Final Two: Villanova Favored to Beat Michigan in Title Game

ncaa final

SBR Staff

Sunday, April 1, 2018 2:00 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 1, 2018 2:00 PM UTC

The Villanova Wildcats, the lone regional top seed still alive, seek their second national title in three seasons when they meet the Michigan Wolverines on Monday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

NCAA Championship Game: Michigan vs. VillanovaMonday, 9:20 p.m. ET; San Antonio, Texas (TV: TBS)

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And only two remain standing …

In a tournament full of historic upsets, Cinderella storylines, heroic comebacks and dramatic endings, one thing hoops fans nationwide can agree on is that, despite all of the broken brackets, we ultimately were left with two teams worth of competing for a title.

The Villanova Wildcats, who lived up to being the top seed in their region, and third-seeded Michigan Wolverines will meet Monday night in San Antonio, Texas, with the Wildcats as 6.5- to 7-point favorites on the college basketball odds board, depending on where you shop for your NCAAB picks. The game total currently sits at 145, with more than 60 percent of the early action coming in on the "over."

A Tale of Two Teams

Here we have an interesting matchup between two teams with very different approaches to the game.

Listed as the third-best defensive team in the country, Michigan held Loyola-Chicago to only 57 points in the semifinals, the Ramblers’ lowest score in the Big Dance. The final score of 69-57 gave the Wolverines an easy cover, while keeping the game under the Over/Under line.

It is worth noting that the most points allowed by Michigan in the NCAA Tournament came in their matchup against Texas A&M, where the Aggies scored 72 against the Wolverines' lockdown defense. However, the Wolverines could not miss in this Sweet 16 matchup, and still managed to post 99 points of their own in the 25-point victory, proving that defense is not their only weapon.

Forward Moritz Wagner manages the floor for the Michigan offense, and the junior enters his first title matchup on the heels of an impressive performance. Wagner finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds against Loyola, joining only two other players to post more than 20 points with 15 rebounds in the Final Four: Larry Bird and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Wagner’s abilities combine nicely with a variety of guard and wing options to make the Michigan offense one that allows for easy ball movement and for Michigan to ultimately slow the pace of the game.

Villanova, on the other hand, prefers a fast-paced game where they can strangle you out with their firepower. Look no further than their Final Four semifinal against No. 1-seeded Kansas, where Villanova posted a record-high 18 3-pointers, beating the previous Final Four 3-point record of 13 in the first half of the game alone.

The Wildcats revolve around Mikal Bridges, an NBA lottery pick, and Player of the Year Jalen Brunson. These players are supported by a cast of talented shooters, giving the stars plenty of secondary options when smothered by opposing defenses.

Coach Jay Wright led his Villanova team to the 2016 championship, and his roster contains quite a few members from that squad who cut down the nets just two short years ago.

Michigan’s John Beilein also has title-game experience, but his team fell to Louisville in the 2015 championship game.

Check out SBR’s college basketball odds page for updated lines. Also, head over to the March Madness Betting Headquarters for vital handicapping information, picks, and a list of the best sports books and live betting options for the tournament season.

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