Villanova Wildcats guard Donte DiVincenzo played the starring role in his team's 79-62 national championship win over the Michigan Wolverines on Monday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio. and he collected the 2018 NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player award as a result.
DiVincenzo finished with a game-high 31 points to go with five rebounds and three assists. According to Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde, DiVincenzo had the most points in the title game since Seton Hall Pirates guard John Morton (35 points) in 1989.
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CBSSports.com's Matt Norlander noted DiVincenzo also broke the old scoring record for a bench player in the national championship. Luke Hancock had 22 points in the Louisville Cardinals' 2013 win over 82-76 win over Michigan.
NCAA March Madness shared DiVincenzo's comments after earning Most Outstanding Player:
DiVincenzo's big night caught the eye of Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin:
DiVincenzo accounted for nearly half of Villanova's scoring in the first half, pouring in 18 as the Wildcats carried a 37-28 lead into the locker room. He cooled off to start the second half but then reeled off 11 straight points in a little under three minutes of game time.
Before DiVincenzo got the hot hand, Michigan cut what had been an 18-point deficit to 13 points. DiVincenzo helped stop whatever momentum the Wolverines were generating in the second half.
DiVincenzo stepped up at a time when Villanova needed somebody to have a standout game. Jalen Brunson shot 4-of-13 from the field, and the combination of Eric Paschall and Phil Booth had eight points. Mikal Bridges was the only other Wildcats player to score in double figures (19 points).
DiVincenzo joins Howard Porter, Ed Pinckney and Ryan Arcidiacono as the four Villanova players to capture the NCAA's Most Outstanding Player in the Big Dance.