Superteams do not usually look like this: no young freshmen superstar, no huge ESPN praise until the N.C.A.A. tournament is over, and no likely NBA All-Star on the starting line-up. Villanova shows how to play a creative way of basketball to constantly be a team in the Final Four in the N.C.A.A. tournament.
The month of March is one crazy month for college basketball, and for people who follow N.C.A.A. basketball. This so called “March Madness” stirs up emotions from losing money because of their losing brackets, to having their college teams upset the top college basketball programs in the nation. This year’s college basketball tournament was one for the underdogs, as Loyola-Chicago a 16th seed in the tournament made a run to the final four which has never happened before ever in college basketball history because as 16th seed Loyola-Chicago had to beat a number one seed to move on in the tournament. This run by the Ramblers had sportscenter create graphicon on ESPN’s tournament challenge bracket game and it had only 83,292 out of 17,304,320 total picking the Ramblers to get this far. This means there were a lot of unhappy fans this year, and a lot of broken brackets.
Just floating along with a number one seed but not a lot of media attention was the Villanova Wildcats, just like in past tournaments the Wildcats with their tactics, and dominance throughout their six games in this N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament as a team always felt like just one or two steps ahead of the rest of the 350 teams in Division I basketball. Teams just had to watch Villanova unfold their revolutionary basketball in front of them as they beat the best teams in the nation with the little things. In Villanova’s pursuit to beat University of Michigan in the National Championship game they did not need to hit 18 three pointers like they did to beat Kansas in the semi-final game. The Wildcats found a different way to defeat Michigan with their non-superstar line-up, and their strong bench with their small offense to outfinesse the Michigan Wolverines on the biggest stage beating them 79-62.
It is Villanova’s second national championship in three years, only UCLA, Kentucky, and Duke have since 1985 have won the national championship game as Villanova did this year. Villanova’s Head Coach Jay Wright said winning a second title, “is out of my comprehension.” One huge factor to why coach Jay Wright feels this way how Villanova’s success in the national championship game had was an unexpected hero coming off the bench, and his name is Donte DiVincenzo. DiVincenzo scored 31 points and fueled a comeback scoring 11 straight points giving the Wildcats a 16 point lead. While DiVincenzo’s coach did not recognize him with his amazing play, Donte DiVincenzo stayed cool and collected. When asked about his play DiVincenzo said “Honestly, when I got into the game, all I was trying to do was play hard, and I just wanted to help my team offensively.” This attitude that runs through all the players minds is why Villanova is so successful with little to none big shot freshman on their team, they are still able to find multiple ways to win every year.
by Chris Anderson