Villanova Was Historically Great This Season

Jalen Brunson, a junior who was this season's player of the year, said "Buddy Hield Donte" - the version of DiVincenzo who mimicked Hield to help Villanova prepare that year - "was a special person, and someone who might've came out tonight".

"Early in the year it was hard, not being a starter", he said.

The Villanova Wildcats won their second national title in the last three years with a 79-62 win over Michigan Monday night.

"I hope that honesty that we use in recruiting is what enables us to do that without controversy", Wright said. When I looked at their scores in the NCAA Tournament, there were not even any close ones.

Now, the Hall of Fame only needs to decide when it will call Wright - one of just three active coaches with multiple national championships. Which is just one reason why this weekend he'll receive the John Wooden Legends of Coaching Award in Los Angeles in recognition of his accomplishments.

Points in the paint were controlled by MI, with 42 points, compared to Villanova's 30. He'll give a long answer comparing national titles - this one "really fulfilling, really humbling", the 2016 one "overwhelming" - then check: "Does that make sense?" "The first one was overwhelming because you just never did it before and he hits a shot at the buzzer", Wright said. They got better as the year went on. The Wildcats wrapped up Wright's 17th season with 36 wins, a school record. This No. 10 who began raining three-pointers on MI, and also driving by MI to the basket with charismatic intent, did average 13.4 points this season.

Freshman guard Collin Gillespie, who graduated previous year from Catholic League champion and Pennsylvania state champion Archbishop Wood High School, also came off the bench for 16 minutes during the championship game, scoring four points from the foul line. "Never takes his foot off the gas".

"All he wants to do is play", said DiVincenzo's mother, Kathy, elated in a straw cowboy hat with a Villanova "V" as she watched him being named the Final Four's most outstanding player.

Before we can talk about that game, we have to acknowledge the Nevada Wolfpack coming back from down 14 against the Longhorns in the first round-a thriller on its own.

Wright leads a loaded roster fully positioned to go back-to-back and show college basketball that Duke and Kentucky and Kansas and North Carolina can all be rolled into one program nestled in the Philadelphia suburbs. "I didn't think we'd need him to do that but he has done it, so we'll take it". "That's one of the hardest parts about this, because we know what it would mean to the fans and everybody at MI, but especially for him".

DiVincenzo joins them in the rare club of players to crack 30 points while also shooting better than 66 percent from the floor in a Final Four game. That changed with their title run in 2016, before another loss in their second tournament game last season. But Brunson, the AP player of the year, and Bridges are both likely to declare for the National Basketball Association draft. "It's very humbling to know that we've been able to do this". He could jump to the National Basketball Association, like the last coach to win two championships in as short of a span (Billy Donovan, Florida). The Big East Conference's Sixth Man of the Year scored 10 of his 18 first-half points in a span of just 2:55, keying a 23-7 spurt that turned a seven-point deficit into a 37-28 halftime lead.

  • Salvatore Jensen