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Villanova Coasts To Title On Back Of Record-Setting Bench Player Donte DiVincenzo

Photo: Ronald Martinez (Getty)

For the bulk of the first half, tonight’s NCAA men’s basketball championship was Michigan’s game—not by more than a few points, not convincingly, but it was. With six minutes remaining, though, Donte DiVincenzo hit a three to deliver Villanova its first lead since the opening seconds, and then he sewed up the rest of the game for them. The two-point lead created by DiVincenzo’s three grew to nine points by halftime, and by midway through the second half, this one was essentially over. On a 79-62 win, the Wildcats coasted to their second championship in three years.


Sixth man DiVincenzo set the record for most scoring by a bench player in a championship game, with 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three. Villanova dominated on just about all fronts here, but three-point shooting—one of the team’s strongest points all season—was where that gap was clearest. The Wildcats shot 37 percent from three, compared to a disastrous 13 percent from the Wolverines.

DiVincenzo’s only teammate in double digits was Mikal Bridges, with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Michigan was led by Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, on 23 points, with star teammate Moe Wagner stuffed by Villanova’s defense and limited by foul trouble.

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