Why Villanova Will Win: Long-Range Shots, Confidence Key Wildcats

nova hoops

Doug Upstone

Sunday, April 1, 2018 3:07 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 1, 2018 3:07 PM UTC

In retrospect, while we knew Virginia's defense was the best, Villanova has the best offense in college basketball and that was the difference in determining who was the better team.

NCAA Championship Game: Villanova Wildcats

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When filling out brackets, it is easy to want to find the "cool" choice to win the national championship. And as gamblers, we have been programmed to find the right underdog and stay away from "square" picks. Yet here we are, with the college basketball odds board having coach Jay Wright's No.1 seeded Wildcats as seven-point favorites over Michigan in Monday's NCAA Tournament final (9:20 p.m. ET; TBS).

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Game recap from tonight's win over Kansas: https://t.co/3IZGa7ahsw#LetsMarchNova pic.twitter.com/PKLHV4A2dO

— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) April 1, 2018
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Here is why Villanova will cut down the nets for the second time in three years.

Wildcats Have Owned March

As unusual, we have seen more than our fair share of March Madness, but there has been nothing crazy for Villanova. Since losing at Creighton and beating Seton Hall by one point in late February, this team has played like a bulldozer in rolling over the opposition. Villanova is 9-0 and 8-1 ATS, with their closest game in the Big East championship, where they defeated Providence 76-66 in OT. That is the only time they failed to cover the spread.

Otherwise, in March, the 'Cats have buried opponents by an average of 18.4 points per contest.

Villanova is Complete Team

Initially, guard Phil Booth was thought lost for the season when he was hurt in late January. But his return on Feb. 21 helped solidify Wright's squad and placed everyone back in the roles where they started the season.

Why Michigan is in trouble is not the fact Nova made an NCAA-record 18 three-pointers against Kansas, though it cannot be ignored. We heard Grant Hill and Bill Raftery say the Jayhawks were not closing on Villanova shooters, but the fact is Wildcats shooters made them, guarded or not, and proved what they are capable of in any game.

If you are making college basketball picks and want to back the underdog, you have to feel comfortable Michigan can do a better job over 40 minutes to contain Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Omari Spellman and Donte DiVincenzo. That means guarding them behind the arc and off dribble penetration. That will be quite a task for Wolverines defenders.

The other major difference that works in the Wildcats' favor is confidence. They know how good they are and play to that level. How they have ripped every opponent in this tournament is incredibly impressive. Even if Villanova makes their average of 12 three-pointers, in three of the Wolverines past four games, they have connected on (in reverse order) 25 percent, 18.2 percent and 26.7 percent from behind the arc, and that will not be nearly enough to prevent Nova from cutting down the nets.

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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