Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Championship Game Breakdown

National Championship Breakdown
After a number of crazy twists and turns, the 2018 national championship game will pit two of the stalwarts of college basketball against each other. In the first national semifinal, the Michigan Wolverines used a monstrous second-half effort to blitz Loyola-Chicago on their way to a 12-point victory. With just 22 points at the break, Michigan poured in 47 in the second stanza while keeping its defense at a high enough level to hold off any retaliation by the Ramblers. Mo Wagner led the way with 24 points and 15 rebounds, proving once again to be the lynchpin of the Michigan attack.
As with numerous other contests this tournament, Villanova proved it doesn’t need just one lynchpin. Each one of its top six performers can, and does, take over games. Against Kansas in the second national semifinal, the entire Nova onslaught was on display right from the jump. The Wildcats were pouring in threes before KU even got settled, and the game between one seeds was over before it began. Villanova made a dozen threes before even attempting a free throw. It finished with seven measly attempted free throws, 40 shots from distance, and 18 made threes as a squad. The Cats took just 25 twos all game, and it hardly mattered. They didn’t need any part of the court inside the arc.
This NCAA Tournament, we have seen both Michigan and Villanova win when their outside shots aren’t falling. Both teams have the ability to clamp down on defense and control the pace of a game enough to eek out a win in dire circumstances. The Wolverines may even be better suited to this than Nova is. However, when both teams are on and humming offensively, no one in the country can hang in the same stratosphere as the Villanova Wildcats. As odd as it sounds for a roster that loves to launch it from deep and keep the game active, Michigan would be best served playing in a defensive struggle against the short, six-man rotation of Villanova. It is counterintuitive to want to slow the game against a team that isn’t particularly deep, but not even UM can hang with a Villanova attack running full bore. Wagner needs the best performances his teammates have ever delivered in this game as well.
Michigan has yet to defeat a seed higher than six in this tournament. That doesn’t take anything away from its accomplishment of reaching the national championship game. But it does speak to the talent level of the Wolverines’ opponents to this point. None of them have been as good as Villanova can be.