Michigan beat Loyola-Chicago 69-57 thanks to a big performance by Moritz Wagner and Villanova beat Kansas, 95-79 last Saturday in the NCAA’s Final Four’s national semifinals. Tonight, Michigan goes for its first national championship since 1989 while Villanova goes for its second championship in the last three years. Here’s
When: April 2, 2018 at 9 p.m. ET (Tipoff at about 9:20 p.m. ET)
TV/Streaming: TBS or the NCAA March Madness App
Michigan’s Moritz Wagner put on a modern big man’s clinic vs. Loyola-Chicago
Junior post Moritz Wagner scored 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Michigan Wolverines to a 69-57 win over Loyola-Chicago. Wagner also made three of seven threes for the night. Though Loyola-Chicago came into this game on a 14 game winning streak and a string of upsets to get to the Final Four, they had no answer for the German big man, who had his way in the paint and has the ability to shoot from deep. You can watch Wagner’s highlights above.
Obviously, Wagner played against an overmatched Loyola-Chicago team. But his inside-outside game is a big reason why he could be a first round draft pick if he goes pro in a few weeks. I think his game could be a nice fit with the Wizards. But if he plays in Washington, they will probably need to move one of their current post players (ex. Marcin Gortat, Ian Mahinmi, Markieff Morris, Jason Smith) to accommodate him. Since everyone except Morris is past 30 years old, I think moving one of these players is something they have to consider.
Mikal Bridges relatively quiet in Villanova’s big win over Kansas
Bridges is the star for the Wildcats, but he didn’t have any big-time standout performances in the NCAA tournament, except for a 23 point outburst against Alabama in the second round. He only scored 10 points in the big win over Kansas, but the rest of his teammates in the starting lineup, especially Eric Paschall, were having a three point shooting clinic. In fact, Villanova made an NCAA Final Four record 18 threes in the win.
If Bridges goes pro, he’s probably a lottery pick. But if he falls down a little for whatever reason, I wonder if the Wizards would want to take a flyer on him with their first round pick.
I’m just going to watch and enjoy the tournament for what it is. This is also your open thread for tonight’s national championship game.