And then there were two. The Michigan Wolverines will take on the Villanova Wildcats to determine the 2018 NCAA Men’s basketball championship Monday evening from San Antonio, Texas. While the Wildcats look to win their second title in three seasons and third overall, the Wolverines are looking to win their second title for the men’s basketball program in school history. Michigan’s only NCAA championship came back in 1989 when they defeated Seton Hall 80-79.

Michigan can’t win, so experts say

If you read many NCAA basketball experts online, or watch podcasts by sports stations like ESPN, CBS Sports, SI and various others, they will lead you to believe that the Michigan Wolverines have zero chance to win this game.

Zero. In fact, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd insists that this game is a waste of time and they should award Villanova the trophy before the game and save the Wolverines from being embarrassed. Sure, Villanova is a great team, but so are the Wolverines.

On one side you have a Villanova squad that is averaging nearly 87 points per contest in 2018. That is incredible for a college team. That high flying offense will face one of the best defenses in college basketball Monday night when they face Michigan. The Wolverines are giving up an average of 62 points per contest over the 2017-18 season. Obviously, something has to give.

Live coverage, updated odds, prediction

According to an ESPN report, the Wildcats opened up as the biggest favorite to win an NCAA title game since Duke was favored by 7 points over Butler in 2010.

Nova has been favored to win every game this season. While the Wildcats carry a 35-4 record into championship Monday, the Wolverines are not far off at 33-7.

When it comes to covering the spread, they are basically the same. Nova is 27-12 against the Vegas number, while the Wolverines are 26-12-2. These are the numbers that make me lean towards the dog and Michigan.

Villanova was a favorite in every single game this season, which means they have won several games without covering the spread.

Add to that it is just hard for me to pick against a team that has won 14 games in a row. Michigan has several kids that can shoot the lights out, including Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Charles Matthews and big man Moritz Wagner.

This game should be a close one. While I do think Villanova is the best team in the country, something about this Michigan run makes me believe that the spread here is just too high. The game opened with Nova being a 6-point favorite and it is up to 8-points at many Vegas sports books, including the LV Super Book. Maybe I am missing something here, but Michigan +8 points is where I would put my money in this game.

Here are all the facts you need to know about the 2018 NCAA basketball championship.

Who: No. 3 seed Michigan (33-7) vs. No. 1 seed Villanova (35-4)

When: 9:20 p.m. ET Monday

Where: Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas


Live stream:

Odds: Villanova -8, Over/Under point total 145

Pick: Michigan +8