Michigan and Villanova are playing in the 2018 National Championship Game now on TBS on Monday, April 2. Below, get betting odds, picks and the line for Michigan-Villanova.
Michigan and Villanova each emerged victorious from the Final Four with double-digit wins, but their wins weren’t at all similar. Nova poured in 3-pointers to crush Kansas, while Michigan roared back to overcome a 10-point second-half deficit against Loyola-Chicago.
2018 National Championship Game: Betting odds, line for Michigan-Villanova
Favorite: Villanova by 6.5
2018 National Championship game pick for Michigan-Villanova
2018 National Championship Game time, TV channel, online live stream
Time: 9:20 p.m. ET on Monday, April 2.
Location: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
TV channel: TBS.
Online stream: NCAA.com.
Michigan entered this tournament as the No. 3 seed in the West Regional after winning four games in four days to capture its second consecutive Big Ten Tournament championship. It beat No. 14 seed Montana, No. 6 seed Houston, No. 7 seed Texas A&M and No. 9 seed Florida State to reach the Final Four, where it ended the Cinderella run of 11th-seeded Loyola. The Ramblers (32-6) won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and then the hearts of the college basketball world during their improbable trip to a South Regional championship. Team chaplain Sister Jean Delores Schmidt became the face of the team, which brought Loyola to the Final Four for the first time since the school won the 1963 national championship.
Villanova won the national title in 2016, beating North Carolina 77-74 on Kris Jenkins’ buzzer-beating 3-point shot. It finished second to Xavier during the Big East regular season this year but won the league’s postseason tournament and was the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. It was ranked No. 6 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll, its lowest ranking of the season. The Wildcats spent eight weeks as the No. 1 team in the country. All four of their losses came to Big East opponents, and they’ve won 10 straight games.
Junior point guard Jalen Brunson was named AP Player of the Year on Thursday and entered the Final Four averaging 19.2 points per game. The Wildcats are the highest-scoring team in the country at 86.6 points per game and make 11.5 3-point attempts per game. That’s the third most of any team in the nation, and the Wildcats are shooting 40 percent behind the 3-point line. They’ve made more 3-point baskets and total field goals than any other team this season.
Brunson is one of six Wildcats who entered the Final Four averaging double figures in scoring. Junior guard Mikal Bridges is averaging 17.8 points, followed by sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo (12.9), freshman forward Omari Spellman (10.8), junior guard Phil Booth (10.3) and junior forward Eric Paschall (10.3). Spellman is Villanova’s leading rebounder at 7.8 per game.
Michigan is playing in the National Championship Game for the second time in six seasons. It lost to Louisville in 2013, a championship that has since been vacated by the Cardinals because of NCAA violations. The Wolverines will counter Villanova’s potent offense with a defense that is allowing 63.1 points per game, No. 8 in the country. Michigan also is capable of scoring at a high rate, as evidenced by its 99-72 win against Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 when it made 14 of 24 3-point attempts. The Wolverines make an average of 9 3-point shots per game.
The teams have played three times previously, with Villanova holding a 2-1 edge. Villanova won the last matchup, 60-55, on Nov. 25, 2014, in the Progressive Legends Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Wildcats also won the only NCAA Tournament meeting between the programs, upsetting then No. 1-seeded Michigan 59-55 in the second round as a No. 8 seed in Dayton, Ohio, in 1985.