March Madness National Championship: #2 Villanova Wildcats vs. #1 North Carolina Tar Heels
If you were looking for a couple of tight-matched semi-final games in this past weekend’s NCAA tournament, I think it’s fair to say you were disappointed. Villanova absolutely annihilated the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday to the point of embarrassment, sending Naismith “Player of the Year” Buddy Hield and company crawling home in a state of shock. The 40-point drubbing was the greatest margin of victory in a national semi-final game in tournament history, taking the team to the March Madness National Championship.
Later Saturday night, North Carolina dismantled #10 seed Syracuse with meticulous precision. Though the Orangemen were a great story this tournament, they were obviously unmatched by Roy Williams and his #1 seeded Tar Heels.
The combined 61-point margin of victory in Saturday’s semis sets a record for the most at a Final Four, eclipsing the longstanding record of Loyola-Chicago and Cincinnati charging their way into the 1963 title game with a combined 53-point margin.
There should be no surprises that Villanova and North Carolina will face off against each other tonight. No two teams have fought harder and looked as tough as these two teams have all tournament long. They both earned it and they both deserve to be there.
Coach Jay Wright has his Wildcats playing so well together, with seemingly no first-round picks to name of, that the last five games have seen a margin of victory of 24.2 points. A margin of victory in double digits alone is a feat few have attained, but over 20? That’s insane. Coach Wright is redefining the stereotypical tournament team by combining players who arguably play better together than anyone in the nation. Villanova is playing like the most complete team in the country right now, and what a better time?
As North Carolina also prepares for tonight’s March Madness National Championship, there’s no one as excited as coach Roy Williams. After facing widespread rumors of his deteriorating health, looming retirement, and NCAA investigations which have yet to be resolved, Coach Williams is happy to have been able to put all that noise aside and get to the ultimate game through focus and hard work.
WILDCATS AND TAR HEELS: TOURNAMENT HISTORY
North Carolina holds a 5-1 record over Villanova in NCAA Tournament history. Their most recent match-up was back in 2009, when Roy Williams and company ousted Nova 83-69 in what led to the Tar Heels going on to win the March Madness National Championship a few days later. The one only win for Villanova over UNC was back in 1985 when the storied Wildcats went on to beat Dean Smith’s Tar Heels in the elite eight. They, too, ultimately went on to win it all that year.
So, after two rather uneventful semi-finals games this past weekend, we are faced with what should be a more even matched contest in tonight’s Championship game. The matchup is almost a reward of sorts for having to sit through the last two mind-numbing blowouts.
The game tonight is featuring the two best teams in many peoples opinions and its hard to disagree. It wont be easy for either team to brush off the other like they’ve done so many times thought the tournament. North Carolina and Villanova are pretty well matched and should provide us all a game for the ages.