Cincinnati.com
Men's College Basketball
Preview
Michigan vs Villanova
When: 9:20 PM ET, Monday, April 2, 2018
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

Villanova is one win away from its second national championship in three seasons, but its final hurdle appears to be a daunting one. Michigan owns the longest winning streak in the nation at 14 games and will attempt to upset the Wildcats when the teams square off Monday in San Antonio in the NCAA Tournament title game.

Villanova was a good 3-point shooting team in 2015-16 when it won the national championship (highlighted, of course, by Kris Jenkins' championship-clinching 3-pointer at the buzzer), but the Big East champions have taken it to a new level this season. The Wildcats set a Final Four record with 18 3-pointers in Saturday's semifinal victory over Kansas and have made at least 13 3-pointers in four of their five wins in this event. “It’s our best offensive team. We’ve had some good ones. This is definitely our best," said Villanova coach Jay Wright, whose squad hopes to hand Michigan its first loss since Feb. 6. The Wolverines defeated upstart Loyola Chicago on Saturday, rallying from a 10-point second-half deficit to move to the brink of their first title since 1989.

TV: 9:20 p.m. ET, TBS

ABOUT MICHIGAN (33-7): The Wolverines won their final six regular-season games, followed by a 3-for-3 run in the Big Ten Tournament and a smooth surge through the first five games of the Big Dance, although they have yet to defeat a team seeded higher than No. 6 in this event. They have given up more than 63 points only once in this tournament and harassed Loyola into 1-of-10 3-point shooting and 17 turnovers, while Moritz Wagner (24 points, 15 rebounds) handled the bulk of the burden offensively. Charles Matthews added 17 points, but fellow starting guards Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Zavier Simpson combined for seven points on 2-of-17 shooting and must be better against the Wildcats' talented backcourt.

ABOUT VILLANOVA (35-4): With Wooden Award finalist Jalen Brunson leading the way, the Wildcats are the top scoring team in the nation (86.8 points), which provides a nice contrast with the Wolverines, who are eighth nationally in points allowed (62.9). Brunson had 18 points against Kansas, second on the team to Eric Paschall, who recorded 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting (4-of-5 3-pointers), while Omari Spellman chipped in 15 points and 13 rebounds and Donte DiVincenzo had 15 points off the bench. Mikal Bridges, potentially the top NBA prospect in this year's Final Four, had 10 points against the Jayhawks and is capable of erupting from 3-point range, as the junior has drained multiple 3s in 13 of the last 14 games.

TIP-INS

1. Aside from the Elite Eight, when he shot 0-of-7 from the arc against Florida State, Wagner is 9-of-15 from 3-point range in the NCAA Tournament.

2. Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, Villanova is the fifth team to win its first five games by double digits. The only team in that group to lose the championship game was North Carolina (against Villanova) two years ago.

3. Villanova defeated Michigan en route to winning the 1985 national championship and won the last matchup in 2014, but this will be only the fourth meeting.

PREDICTION: Villanova 83, Michigan 72
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Michigan 33-7 W14 15-1 6-5 12-1 20-0 13-7 17-5
Villanova 35-4 W10 12-1 9-3 14-0 13-2 22-2 17-4
Last Meeting
Michigan Villanova
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/25/14 VILL 60 MICH 55 55 27 41.1 60 33 45.1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Michigan C. LeVert 16 58.3 0
Villanova D. Ennis 15 60.0 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Michigan C. LeVert 6 0 6
Villanova J. Pinkston 9 1 8
Assists Player  
Michigan D. Walton Jr. 4
Villanova R. Arcidiacono 3
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Michigan M. Wagner 554 52.8 72
Villanova J. Brunson 747 52.7 130
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Michigan M. Wagner 271 57 214
Villanova O. Spellman 310 86 224
Assists Player  
Michigan Z. Simpson 148
Villanova J. Brunson 182
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar Michigan Off vs  red bar Villanova Defense
blue bar 73.2 Points For
red bar 70.4 Points Against
blue bar 46.4 FG%
red bar 42.8 FG%
blue bar 31.4 Reb
red bar 29.0 Reb
red bar Villanova Off vs  blue bar Michigan Defense
red bar 86.8 Points For
blue bar 62.9 Points Against
red bar 50.1 FG%
blue bar 42.6 FG%
red bar 33.2 Reb
blue bar 30.2 Reb