After bombing a Final Four record 18 three-pointers in the national semifinal rout of Kansas, Villanova shot just 10-of-27 from beyond the arc in the title game. DiVincenzo, though, was 5-of-7. “I was just feeling it offensively,” DiVincenzo said. Asked how he’s able to embrace coming off the bench, DiVincenzo said, “I love these guys. I’m not trying to get involved with my personal career because I know the coaches are going to put me in the best situation to succeed. And I had to grow up a lot this year. Early in the year it’s difficult not being a starter, and just knowing the reason why is I know coach’s plan for me, it just made it so much easier.” Villanova (36-4) outscored Kansas and Michigan by a combined 33 in the Final Four. DiVincenzo scored in double-figures in four of Villanova’s six NCAA Tournament games, scoring 18 against Alabama in the second round, 12 on Texas Tech in the Elite Eight and 15 on Kansas in the national semifinal.
Donte named MOP pic.twitter.com/8dENKCuqKJ— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 3, 2018
Mikal Bridges scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half for Villanova. Jalen Brunson, the AP National Player of the Year, battled foul trouble and managed just 9 points on 4-of-13 shooting in what may have been his final collegiate game. Omari Spellman added 10 rebounds and 8 points. “I can’t put this into words,” Brunson said. “I love my brothers. I love my team. I just love these guys.” Moritz Wagner scored only 5 of his 16 points in the second half when he picked up his third foul. Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman led Michigan (33-8) with 23 points. Villanova used 21-5 spurt bridging the end of the first half and beginning of the second to take a 51-33 lead on a three-pointer by Bridges. After Michigan closed to within 53-40, DiVincenzo scored nine straight points for Villanova — including back-to-back three-pointers — to give the Wildcats a 62-44 lead with under eight minutes remaining. That led to a round of “Di-vin-cenzo” chants from the Villanova faithful. DiVincenzo added 2 blocks on the defensive end to get the crowd going. “I pride myself on defense and just bringing energy to this team,” DiVincenzo said.
Donte DiVincenzo is carrying NOVA! ?#NationalChampionship pic.twitter.com/smkZa04EGC— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 3, 2018
April 3, 2018Bridges then scored 8 points — including two three-pointers — during a 10-5 Villanova run that extended the lead to 74-54. While Villanova could lose Bridges and Brunson to the NBA, they will return much of their core, including DiVincenzo who figures to be their featured offensive player next season.