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Villanova/Michigan Final Notes And Prediction

April 1, 2018

After both teams covered the spread as 5 point favorites in their national semi-final tilts yesterday, Villanova has been established as a 7 point favorite vs Michigan, for tomorrow night’s NCAA title game, in San Antonio, Texas.

Villanova, bidding for its second title in three seasons, won the ’16 crown beating the ’17 winner, North Carolina, as Kris Jenkins’ shot was decisive, ripped Kansas, and will be in their fourth final game.

The Wildcats pulled a huge upset vs Georgetown to win the ’85 crown and a slight one, in beating “N.C.” for the ’16 title.

Villanova is (2-1) in previous final games, having lost to the 5th straight U.C.L.A. title team, as an underdog that probably covered in defeat, back in 1971.

Michigan, now (7-1) in national semis with seven straight wins, after dispatching 11 seed Loyola of Chicago, is but (1-5) in previous title tilts. They lost twice to repeat champions, U.C.L.A. in ’65 and Duke in ’92, as well as an Indiana team in ’76, that had two straight undefeated regular seasons, winning the title only once, but that as the last undefeated team to do so.

In losses to North Carolina in ’93 (I do not like to chide any player for a costly bad play, however, after enduring Chris Weber’s horrible babble during this tournament, I note/advise checking his gaffe, in Michigan’s final loss to N.C.). In that tilt, Michigan might have been a slight underdog, while they were big “dogs” (what is a wolverine?) in the ’13 loss, to a powerful one year team, Louisville, under Rick Pitino and all the “snake oil” that entails.

In conclusion, in their previous 9 combined title tilts, neither team has been a clear favorite (though Mich might have been minus 1 plus in its 1 pt. ’89 title tilt win). Villanova (5-0) (5-0) is the favorite this time, but Michigan (5-0) (3-2?) is certainly a viable threat and I predict will at least cover, if not win outright.

 

The great Gail Goodrich scored 42 points as UCLA beat Michigan in the 1965 NCAA Final.

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