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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickes: End of the NCAA Basketball Season Edition

The season, is over, and Villanova has won its second title in 3 years. Can Kentucky challenge for the crown next year?

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Michigan vs Villanova Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

Well, the 2018 college basketball season has come to an end, and the Villanova Wildcats are the NCAA Tournament champions. Congratulations to them and to coach Jay Wright, it was a noble victory over a solid Michigan Wolverines team that simply didn’t have the magic they needed to overcome a remarkable and dominant Villanova squad.

Positionless basketball is what we saw on display for Villanova, and that is very much the direction both the NBA and college ball are headed right now. We see evolutions and changes in overall team philosophy every decade or so, and this is just one more in the evolution of James Naismith’s masterpiece.

This year’s Villanova team won every NCAA Tournament game they played convincingly, and finished atop Ken Pomeroy’s rankings for the season. In addition, they finished in the KenPom top five for each of the last four years, and in the top two in the last three. This has been a remarkable run for them.

A few more interesting stats for Villanova: They were #1 in the nation in offensive efficiency at almost 1.3 points/possession, #11 in defensive efficiency at 0.94 points/possession, #1 in effective FG% (59.5), #14 in turnover% (15.0), #11 in 3-pt FG% (40.1), #3 in 2-pt FG% (59), and #11 in free throw percentage (77.9).

Villanova is yet another refutation of the idea that defense wins championships. Powerful offenses more often than not overcome strong defenses. Michigan was #3 in DE, for example, and had a solid offense. But it wasn’t nearly enough. Defense first will win a lot of games, but as we saw back in 2015 versus Wisconsin as well as last night, strong offenses playing well are almost impossible to effectively defend. You have to outscore them.

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