The National Championship rematch from last year takes place this week as Michigan and Villanova face off just about 6 months after Villanova defeated the Wolverines for their second national championship. Each team lost some significant players from their teams last season but both are expected to make deep runs into the tournament once again.
Villanova comes into this game at 2-0 and ranked 8th in the nation after convincing wins over Morgan State and Quinnipiac to start off. Phil Booth seems to be the guy that the wildcats have been going to early averaging 20 points and 4.5 rebounds through the first two game, both of which lead the team. Villanova only returns 2 of their top 6 players from last season with the departure of key players, Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges and the MVP of the championship game, Donte DiVincenzo.
On the Michigan side, the Wolverines bring back 3 of their 5 starters from the championship game but lost their two best players in Mo Wagner and Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman who were the top two scorers from a year ago. This year the Wolverines will lead heavily on Freshman Ignas Brazdeikis who avereaged 15.5 points in the first two games along with Charles Matthews (15.0 ppg) and Isaiah Livers who appears to be the Wolverines 6 man this season despite starting a lot of the games down the stretch.
This will be a game of teams trying to figure out their new identity after the departure of each teams best players. Both teams are very talented but may need a few games to get things going. I like Villanova in this game close thanks to it being a home game for the Wildcats and because the Villanova offense is probably a little better than the Michigan offense at this point. Expect a lower scoring game especially since the Wolverines will try to slow things down. My pick, Villanova 62-56