How could anyone have missed Villanova?
Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo made five big threes, and scored 31 total points on Monday night to lift the Wildcats to a blowout championship victory to close out the NCAA Tournament with a bang, 79-62 over MI.
"Even if we had played our best", Beilein added, "it would have been very hard to win that game with what DiVincenzo did".
The Wilmington, Delaware native was the Sixth Man of the Year in the Big East as he was a bit reticent to come off the bench when coach Jay Wright first made the decision. And that was going to be important tonight.
It was over earlier than that.
DiVincenzo squashed any questions about this game with a 10-for-15 shooting night - 5 for 7 from 3 -that was, frankly, better than that.
"I knew we were good, but you don't think, 'We can win this.' After the West Virginia game, I knew we had a shot", Wright said.
That distinction likely goes to swingman Mikal Bridges, the prototypical "3-and-D" player that NBA teams covet or versatile center Omari Spellman, who was born in Cleveland and played high school basketball at North Royalton for two seasons before attending two more high schools to finish his prep career. Loyola was a team that ran through 4 supposed stronger teams and advanced to the Final Four. Had Derrick Rose made a free throw, Kansas might be searching for their first title since 1988.
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It was madness all right - except when Villanova walked on the court. Their run amounts to the most inspiring multiyear example of an unselfish championship culture and exquisite roster construction the sport has seen since Florida won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.
Villanova set records for the most three-pointers made in a single NCAA tournament and in a single season.
And as was the case after the Eagles' recent Super Bowl win, the local street poles were greased to prevent fans from climbing and hurting themselves or others. "When I got hurt, Eric got hurt, we had younger guys playing".
The Wildcats' romp through the NCAA Tournament that ended Monday with a second national title in three seasons has them up for debate as one of the top programs since the tourney field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985. These ones were not.
Isaiah Livers was in that starting lineup, and fellow freshman Jordan Poole made the winning shot in a memorable NCAA Tournament game against Houston that put MI in the Sweet 16.
Overall, Villanova was 12-0 against the spread in its past two title runs. This one was only lovely to one team. Sure, the thought of an opportunity to go after winning a NBA championship along with a hefty pay raise after winning two national championships at the college level may seem tough to turn down, but also Wright understands how great of a thing he now has going at Villanova.
Imagine how MI must have felt trying to stop DiVincenzo.
Now, as a new-school blue blood, talent only becomes easier to attract.