NCAA basketball is over, with the men and women's National Championships in the books.
Congratulations are in order for the Villanova Wildcats and Notre Dame Fighting Irish for winning the men's and women's NCAA National Championships! Very exciting tournaments culminated in great final games. Deserving champions emerged, though a lot of underdogs scored moral victories along the way.
Have you learned to pronounce Arike Ogunbowale yet? If not, then you probably missed one of the most impressive spectacles the sport of basketball has had in a while. Ogunbowale not only dropped UConn with an overtime buzzer-beater, but sealed the national championship with another game-ending shot.
Ogunbowale had 18 points and teammate Jessica Shepard had 19 (on 8 of 10 shooting) to lead the Irish. Neither team shot high percentages from the field, but Notre Dame won the free throw contest and got the big shot when it mattered.
Villanova men assert dominance
Things did not come down to the wire on the men's side, but that is okay. Michigan was coming in hot, winners of their last 14 contests; they certainly had the looks of a title contender. We could go into what Michigan could have done differently, but that is not the takeaway here. The Villanova Wildcats simply did to them what they have done to everybody else.
Nova beat everyone they played in the tourney by double-digits, even Michigan. Mikal Bridges had a solid game and was the main story for Villanova coming in, but he was not the most valuable player in this one. Donte DiVincenzo had 31 point, two big blocks, and multiple hustle plays to lead the Wildcats.
divincenzo holding it down for the reddish heads. i see you— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin23) April 3, 2018
DiVincenzo may come of the bench, but he has played a major role all season, averaging 13.4 points and 4.8 boards in 2017-18. He was certainly the most exciting part of the game. While Michigan did not feel truly out of it until late in the second half, Villanova was in control throughout, leaving no doubt as to their place at the top of NCAA men's basketball.
A couple of great games wrapped up two great seasons for men's and women's NCAA hoops. Congrats to both these teams and to all of the teams that made the tournament. We saw some of the greatest upsets (see: 16-seed UMBC over 1-seed Virginia) as well as displays of dominance (you are already on the page for Villanova). If you love buzzer beaters then look no further than Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale. These tournaments had it all.
March Madness finally comes to a close. While NCAA basketball begins its unfortunate hiatus, The Basketball Movement will not. Many of these players are beginning to declare for the NBA draft and the NBA playoffs are right around the corner. Basketball never sleeps, so make sure that you keep checking back with us as we keep you up-to-date on what is happening in the world of hoops.
All statistics per ESPN