Will Top-Seeded Villanova Dispatch Third-Seeded Michigan in National Championship Showdown?
After steamrolling through each and every opponent on their way to the national championship, only one final question needs to be asked when it comes to top-seeded Villanova. Can the Wildcats complete their impressive March Madness run by dispatching the third-seeded Michigan Wolverines when they square off in their championship showdown on Monday night? If you’re looking to find out if Villanova will get the win and ATS cover, then let’s get to my expert betting analysis and free pick right now.
The 🏆 is up for grabs tonight.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 2, 2018
What: #3 Michigan Wolverines Vs. #1 Villanova Wildcats
When: Monday, April 2, 2018, at 9:02 P.M. ET
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Stream: March Madness
The Line: Villanova -6½ -110 | -330 | U 144½ -110
Michigan has an elite defense that rank eighth nationally in points allowed by limiting the opposition to just 62.9 points per game. The Wolverines are undoubtedly playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time, having won 14 consecutive games coming into the national championship. Michigan has also beaten a pair of teams that were ranked inside the top five nationally while beating both, Michigan State and Purdue in the Big Ten conference championship tournament.
The Wolverines also ended 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago Cinderella run by taking out the Ramblers 69-57 in the Final Four on Saturday to cover the chalk as a 5.5-point favorite.
“Aggressive and confident, as always, and we see what happens,” Michigan center Moritz Wagner said afterward.
“I kept looking possession by possession — we had trouble scoring the first half,” Wagner added. “We scored 22 points and that was kind of the only way we found our way to the basket, grab offensive rebounds and get second-shot opportunities. And I honestly just tried to do my job. The shots were falling the second half. It’s a lot more fun when the ball goes [in] the net.”
Villanova is also playing some of their best basketball of the season, having won 10 straight games coming into the national championship. The Wildcats have won each of their five NCAA Tournament games y double digits and blew No. 1 seeded Kansas out of the water in its history-making 95-79 Final Four win over the Jayhawks on Saturday night.
“It’s our best offensive team,” coach Jay Wright said. “We’ve had some good ones. This is definitely our best.”
Villanova drained a whopping 18 three-pointers in the win to set a new NCAA Tournament mark and cover the chalk as a 5-point favorite. The Wildcats ranked first in the nation in scoring by averaging a stellar 86.8 points per contest and have an incredible six players that all averaged double digits in scoring.
“We have the confidence to take some 3s, but even if we miss we don’t worry about that,” junior Mikal Bridges said last week.
The Wildcats have drained a stupendous 15 or more three-pointers in a game 11 times this season while shooting 50 percent or better seven times.
“Catch to shoot. And [coach Wright] gets on us if we don’t catch to shoot,” redshirt freshman Omari Spellman said last week. “We just go by the same, shoot ’em up, sleep in the streets. And it’s worked for us so far.
Expert Analysis and Prediction
Outside of their ‘lucky’ second-round win over Houston, Michigan has played some solid basketball over the course of the NCAA Tournament, but the Wolverines just won’t be able to either keep pace with the Wildcats in the scoring department or contain Villanova’s powerful offense.
Despite having a rare level of mental toughness to them, the Wolverines have just three players that average double figures in scoring and that mean they can be contained. Even with their elite defense, Michigan has yet to face a team as balanced as Villanova. The Wildcats can score the ball no matter which player on the floor has the rock. The Cats can score from the perimeter or inside and they have the big edge in experience, talent, and coaching.
While Michigan has gone 11-2-1 ATS over their last 14 games, 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight-up win and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games Villanova has gone 8-2 ATS over their last 10, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games, a near-perfect 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games against teams from the Big Ten and an incendiary 22-8 ATS in their last 30 neutral site games. Villanova has been on a mission that I just don’t see them failing to complete it! The Wildcats win and cover the spread!
Pick: Villanova -6.5