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National Championship Game Thread: Michigan (3) vs Villanova (1)

One. Last. Lesson.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Loyola vs Michigan Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t even know where to begin here. “Ready to run through a wall” doesn’t even begin to describe it. We have all fallen in love with the 2017-2018 Michigan men’s basketball team, and I think we’ve all learned a ton about the type of men who make up this program.

They’ve stayed above the fray when opposing players and coaches have mouthed off to the media. They’ve had each other’s backs ten times over. And finally, most important of all, they’ve shown us what it means to be Michigan Men.

Whether it be Moe Wagner consoling the Houston player whose missed free throws opened the door for Poole’s miracle or Poole himself sharing a few words with Sister Jean after beating Loyola, this team has handled themselves in a way that I know we are all proud of.

We’ve learned to be better people through following Coach Beilein and the players he’s developed - or so I like to think.

And here we are. No more sappy stuff. It’s time to cheer on this team one last time. It’s time to send Mo^2 out with the bang they deserve. Coach Brown, what do we gotta do?

Game Info

Teams: Michigan Wolverines (33-7) vs. Villanova Wildcats (35-4)

Date: Monday, April 2, 2018

Location: Alamodome - San Antonio, Texas

Tip-off: 9:20 EST

Television: National Broadcast on TBS, Michigan Teamcast on TNT

Today’s Question:

Did Michigan find its legs in the second half?

Lost in the weekend’s numerous storylines was that Voltron Michigan came out in the second half. After Krutwig’s and-one to start the half, the Wolverines trounced the Ramblers 47-25 the rest of the half. That is a terrifyingly good half of basketball and actually matches what Villanova did to Kansas.

So while most people seem focused on pairing Saturday’s Nova team against Michigan’s first half performance, we all may be looking at the wrong half. If Michigan plays like they did the final 19 minutes - elite defense, control of tempo, and open threes coming from collapsing defense, it’s almost impossible to beat them.

One team that certainly can is Villanova and boy have they looked special all tournament. While the Wolverines have the tournament’s best defense, their offense has been hit or miss. They’ve survived to this point because they get hot in bunches while the defense relentlessly wears down the opponent. When Michigan’s offense wakes up, they kill teams.

Nova is the opposite. They have an inferno offense that scorches the earth and covers for a defense that is at times elite, and others befuddling. But really, I’m nitpicking at two incredibly good teams.

Go Blue!