SAN ANTONIO — They had come to the court from all corners of the continent. Kyle Lowry from Toronto. Ryan Arcidiacono from Chicago. Josh Hart from Los Angeles. These generations of Villanova basketball greats wanted to be in San Antonio to watch their Wildcats win a national championship against Michigan. But as they climbed onto the raised stage at center court and felt the confetti rain down on them, they sensed that they were celebrating something more than Monday night’s win—they were celebrating the ascension of a program. With two national championships in the past three seasons, there’s no doubt that, right now, Villanova is college basketball’s best program.
In a topsy-turvy NCAA tournament in which No. 16 seed UMBC beat No. 1 overall seed Virginia in the first round and No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago advanced all the way to the Final Four, Villanova was the one dominant constant. The Wildcats beat each of their six opponents by double digits. And they culminated the run with a convincing 79-62 win over the Wolverines.
“I don’t think these kids will even think that we dominated the tournament,” head coach Jay Wright said after the game. “They’ll just think we played Villanova basketball. We got better the next night. We did keep getting better. We got better from the Kansas game. We got better defensively tonight. That’s what they take pride in.”
The win didn’t exactly happen as expected. In the opening minutes of the first half, the Wildcats were uncharacteristically wild. Their early decision to switch defensively made for some easy baskets for Michigan big man Moe Wagner, and the Wolverines guards were spacing the floor and