Watch Donte DiVincenzo’s Record-Breaking Performance Lead Villanova To Title

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Make that six NCAA tournament blowouts on Villanova’s path two a second national title in three years.

The Wildcats became the first champion since UNC in 2009 to win every single one of their tournament games by double digits — and the first team since UCLA in 1967 to win every March and April game by 10 or more — manhandling the Michigan Wolverines en route to a 79-62 victory.

The star of the night: Donte DiVincenzo, who missed the team’s 2016 title run after a broken foot early in the season forced him to miss the rest of the year as a medical redshirt. On Monday, DiVincenzo set a championship game record for points off the bench, with 31, which is also tied for the most points in a championship game, starter or not, since the tournament field expanded in 1985.

In Villanova’s national semifinal matchup with Kansas two nights earlier, the sophomore guard dropped 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished three assists.

After claiming the championship, DiVincenzo was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.

“Honestly, I didn’t look at the score at all,” DiVincenzo said of his masterful performance, which included two massive blocks. “I didn’t know how many points I had. I didn’t know any of that. I was just trying to make the right play. And Omari (Spellman) was setting unbelievable screens for me getting me open. And I was just feeling it.”

After the Wildcats’ championship in 2016, Jalen Brunson, then a freshman and now projected to go in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft, told DiVincenzo: “We need to get back. We need to get back and share (a moment like) this together.”

Brunson was in tears when he hugged DiVincenzo after the final buzzer on Monday.

“He’s just so special,” Brunson said. “He works his butt off and deserves all of this. In practice, he just goes at everybody. He just has this mind-set that he’s a killer.”

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