Through the first seven minutes of Monday night's men's college basketball championship in San Antonio, the Michigan Wolverines were feeling good. They'd held Villanova's vaunted, best-in-the-nation offense to 8 points, running their shooters off the 3-point line while pounding the ball inside to German giant Moe Wagner.
Then the Wildcats' Donte DiVincenzo got up off the bench.
The sophomore guard dropped in 18 points on 8-10 shooting before halftime, providing nearly half of Villanova's scoring as they went into the locker room up 37-28. Michigan never got close again and Villanova won its second title in three years, 79-62. The Wildcats won each of their six games by at least 12 points.
DiVincenzo finished with 31 points — a title game record for a bench player — plus five rebounds and two emphatic blocked shots. Junior guard Mikal Bridges added another 19 points.
Wagner finished with 16 points and seven rebounds for the Wolverines, struggling to find his rhythm again after Villanova switched defensive tactics against him in the first half, focusing on keeping the ball out of the junior forward's hands. Senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 23 points.
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.