The Villanova Wildcats had their way with the Michigan Wolverines in last season’s national championship game.
On Wednesday in Philadelphia, however, the tables were turned.
Led by senior guard Charles Matthews, Michigan dismantled Villanova 73-46 at the Pavilion. Matthews, who had just six points in the title game, led all scorers with 19 points. He also added three blocks.
Villanova started the season ranked No. 8 in the Amway Coaches Poll, while Michigan started 18th. Both teams entered Wednesday’s game unbeaten.
Ignas Brazdeikis, a freshman from Lithuania who played his high school basketball in Canada, was also impressive, scoring 18 points and adding seven boards. Zavier Simpson had perhaps Michigan’s best all-around game, scoring nine points and adding six assists and five steals.
The Wildcats, who committed 21 turnovers, are quite clearly a shell of their former selves, at least for now, returning just two starters from their national title team. That doesn’t include Donte DiVincenzo, last seaons’s Final Four Most Outstanding Player.