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Villanova wallops Michigan for 2nd March Madness title in 3 years

Posted: 11:31 PM, Apr 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-03 10:35:40Z

When Villanova won its 2016 national championship, the Wildcats needed a bucket at the buzzer to secure the victory. On Monday, no such shot was needed. 

Villanova gained the lead in the first half of Monday's national title game against Michigan and never looked back, as the Wildcats representing a relatively small private Philadelphia university defeated the flagship state university of Michigan by a 79-62 margin. 

The win marked Villanova's second title in three seasons under coach Jay Wright. No team has won two titles in three seasons since Florida won back to back titles in 2006 and 2007 under Billy Donovan. 

Despite other heavy favorites getting tripped up throughout March Madness, Villanova was barely tested in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Villa nova won all six of its tournament games by double figures. 

Michigan, on the other hand, did not have to face a top-five seeded team until Villanova in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan came into Monday's game with a 14-game winning streak.

That did not mean Michigan wasn't tested. The Wolverines eked out two wins by less than four points in this year's tournament. Michigan trailed by double figures in Saturday's game against Loyola-Chicago in the Final Four, before pulling ahead to win by double figures.

Donte DiVincenzo, who did not play in the 2016 national title game for Villanova, led the way on Monday by scoring 31 points for Villanova. 

DiVincenzo's 3 with 6:08 left in the first half gave Villanova a 23-21 lead. Villanova would not relinquish the advantage for the remaining 26:08 of the game. 

Villanova led 37-28 at halftime, after Michigan trailed by just two with 3:34 left in the half. 

Within two minutes of the second half, Villanova opened a 14-point lead, causing Michigan to call a timeout. The timeout failed to stop the bleeding, as Villanova out-hustled Michigan for loose balls and rebounds.