After winning 14 consecutive games, the Michigan Wolverines storied NCAA Tournament run finally ran out of steam.
Villanova defeated the Wolverines 79-62 to be crowned the National Champion. U-M finished it’s season 33-8 overall.
U-M is now 1-6 in national title games. This was the second time they have made it in six years under Beilein.
Wagner made his presence felt early, scoring nine of U-M’s first 11 points capped off by a triple. The Wolverines led by three.
After a 1-and-1 from Gillepse for VU, U-M led by just one-point (21-20) at the seven minute mark of the first half.
Donte DiVincenzo, who had 16 first half points, hit a triple followed by an and-one bucket to give VU the 30-26 lead. There was 3:59 remaining in the opening half.
The National Player of the Year Jalen Brunson hit a long 3-ball to extend the Wildcats lead to 37-28. That was the score heading into the locker room.
U-M didn’t score for the final 3:34 of the first half, VU went on a 7-0 run over that span.
To open the second half, it was more Wildcats and not much Wolverines.
They went on a 6-2 run forcing a Beilein timeout and they held their biggest lead at 44-30. The Wolverines weren’t getting stops.
It didn’t get any better. Nova rolled to a 15-point advantage with 15:24 remaining.
The Wolverines cut the lead down to 12 points nearing the eight minute mark, but DiVincenzo drained back-to-back triples to put VU up 62-44. It essentially iced the game away.
Abdur-Rahkman led U-M with 23 points in his final game as a Wolverine. Wagner was right behind him with 16 tallies. Simpson added 10 points, respectively.
U-M went 3-of-23 from deep. They also allowed 12 offensive boards for the Wildcats.
This was VU’s second national title in the last three years.