One of the Sweet 16 matchups in the South region has been set for Thursday, March 24 as the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines will face the No. 2 Villanova Wildcats. Villanova is coming off a 10-point victory over No. 7 Ohio State while Michigan has pulled off two upsets in the tournament with their most recent being against No. 3 Tennessee 76-68.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, March 24th. The game will air on TBS.
No. 2 Villanova 28-7 (16-4 Big East)
First Round: Defeated No. 15 Delaware 80-60
Second Round: Defeated No. 7 Ohio State 71-61
KenPom rating: 12 Overall, 8 Offense, 30 Defense
Leading scorer: Collin Gillespie (15.9 ppg)
Key stat of tournament: Villanova has held opponents to 65 points and under for each of its last six wins.
Villanova never trailed for a single second in Sunday’s matchup against Ohio State, toppling the Buckeyes to advance to the Sweet 16. The Wildcats were up by as many as 15 in this contest but let the Buckeyes pull to within three late. A Collin Gillespie jumper and an Eric Dixon three promptly shut the door on OSU’s hopes for a comeback.
Villanova does a number of things right as a team having a well-rounded offense and defensive approach. The unsung hero of this team’s success has been their free-throw shooting. They shoot 82.6% as a team from the charity stripe and that is the highest percentage among Division 1 programs.
No. 11 Michigan 19-14 (11-9 Big Ten)
First Round: Defeated No. 6 Colorado State 75-63
Second Round: Defeated No. 3 Tennessee 76-68
KenPom rating: 28 Overall, 19 Offense, 76 Defense
Leading scorer: Hunter Dickinson (18.4 ppg)
Key stat of tournament: Michigan has held opponents to under 42% shooting in both tournament games.
Michigan continued its unexpected run through the tourney by taking down three-seeded Tennessee on Saturday. Just like their first round matchup, the Wolverines grabbed control in the second half and limited the Volunteers to just 31 points in the frame. Hunter Dickinson once again led with 27 points and 11 rebounds.
Michigan is looking for its third upset in as many games and they are going to need to take any advantage they can get. One that they should be able to use to their advantage is their ability to limit offensive rebounds for their opponents. Michigan is only allowing opposing teams to come down with 23.9% of their possible offensive rebounds and the NCAA average is 28.1% so they are a good clip above average in this statistic.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Villanova -5
Point total: 135.5
Moneyline: Michigan +175, Villanova -210
Against The Spread Pick: Villanova -5
Point total pick: Over 135.5
Pick to Win: Villanova
The Wolverines have battled and had a great tournament run to this point. But he Wildcats matchup really well against Michigan, as their very methodical style counters UM well. The Wildcats are great shooters and take advantage if you give them any leeway. Michigan would have to play a near-perfect game to take this one. Wildcats for the win and to advance to the Elite Eight.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.