against Kansas. 3-PT shooting has been one of their strengths all season long. This team doesn’t have many weaknesses. The reason why 3-PT shooting could be the reason why they don’t win the championship, is because they rely so much on the 3-PT shot. It’s a big part of why they’re a high scoring team. Michigan’s defense is probably the best Villanova has played. If Villanova’s offense gets rattled by Michigan’s defense, they might start jacking up bad 3-PT shots, which would not be good considering how much those points are relied upon.
This is going to be a good game to watch. Villanova’s powerful offense vs. Michigan’s lock down defense. It doesn’t get much better than this. I think the offense comes out victorious in this game. Michigan has a great defense, but Villanova has too many offensive weapons to guard. They do rely on the 3-PT shot a lot, but they can score in other ways too. I don’t think Michigan will be able to keep up consistent offensive play throughout the entire game, which is the only way they’ll be able to keep up with Villanova. It will be a good battle, but I’m going with Villnova to walk away as the 2018 National Champions.