Villanova dominated the University of Michigan on Monday night to win the NCAA men's basketball championship, 79-62, earning the Wildcats their second national title in three seasons. Villanova sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo scored 31 points, the most of any player on either team, and guard Mikal Bridges filled in for Jalen Brunson, scoring most of his 19 points after Brunson was benched with foul troubles. Michigan led in the first part of the game, but Villanova soon took the lead and never looked back. The Wildcats won all six games in the NCAA Tournament by double digits. Peter Weber
March Madness returns Saturday with the semifinal round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The Final Four showdowns will be No. 11 Loyola-Chicago vs. No. 3 Michigan, and No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 1 Villanova.
The Ramblers have been the Cinderella squad of this year's tournament, downing No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, and No. 9 Kansas State en route to San Antonio, where they will face off against a defensively stingy Wolverines team that can also put the ball in the bucket. The matchup between the Jayhawks and Wildcats, meanwhile, is all chalk, though most experts expect Villanova to come out on top.
The Ramblers and Wolverines will face off first, just after 6 p.m. ET, followed by the Jayhawks and Wildcats, with both contests on TBS. The winners will advance to the championship game, which will be played Monday, also in San Antonio. Kimberly Alters
One of these teams is not like the other. After the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks inched past No. 2 Duke on Sunday, a thrilling 85-81 overtime win that hinged on a barely missed shot by Duke's Grayson Allen, the NCAA Final Four is set: Kansas vs. fellow top seed Villanova, and No. 3 seed Michigan Wolverines vs. the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, a No. 11 seed that hasn't won a national title since 1963.
The winner of the Kansas-Villanova match next Saturday is favored to win the NCAA men's basketball tournament — Villanova won the title two years ago and the Jayhawks last won in 2008 — but in an upset-filled, bracket-busting March Madness, anything could happen. And Loyola, only the fourth 11th seeded team to make the Final Four, also has one thing on its side, along with its underdog story: Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, a 98-year-old nun and super fan. Peter Weber
Florida State knocked No. 1 seed Xavier out of the NCAA men's basketball tournament on Sunday night, taking the lead for the first time with 1:08 left in the game then holding on for a 75-70 finish. Following the shocking elimination of overall top seed Virginia by University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), only two No. 1 seeds are advancing to the Sweet 16 round for the first time since 2004. (UMBC's underdog run was ended by ninth-seeded Kansas State on Sunday, 50-43.) The NCAA says it is the first time in tournament history that any region — in this case the South — isn't sending any of its top four seeds to the Sweet 16.
In the East Region, No. 5 seed West Virginia will face Villanova, after the Mountaineers beat Marshall on Sunday night, and second-seeded Purdue will battle No. 3 seed Texas Tech. In the West, third-seeded Michigan will face Texas A&M, a seventh-seeded team that knocked out defending champions North Carolina on Sunday, and No. 4 seed Gonzaga will face Florida State. In the Midwest, No. 1 seed Kansas will play fifth-seeded Clemson and No. 2 seed Duke will face No. 11 seed Syracuse. In the South Region, No. 5 seed Kentucky will take on No. 9 seed Kansas State and seventh-seeded Nevada will battle No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago. If you bracket isn't already busted, congratulations. Peter Weber
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers pulled off a historic upset win against the top-seeded University of Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament Friday night. UMBC's 74-54 win is the first time a No. 16 seed has bested a No. 1 team in the championship's history.
March 16, 2018
11:33 PM eastern
#16 The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
#1 University of Virginia
It's even better with Titanic music! (@UMBCAthletics with the upset to end all upsets)
— UMBC MADNESS (@TitanicHoops) March 17, 2018
"We didn't know what seed we would be when we won the America East championship," said UMBC guard Jairus Lyles, who scored 28 points in Friday's game. "Once we saw that No. 16 seed we knew we had a chance to make history. It's a very surreal moment."
UMBC next faces No. 9 Kansas State on Sunday for a shot at the Sweet 16. Bonnie Kristian
Marshall University earned its first-ever victory in the NCAA men's basketball tournament Friday, upsetting Wichita State en route to the Round of 32. Even appearing in the game was an accomplishment for the Thundering Herd, who were playing in the Big Dance for the first time in 31 years.
A shocker in San Diego!
In its first tourney game in 31 years, Marshall takes down 4th-seeded Wichita State. pic.twitter.com/UqZJz2nQxE
— ESPN (@espn) March 16, 2018
The game between Marshall, a 13-seed, and Wichita State, a 4-seed, came down to the final minutes, as the teams traded buckets late. Herd freshman Jarrod West hit a 3-pointer to put Marshall up 74-70, which was followed by a steal and dunk by junior guard C.J. Burks to put the Herd up 78-72 with less than two minutes to go. Junior guard Jon Elmore poured in 27 points, while junior forward Ajdin Penava added 16 points — including a couple of late baskets — to seal the win.
"Marshall probably isn't as talented as Wichita State, but the Herd could make up for that disparity with sheer weirdness," SB Nation wrote, citing Marshall's lightning-quick pace. Wichita State's senior point guard Conner Frankamp hit six 3-pointers en route to 27 points to keep the Shockers close, but didn't receive much help from his teammates as the next-leading scorers were tied with 12 points.
Marshall's 81-75 victory means they will join No. 13 Buffalo — who upset No. 4 Arizona late Thursday — as the second 13-seed to triumph this year. The Herd will face the winner of the contest later Friday between No. 5 West Virginia and No. 12 Murray State. Kimberly Alters
The University of North Carolina beat Gonzaga Monday night to grab its sixth NCAA men's basketball title. The Tar Heels, who lost in the championship game to Villanova last year, beat the Zags 71-65, after trailing at the half. This was Gonzaga's first championship game, which it earned by beating South Carolina 77-73 in the Final Four. The Tar Heels won their spot in the finals with a 77-76 win over Oregon. Peter Weber
After lagging behind Wisconsin for the first half of the game, the Gators pulled ahead for much of the second half. A concerted comeback by the Badgers produced a tied game with just four seconds left on the overtime clock when Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes scored two points. The game seemed finished — until Florida's Chris Chiozza sprinted down the court to make a running 3-pointer just as the buzzer rang out in Madison Square Garden.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 25, 2017