Detroit News predictions: Michigan vs. Villanova
James Hawkins, Bob Wojnowski and Matt Charboneau of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Monday’s national championship game between Michigan and Villanova (9:20 p.m., TBS/WWJ 950).
James Hawkins: The Wolverines have been able to scratch and claw their way to the national title game thanks to their defense. Now, it’s about to be put to the ultimate test. Villanova boasts the nation’s top scoring offense (86.8 points per game), ranks No. 1 in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency by a wide margin, and has won every NCAA Tournament game by at least 12 points. The defense should keep Michigan in it for a while, but inconsistent offense will finally catch up with the Wolverines. Villanova, 78-68
Bob Wojnowski: Michigan’s defense is stifling, but Villanova’s offense is ridiculous. Wildcats star Jalen Brunson hits 41 percent of his 3-pointers, and that’s only the third-best shooting percentage of their starters. Charles Matthews will be key for the Wolverines, with his aggressiveness on offense and his defense on Mikal Bridges. The defense will keep it tight, but Villanova is as complete and efficient as a college team can be. Villanova, 79-73
Matt Charboneau: Watching Villanova bury a Final Four record 18 3-pointers in its win over Kansas on Saturday makes it hard to imagine Michigan finding a way to slow the Wildcats’ attack. However, the Wolverines have been among the best defensive teams in the nation this season and have the athletes to make life tough on the most efficient offense in the nation. Even so, it will take a repeat of the offensive explosion in the Sweet 16 victory over Texas A&M for the Wolverines to bring home their second national title. Villanova, 83-72