What to watch between Michigan, Villanova in NCAA title game

Final Four 2018 Michigan vs. Villanova matchup pick predictions

While Michigan's journey to the championship game was a little more interesting as a No. 3 seed with numerous close calls along the way against teams like the Houston Cougars and Florida State Seminoles, Villanova was one of those teams that many expected to see in Monday's game.

Every national champion from 2004 to 2017 was ranked no lower than No. 12 in the Week 6 poll.

About one minute into the second half, Paschall drained a 3 for Villanova's 14th of the game, breaking a Final Four record first set by UNLV in 1987.

Villanova enters Monday's national championship game as the consensus favorite over MI, whether your authority of choice happens to be oddsmakers, laptops or (ahem) ESPN types.

The top challenge facing Villanova Monday is how to defend MI forward Moritz Wagner.

Think about it: The Wildcats, who have made an NCAA single-season record 454 3s, often put lineups on the floor in which all five players shoot 39 percent or better from distance.

Back in 1985, before Villanova won its first national title, the Wildcats also faced MI in the NCAA Tournament.

"I'll be honest with you", Wright said. You just gotta hope you can minimize his influence on the game. "If the stars aligned I thought MI had a shot this year".

The opening line for this game had Villanova favored by 6.5 points.

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It used to be considered a gimmick, an experiment and even worse - a shot employed only by risk-taking coaches with teams that were big on dreams, short on talent and unafraid of the low-percentage play. They force teams to play down low and once their opponents get there, MI uses their size to dominate.

Of course, that won't be as easy against Villanova.

Can Michigan stifle Villanova's offense in a similar way? MI students were on the south end Saturday night for the victory over Loyola-Chicago, but are on the north end for the title game.

"Obviously we're very talented offensively", said senior guards Jalen Brunson, who scored 18 points in the win over Kansas.

"I like (the) way MI is coming together", Stevens said, via Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press. "It's going to be a challenge and we're looking forward to it". If there is one reason why MI is playing for the national championship, it's the defense. "It comes with it".

Villanova made a Final Four-record 18 3-pointers Saturday night and also became the most prolific 3-point shooting team in college-hoops history, playing long ball to snuff out the Jayhawks early in a 95-79 victory. Whether a team shoots 50 percent on 60 shots from two, or 33 percent on 60 shots from three, it results in 60 points either way.

With a lineup full of tall, athletic players who can create their shots and drain them, Villanova is recalculating the risk-reward equation of the three.

Entering the field of 68 as the No.1 seed in the East region, Villanova has been the national title favorite since the tournament began.

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