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Villanova Basketball: DiVincenzo's heroics spell title for Wildcats

Villanova Basketball: DiVincenzo's heroics spell title for Wildcats

Sure, the thought of an opportunity to go after winning a NBA championship along with a hefty pay raise after winning two national championships at the college level may seem tough to turn down, but also Wright understands how great of a thing he now has going at Villanova. It has cracked the code of the contemporary game. His success, along with that of his Villanova teammates, is all thanks to a powerhouse team with a system that build players, rather than a one-semester bus stop on the players' route to the NBA Draft. Jay Wright, his coaching staff, and even Gillespie himself had entered the season anticipating that Gillespie would redshirt. Their combination of skill and patience produced college basketball's most efficient offense, which the next best scoring outfits couldn't match, either on paper and on the hardwood: Villanova busted Kansas, the number-five offense, 95-79 in the national semifinal, after coasting past number-ten offense West Virginia 90-78 two rounds prior.

Villanova is just the eighth school to win at least two NCAA men's basketball championships in a three-season span. Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt cheered 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago all the way to a spot in the Final Four. How the Wildcats captured the title, though, was unexpected.

Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo went viral during Monday night's national title game for his play on the court. "I would love to win a national championship for those guys, and for the University of MI, all those great students and all our alumni". It's possible that there's some nostalgic bias: Nova doesn't compete against traditional rivals like Notre Dame and Syracuse anymore, and as successful as their new adversaries like Butler and Xavier have been, the conference's makeup lacks the reach and tradition of the old days. Wagner also saw different looks from the 6-7 Bridges, Villanova's bigs and even point guard and AP national player of the year Jalen Brunson on some possessions. Villanova would not relinquish the advantage for the remaining 26:08 of the game. And then when the game started to kind of get (close) when MI cut it to 12, boom, he hits another backbreaker.

"The best team won and I'm actually happy they won a little bit because we don't really speak that other team's name around here". Two years ago, at the tail end of a freshman season that lasted just eight games after he broke a bone in his foot, he mimicked Oklahoma star Buddy Hield in practice ahead of the Wildcats' Final Four matchup with the Sooners.

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The Main Line assembly line that Wright has built just keeps on rolling along.

'Honestly, when I got into the game, all I was trying to do was play hard, ' DiVincenzo said.

"It just shows how much depth we have, and that we don't care who gets the credit", Brunson said. "The hurt is deep because of the loss and what you wanted to accomplish, but in retrospect, how well this group came together and how well each of the parts fit together to make a great team over the course of the year, it was great". I think that's what's really underrated is how good they are defensively.

"I didn't know how many points I had".


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