Villanova rains 3s on Kansas for 95-79 Final Four victory

Villanova’s Omari Spellman battles for a rebound against Kansas’s Udoka Azubuike during the first half in the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament Saturday

The Michigan Wolverines continue their quest for a national championship in the championship game on Monday night taking on No. 1 Villanova. During that run, Brunson and Bridges were both freshman with smaller roles on the team, but gaining that early experience of knowing what kind of pressure is involved with these meaningful games has paid off in a big way over the last couple of weeks.

The Wolverines shut down Loyola-Chicago's 3-point shooters in the national semifinals and have been adept at limiting opponents' 3-point attempts by switching and jamming shooters along the arc. Their 127.6 points per 100 possessions is the second-best rate since KenPom.com began tracking the number 17 seasons ago, and their 454 three-pointers made is an NCAA record, besting VMI's 442 in 2007.

Villanova 86, MI 70: Wildcats Wolverines.

The Ramblers had a hard time getting the ball to cutters against the bigger Wolverines, but the Wildcats are long and have strong finishers at almost every position. MI was down as much as 10 to Loyola-Chicago in the semifinal, but Beilein and his staff just kept coaching and teaching - he's a stickler for fundamentals - encouraging to Wolverines to trust that shots would start to fall, and they'd be OK. The dribbling was uncomfortable to watch at some points, and neither team made a particularly convincing argument that they should be in the championship match.

MI has Mo Wagner, but Villanova has more of everything else. The Wolverines are after their first title since 1989, hoping to grasp the trophy that slipped through coach John Beilein's fingers in 2013. With elite defenders in Zavier Simpson, MAAR, and Charles Matthews, the Wolverines are capable of slowing down a Villanova offense that puts up almost 87 points per game. This success has brought them to third in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency rankings, behind only Virginia and Cincinnati. So were guys like Duncan Robinson, Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole.

MICHIGAN'S D: If there is a team that can slow 'Nova's 3-roll, it could be the Wolverines. MI has been trending under: Over its past seven NCAA tournament games, the under is 5-1-1.

The Wildcats looked nearly invincible against Kansas, but Mo Wagner and MI will keep it closer than many expect.

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Yaklich said Loyola was a good tuneup for preparing for Villanova.

The Wildcats were the best team in the country before the tournament and they have done nothing to alter that opinion.

Now that they're done playing the favorite for a night, it's back to the underdog role against Villanova.

MI may have a better answer than the Jayhawks had.

The 3-point line will undoubtedly make the difference in the game. In the first half, Nova dropped 13 three-pointers, tying the Final Four record. It's tough to know for sure, but Monday night's matchup serves as the flawless one to answer those questions.

Eric Paschall and Omari Spellman: Bill Self and Kansas had no clue what to do with Paschall.

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