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NCAA Championship Game 2018: Who Will Win Cut Down The Nets?

NCAA Championship Game 2018: Who Will Win Cut Down The Nets?

After a month of madness, the 2018 NCAA Championship game is finally here as the Villanova Wildcats and Michigan Wolverines leave it all on the court for the honor of cutting down the nets as this year’s men’s basketball national champion.

Villanova Wildcats vs Michigan Wolverines Prediction

  • When:  April 02, 2018, 9:20 PM ET
  • Where: Alamodome
  • Spread: Villanova -7
  • Over/Under : 144.5

Betting on Villanova

Everyone’s is betting on Villanova cutting down the nets. Perhaps, deservedly so based on what this team brings to the court.

Villanova was the 2016 National Champion, winning is still fresh on their minds. Even if the only player left from that squad is Jalen Brunson, he still carries the spark to light his teammate’s bellies on fire.

The Wildcats have won each of their five tournament games by double-digits, including a 95-79 beating of No. 1 Kansas in the Final Four.

Villanova has gotten itself up to this point pushed on by a crushing offense that’s practically impossible to stop if it gets going.

Not only are the Wildcats one of the deadliest three-point shooting teams in the nation, they also have enough depth to drown any opponent in points. Against Kansas, all five of their starters scored in double figures that included several three-point attempts.

But, Michigan won’t be a pushover; in fact, they may be their most difficult opponent in the tournament.

The Wolverines are just the type of team that can stranglehold Nova’s shooters and put them under a lid. Only two teams this season have hit on 10 or more three-point attempts, and they’ve held opponents to just 24 percent from beyond the arc in this tournament.

The Wildcats also have to contend with a bigger threat in that Omari Spellman might be neutralized by Michigan’s own big man, Moe Wagner, a player that arguably is more mobile than Spellman.

Betting on Michigan

What's taken the Wolverines to this game is what will likely be the key to victory: defense.

But, no matter how staunch a defense they have it’ll take them scoring points if they want to stay in the game against Villanova’s offense.

Yes, they’ll need to stick to the game plan: defend like there’s no tomorrow (because there’s not) and slow down the game, but they need to step up their offense which, sadly, is very inconsistent at best.

The Wolverines have scored 80 points or more just twice over their last 13 games, which is a far cry from Nova’s 10 times in the same span. Even if Mo Wagner, Charles Matthews, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman have stepped up in this tournament, there’s a high probability they can go cold in this game.

Michigan heads into the game as the big underdog for warranted reasons, but they can pull an upset if they figure out the tactics which mean a rock-hard defense to neutralize Villanova’s shooting and making sure to get their own offense going.

The Wolverines were great from long distance during the regular season, shooting at .369, but they’ve found the mark in only one game, against Texas A&M, when they hit 14-of-24 three-point attempts which are nearly five points less per game on 3-pointers. They need to find the mark if they’re to win.

Tactical Analysis: For the most part, the key matchup will be between each team’s big men.

Villanova’s Omari Spellman and Michigan’s Moe Wagner are instrumental to both squads.

Both players are capable shooters, can attack the rim and fight for rebounds and post baskets. Wagner is arguably more mobile and if Michigan can get Brunson into ball screen situations with Wagner setting the pick it might create enough opportunities for the Wolverines to stay on the heels of Villanova’s offense.

Prediction: This will be a big battle. It’s clear which team started this tournament as the favorite to win, but if Michigan can turn up the defense, it will force Villanova into a scramble. In the end, however, the Wildcats have proved why they can cut down the nets and they will.

NCAA Championship Pick: Villanova 

 
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