Big Dance: 'Nova Leaves No Doubt; Wins National Title
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Full marks to Michigan for hanging with Villanova for the first 14 minutes.
That was John Beilein coaching a group of proud Wolverines at its thrilling best, but it just wasn't sustainable.
Dudes were playing at peak performance -- highlighted by Moritz Wagner's 11 early points -- while the Wildcats were just getting warmed up, which is usually not a favorable long-term trend for pulling an upset.
It almost seemed like 'Nova was simply deciding which of its many potent buttons to push before achieving liftoff.
The Wildcats roster includes the Associated Press' Player of the Year in Jalen Brunson, but Jay Wright doesn't build his offense around a go-to dude.
Villanova isn't an NBA factory. To be sure,a number of former Wildcats take their talents overseas, but very few of them appear in The League at any given time.
Thus, Wright's system isn't necessarily designed for the sorta one-&-dones John Calipari and a few others recruit every year. It truly is based on the whole being more than the sum of its parts.
Among other elements:
- There is no first option on offense,
- Players don't pound the ball into the damn floor when a pass is available, and following on from this,
- They're actually looking to pass first and move when they do.
Bobby Knight would probably acknowledge it by going apoplectic that the game ever got away from those concepts.
It could well be that Old School is the future again.
At 'Nova, it's the present.
Two titles in the past three seasons -- and double-digit victories in every tourney game this year -- make for a rather compelling argument.
So, with all that in mind, who's the opening favorite in Las Vegas to win the 2019 Dance?
And so it goes.