The Villanova Wildcats took care of business in the National Championship game, beating No. 3 Michigan by a final score of 79-62. That gave the Wildcats their second title in three years. Like many of their other games in their tournament, this one wasn’t very close.
The Wolverines put a scare into the Wildcats early on, dominating for the first 10 minutes of the game. They led by as many as seven early on, taking a 21-14 lead haat the 11-minute mark of the first half. However, the tide completely turned after that. They would be outscored 23-7 to end the first half and then Villanova only continued to build on the lead from there. Michigan once again failed to cover a first-half spread, now making it five of six NCAA Tournament games that they failed to do that.
In terms of the full game betting landscape, the Wildcats closed as a 6.5-point favorite at BetDSI sportsbook and easily covered the spread. There were a few nervous moments early on but from halftime on, the Wildcats were in clear control. It didn’t look like they would blow the spread or win at any point. In terms of the total, it closed at 145 and the game stayed under. While Villanova did their part, the Wolverines offense completely disappeared after the 10-minute mark of the first half.
Villanova once again covered, which is what they’ve done in every single game in this year’s March Madness. They covered a 22.5-point spread against Radford in the Round of 64, an 11.5-point spread against Alabama in the Round of 32, a 5.5-point spread against West Virginia in the Sweet 16, a six-point spread against Texas Tech in the Elite Eight, a five-point spread against Kansas in the Final Four and a 6.5-point spread in the Championship Game.
In terms of the championship game itself, three-point shooting again proved to be a story. The Wildcats hit 10-of-27 while the Wolverines only made three-of-23. Defense was supposed to be Michigan’s calling card but they couldn’t slow down the sharpshooting Wildcats. Villanova shot 47.4% from the field led by and incredible 31 points from Donte DiVincenzo. The Wolverines also go worked on the glass, getting outrebounded 38-27.
It was an interesting tournament from start to finish in terms of a betting perspective. The Wildcats end up cashing as the favorite. They entered with the shortest odds to win it all (at +400) and they cut through the field with relative ease to cut down the nets tat the very end. Michigan made a nice run and while they were a No. 3 seed, it wasn’t a surprise to oddsmakers. They were at +1000 entering the tournament, which priced them among the Top 5 teams.
The biggest disappointment of the tournament was clearly Virginia, who entered at +600 but ended up losing their opening game. They became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed and obviously disappointed a lot of bettors. Teams like Arizona (+1300) and Xavier (+2200) fell way short of expectations. The biggest surprised was, of course, Loyola-Chicago, who made a run to the Final Four. They entered at an incredible +60000 but managed to outlast all but three teams.
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