Villanova and MI have no need for one-and-dones

Michele Moreno
April 3, 2018

Villanova (35-4) will take on MI, a 69-57 victor over Loyola-Chicago in the first semifinal Saturday, in the championship game Monday night.

Michigan's Jaaron Simmons answers questions during a news conference for the championship game of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in San Antonio.

Villanova scored as many points in the first seven minutes Saturday as MI, which trailed 29-22 at halftime, had in the first half of its semifinal game. He hit the biggest shot with 6:59 left, nailing a 3-pointer to tie the game at 47-47.

Devonte Graham, the senior guard who has been the glue in this Final Four season, led Kansas with 23 points. Nine of those 21 points came from Duncan Robinson, who can be a big X-Factor in the championship game on Monday if he can keep up with Villanova from beyond the arc. But before jumping into that preview, let's take a look at five key takeaways that helped the Wildcats earn the win against the Jayhawks in the Final Four.

Whether you're in the stands or on the court, the Kansas-Villanova game Saturday night won't be one for the faint of heart.

They make up for it with discipline, tenacity and a commitment to coach Porter Moser's methods. Villanova was the No. 1 seed in the East Region.

The high volume of three-pointers is impressive in itself, but Villanova has a balance where everyone is a contributor.

Paschall, Spellman, Donte DiVincenzo, national Player of the Year Jalen Brunson: Everyone was knocking down 3s.

Villanova bombed its way past a blueblood to reach the national title game.

Wagner finished with 24 points and 15 rebound to join Hakeem Olajuwon and Larry Bird as the only players to have at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a national semifinal game. The Wildcats shot 55.4 percent from the field and 18-of-40 from 3-point range (45%), while going to the line just seven times and making five.

With the win, Villanova will now take on MI on Monday for the championship. The Wildcats rank first in kenpom.com's adjusted offensive efficiency, first in points per game and second in effective field goal percentage.

Villanova had 20 assists and only 10 turnovers, Brunson and Phil Booth leading the assist parade with six each.

Here's the problem for the Wolverines: They didn't get much experience against uptempo teams this season.

Coach John Beilein has made defense a point of emphasis in recent years, and MI has become better for it.

Starting with MI, they have had one of the "easiest" paths to the national championship we have ever seen. "They might not have gotten the hype, but they were the players that kind of led those young guys through that experience".

"We always say and I think it was Rudy Tomjanovich who said this, 'We're not amassing talent when you're building a team; you're building a team, '" Beilein said.

Duke's Trevon Duval reacts during the second half of an Elite Eight game against Kansas. "And when you do that, you get up 22-4".

To sum things up, Villanova was feelin' it Saturday night. "They can do everything, moving off the ball, coming off ball screens". "You just have to give them credit for what they did".

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