Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Villanova's 6th man breaks out in starring role vs MI

Villanova's 6th man breaks out in starring role vs MI

Nearly everyone in the Villanova rotation can guard multiple positions, allowing the team to switch screens if needed, and most of the players are quick enough to deny opponents their favorite spots.

Maybe so, considering the Wildcats won in seemingly every way imaginable.

Looking to go 2-0 in the Big Ten's earlier-than-usual start, MI led by 20 points in the first half at Ohio State on December 4.

No, the Retrievers didn't advance to the Sweet 16-they fell to the Elite 8-bound Kansas State Wildcats-but they proved that their monumental victory wasn't a fluke, losing by just seven in the second round. "I was just trying to be aggressive".

Michigan's Jordan Poole cries in the locker room after the championship game of the Final Four against Villanova on Monday in San Antonio.

The loss was an anticlimactic end to a remarkable postseason for the Wolverines, who had won by margins large and small in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.

Fittingly, it was DiVincenzo who dribbled out the final 10 seconds, flinging the ball toward the ceiling of the cavernous football stadium as his teammates mobbed him.

The Villanova innovation, rather, is to have a talent like DiVincenzo, as a redshirt sophomore, come off the bench. He had 16 points on an assortment of drives and mid-range shots in the first half as Villanova started 1-for-8 from 3-point range.

Abdur-Rahkman paced MI with 23 points and Wagner contributed 16, but their best efforts just weren't enough to hold off Villanova.


For the record, DiVincenzo competed hard for a starting spot this year, but didn't win it.

A November 29 trip to No. 13 North Carolina served as an early test for the Wolverines, one they did not pass. MI hung around for 15 minutes before the Tar Heels ran away with an 86-71 victory that wasn't as close as the score might indicate.

They aren't infatuated with chasing the best talent. But the Ramblers, too, were worthy of the headlines, reaching the Final Four as a No. 11 seed.

His season cut short because of a knee injury, he was healthy enough to run the scout squad for Villanova during its first title run. Safe to say he made the right move pursuing basketball. Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman doesn't have any eligibility left but went out with everything he had, with a team-high 23 points. Totals 27-57 15-20 79.

Freshman Donte DiVincenzo came off the bench to score 31 points as Villanova University outclassed the University of Michigan Wolverines to claim the prestigious US collegiate basketball crown on April 2.

Matthews shoots a lay up as Villanova guard Phil Booth and forward Omari Spellman defend.

Villanova was unexpectedly led by junior Eric Paschall, who shot an incredible 10 of 11 from the field and finished with 24 points.

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