Monday, April 02, 2018
Michigan vs. Villanova (NCAAB) - 9:20 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: -7.0/-103 Villanova Pick Title: 8 Star CBB National Championship (WIN)
It's really catching! First the Philadelphia Eagles & then the Villanova Wildcats. Guess what? The 76ers aren't that far off. I like what HC Jay Wright has done with his team. Everyone talks about how Michigan has won 14 in row & hasn't lost in 2 months. Villanova has won 10 straight & has taken a liking to the rims @ this venue. Do i think they pound out 18 or more 3's? No, but they sure can knock down enough to force the Wolverines into keeping pace. Can they? For awhile they can but NOT for 40 minutes. Let's go to the National Championship in San Antonio to grab the VILLANOVA WILDCATS @ - 3 1/2 off the buy!
NOTES: The Cat's deserved this even more than their 2016 title. Major kudos goes out to the Villanova HC Jay Wright. Why? Because he has his players all-in to accept their specific roles. In the National Championship @ the Alamodome, this was pivotal as backup guard Donte DiVincenzo came off the bench & pumped in 18 first-half points on his way to a game-high 31 (10-15 from the field 67% including 5 beyond the arc). How rare was this achievement? Not only would you have to go back 21 years to see a 30-point plus performance, but his 31 was the most ever for a non-starter in a championship game. DiVincenzo shattered Phil Booth's 20 when he came off the bench 2 years ago when the Wildcats held off North Carolina. Villanova (36-4 this season) has made the Big East (now made up of 10 private schools down from 16 powerhouses) relevant (2 wins in the last 3 years) again after many perennial Top-25 teams exited for the bigger contract conferences. On a post-game note, CBS noted in error that the last time a team one EVERY tournament game by double-digits was back in 1968-69 when the (29-1) U.C.L.A. Bruins ran the table with the likes of Lew Alcindor (24 PPG-now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Curtis Rowe (12.9 PPG), John Vallely (11 PPG), Sidney Wicks & Lynn Shackelford. To set the record straight, they did beat No. 6 Purdue 92-72 for the National Championship. However, they only squeaked past No. 11 Drake 85-82 in the semi-finals. The Bruins of HC John Wooden did win 4 straight NCAA Tournament games by double-digits. They achieved this record 2 years prior in 1966-67 when they went undefeated (30-0 but just 4-0 in playoffs due to having just a 16-team field) breezing past the likes of Wyoming, Pacific & Houston by 49, 16 & 15 before winning the championship over the Dayton Flyers 79-64. Lew Alcindor (29 PPG-was only a sophomore) & guard Lucious Allen (15.5 PPG) wer the top 2 that led U.C.L.A. that season. Let's now look @ Villanova's achievement. They won all 6 playoff games by 12 or more. They led the nation in scoring (86.6 PPG) & had 6 underclassmen averaging double-digits with Jalen Brunson (18.9 PPG-86 3-pointers -Nova' was 103-13 in his 3 yrs. there), Mikal Bridges (17.7 PPG-led the team with 104 3-pointers), Donte DiVincenzo (13.4 PPG-85 3-pointers), Omari Spellman (10.9 PPG-65 3-pointers), Eric Paschal (10.6 PPG) & Phil Booth (10 PPG) playing their assigned roles. Can Wright & his Wildcats repeat next season? I believe they have an excellent chance. Even though floor-general Jalen Brunson is more than likely heading to the NBA, Wright has recruited that same floor-general type player in Jahvon Quinerly. Quinerly de-committed from Arizona amid the past FBI probe & is now headed to Philadelphia. If Quinerly can also give the Wildcats a boost on defense, look for "Philadelphia's Finest" to run deep into the tournament once again. Wright may just turn his Cats' into a small "Golden State of the NCAA" if they can replicate their perimeter shooting percentages from 3-pt. land. It'll be very interesting if they can continue that championship atmosphere for the City of Brotherly next season.
Mike Handzelek's Final 2018 March Madness Overall Record: 13-6 for 68%
Mike Handzelek's 2017-18 CBB Final Overall Record: 29-16 for 64%