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A (brief) Preview of the (men's) College Basketball Championship Game

April 2, 2018

I urge Michigan fans to find a nice, warm place to settle in whilst watching the upcoming championship game against Villanova and brace themselves, for it could get ugly. They’d like to think that surely Villanova’s downpour of downtown dumps was a fluke, but the numbers show they weren’t that far off their norm.

It’s a scary thought knowing that you will be playing the best team in the nation, and this will certainly be a game that requires all of Michigan’s players to step the heck up. If they come out with the same style of play as their matchup against Loyola Chicago, they could find themselves down 20 before the half. They need to give it everything they’ve got, shoot lights out, and for gosh sakes lock it down on defense.

But enough about Michigan’s inevitable downfall. Let’s shine the spotlight on the other side, Villanova. Coach Jay Wright can enter a rarified air with his second title, and this program has already established itself as one of the best in the nation. Led by Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Jalen Brunson, this Nova squad is pretty much unstoppable. In fact, I would go so far as to “dub” them the Warriors of college basketball (I refuse to say NCAA because they’re so corrupt). Your only shot at beating them is to hope they go cold from the field and that you can break down their good (but not great) defense. But after watching their first five games of the tourney, I’d say there’s a fat chance of those things happening.

In summary, Michigan must find a rhythm to their offense and make sure Moritz Wagner gets his touches while their perimeter players work together to probe the paint against the shot-blocking three point-making Omari Spellman. On defense, they obviously have to stay attached to their men off the ball and close out hard on all shooters (though if they truly stay attached no close-outs will be necessary). It means letting up some back cuts and blow-bys, but after last game you can especially not afford to let them beat you from deep. Michigan does have some kind of shot at winning it all, I’m just not sure it’s a very big one. VIllanova can do it all, and with how good all of their players have been performing lately I’d be willing to bet on them to be the ones cutting down the nets (if I was a betting man).

Was it short? Yes, but give me a break; I’ve posted three things this weekend alone ;)

 

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