2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Game
The 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Game was the final game of the single-elimination tournament to determine the men's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball national champion for the 2017–18 season. The game was played on April 2, 2018, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, between the Michigan Wolverines and the Villanova Wildcats. Michigan last won the NCAA championship in 1989, while Villanova won the championship in 2016.
|2018 NCAA Tournament Championship Game|
|National Championship Game|
|Date||April 2, 2018|
|Location||San Antonio, Texas|
|MVP||Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova|
|Favorite||Villanova by 6.5|
|Referee(s)||Doug Sirmons, Terry Wymer, Jeffrey Anderson|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill and Tracy Wolfson|
|Nielsen Ratings||7.5 (national) |
U.S. viewership: 13.334 million
Villanova defeated Michigan, 79–62. Donte DiVincenzo, a reserve player, scored 31 points for Villanova, and was named the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
The Michigan Wolverines last won the NCAA Tournament in 1989. Their most recent appearance in the championship game was in 2013. At one point unranked in the AP Poll, Michigan won their final 14 games before the title game to end the 2017–18 regular season with a 28–7 win-loss record after winning the 2018 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament. They earned the No. 3 seed in the West Regional.
Michigan defeated the No. 14 Montana Grizzlies in the first round by a score of 61–47. They then reached the Sweet 16 by defeating the No. 6 Houston Cougars, 64–63, on a buzzer beater by Jordan Poole. They made it to the Elite Eight by defeating the Texas A&M Aggies, 99–72. Michigan advanced to the Final Four by defeating the Florida State Seminoles, 58–54, and defeated the "Cinderella story" of the tournament, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, in the Final Four by a score of 69–57.
The Villanova Wildcats won the NCAA Tournament in 2016. In 2017–18, Villanova set the NCAA record for three-point shots in a season and in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. After completing a 30–4 regular season, including winning the 2018 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament, Villanova was ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll and earned the No. 1 seed in the East Regional.
In the first round, Villanova defeated the No. 16 Radford Highlanders, 87–61. Villanova blew out the No. 9 Alabama Crimson Tide by a score of 81–58 in the second round. In the Sweet 16, Villanova beat the West Virginia Mountaineers, 90–78. Villanova won against the No. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders, 71–59, to make the Final Four. They defeated the Kansas Jayhawks by a score of 95–79 in the Final Four to reach the championship game. In their victory over Kansas, Villanova set an NCAA Tournament Final Four single-game record with 18 three-point shots.
† = 2018 All-American
|Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman||G||Phil Booth|
|Zavier Simpson||G||† Jalen Brunson 2|
|Isaiah Livers||F||† Eric Paschall 2|
|Charles Matthews||G||G/F||Mikal Bridges 1|
|Moritz Wagner 1||F||Omari Spellman 1|
April 2, 2018
8:20 pm CDT
|#3 Michigan Wolverines 62, #1 Villanova Wildcats 79|
|Scoring by half: 28–37, 34–42|
|Pts: M. Abdur-Rahkman – 23
Rebs: M. Wagner – 7
Asts: Z. Simpson – 2
|Pts: D. DiVincenzo – 31|
Rebs: O. Spellman – 11
Asts: D. DiVincenzo – 3
Alamodome – San Antonio
Referees: Doug Sirmons, Terry Wymer, Jeffrey Anderson
The announced attendance for the game was 67,831. During the first half, Moritz Wagner of Michigan scored nine of the team's first 11 points, as Michigan took a 21–14 lead. Villanova went on a 22–7 scoring run to end the half leading Michigan, 37–28. Donte DiVincenzo, who entered the game off of the bench as a reserve player, scored 18 points out of Villanova's first 32. During the second half, DiVincenzo scored 11 consecutive points, putting Villanova 16 points ahead of Michigan. Villanova outscored Michigan by a score of 42–34 in the second half to win the championship by a score of 79–62. Villanova led Michigan in rebounds, 38–27, and limited the Wolverines to three three-point shots.
With the 17 point victory, Villanova won each game in the tournament by double digit margins. DiVincenzo scored a total of 31 points, the most in a national championship game by a player who did not start. DiVincenzo's 31 points led the game, and he was named the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
The National Championship game was broadcast in the United States by TBS. Jim Nantz provided play-by-play, while Bill Raftery and Grant Hill provided color commentary and Tracy Wolfson served as the sideline reporter. The pre-game and post-game shows included analysis by Greg Gumbel, Ernie Johnson Jr., Seth Davis, Clark Kellogg, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley. TBS's sister channels, TNT and TruTV, also aired special broadcasts of the game, bring back the "Team Stream" broadcasts that catered to fans of the respective teams. Team Streams, which had been in use since the 2014 Final Four, returned after a one-year hiatus. Philadelphia-based announcer Scott Graham was the play-by-play man for Villanova's stream on TruTV, with former Villanova guard Randy Foye providing color commentary. NESN reporter and Villanova alum Kacie McDonnell worked the sidelines. On TNT's Michigan-centered broadcast, Michigan women's basketball play-by-play announcer Matt Park worked alongside former NFL kicker Jay Feely and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, both Michigan alums. The game drew an estimated 10.3 Nielsen rating across the three networks, the lowest for a national championship game, but the highest on television for the night of April 2.
- Tracy, Marc (February 20, 2018). "Michigan Ends Loyola-Chicago's Long, Wild Ride in the Final Four". The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Martin, Jill (April 3, 2018). "Villanova dominates Michigan to win national title". CNN. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- "Michigan jumps to No. 7 in AP, coaches polls; Michigan State falls". Detroit Free Press. March 5, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "Michigan 'flattered' with 3-seed, opens vs. No. 14 Montana". Detroitnews.com. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "Michigan overcomes draining day to finish Montana in NCAA tournament". Detroit Free Press. March 16, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Skretta, Dave (March 17, 2018). "Jordan Poole's buzzer-beating 3-pointer sends Michigan past Houston, 64–63". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Zwerneman, Brent (March 22, 2018). "Michigan leaves Texas A&M behind in Sweet 16 matchup". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Johnson, Richard (March 24, 2018). "Michigan-Florida State Elite Eight: Wolverines advance to Final Four in close game". SBNation.com. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Rutherford, Mike (March 31, 2018). "Villanova's 2016 and 2018 NCAA tournament runs are eerily similar". SBNation.com. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- Rutherford, Mike (February 4, 2018). "Villanova vs. Michigan preview: Three defining national championship game storylines". SBNation.com. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- Beard, Aaron (March 13, 2017). "Villanova ranked No. 1 in final AP poll of regular season". NBC Sports Philadelphia. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- "Villanova earns top seed in NCAA Tournament East Region". USA Today. March 11, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "Villanova opens March Madness with win over Radford; will face Alabama". Philly. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Geltson, Dan (March 17, 2018). "Villanova Blows Out Alabama to Advance to Sweet 16 in 2018 NCAA Tournament". Nbcphiladelphia.com. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Stubbs, Roman (March 24, 2018). "Villanova feels the pressure, then gets cooking to beat West Virginia in Sweet 16". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Schonbrun, Zach (March 25, 2018). "Villanova Returns to Final Four With Gritty Win Over Texas Tech". The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "Villanova routs Kansas in Final Four, will play Michigan in national championship". Yahoo!. November 7, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "2017-18 Villanova Wildcats Starting Lineups". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "2017-18 Michigan Wolverines Starting Lineups". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- Schonbrun, Zach (April 2, 2018). "Juggernaut Villanova Crushes Michigan for N.C.A.A. Championship". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- Winfield, Kristian (February 4, 2018). "NCAA tournament 2018: Donte Divincenzo wins Most Outstanding Player". SBNation.com. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- "2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship commentator teams announced". NCAA. February 7, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- Bona, Marc. "How did TBS do in its Villanova-Michigan game coverage?". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- "Report: UM-Villanova game a ratings disaster". Detroitnews.com. April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- Negron, Anna (May 4, 2013). "ESPN Heads to Men's Final Four with Live Programming from San Antonio". ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Potter, Chris (March 11, 2018). "Presents Exclusive Multiplatform Audio Coverage of the 2018 NCAA® Men's Basketball Tournament". Westwood One. Retrieved April 1, 2018.