Kansas is finally getting another shot at Villanova, though with far less on the line this time. The Wildcats ended the Jayhawks’ season in the Final Four in April before routing Michigan to win their second national championship in three years. Both teams have much different rosters this season, and the game Saturday will be played at Allen Fieldhouse rather than the Alamodome in San Antonio.
AJ Brodeur scored 16 points as Penn beat No. 17 Villanova 78-75 on Tuesday night, the Quakers’ first win over the Wildcats since 2002.
Collin Gillespie had 17 points, including two key late free throws, and Villanova won the AdvoCare Invitational by beating No. 14 Florida State 66-60. Gillespie made it 64-60 by connecting on a pair of free throws with 11.2 seconds left in what was a tight second half. Eric Paschall had 15 points and Phil Booth chipped in 12 for the defending national champions (5-2).
Villanova guard Jalen Brunson has declared for the NBA draft. The Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year will forego his final season after helping lead the Wildcats to their second national championship in three years. Brunson averaged 18.9 points and 4.6 assists per game in 40 games this season. Teammate Mikal Bridges, who averaged 17.7 points and 5.3 rebounds, also declared for the NBA draft.
Thousands of fans lined up in downtown Philadelphia to celebrate another sports championship with a parade, this time for Villanova University’s Wildcats. The winners of the men’s basketball tournament rode double-decker buses along Market Street, the heart of the business district, ending at City Hall for a rally. Coach Jay Wright joked to the crowd “We do this so much in Philadelphia now I thought you guys would be tired of parades.”
Villanova players flash their fingers in a “V” symbol to celebrate big wins. For coach Jay Wright, that’s a finger for every national championship ring.
The Villanova Wildcats treated the Michigan Wolverines pretty much the same way they treated the rest of their NCAA Tournament opponents: like a practice squad.
Jay Wright’s custom-tailored suits are as sharp as Villanova’s 3-point shooting. The game-day attire for Michigan coach John Beilein is more reflective of his team’s emphasis on old-school fundamentals and defense.
Facing a team that shoots as well as Villanova, limiting the takes from 3-point range is about as important as limiting the makes.
Villanova has made more 3-pointers than any team in NCAA Division I history and fittingly set a Final Four single-game record for made 3s to reach Monday’s national championship game.