USA Today Images

The Michael Jordan Of Delaware

31 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.

April 03, 2018 - 9:56 am
Categories: 

You know if I’m starting the show by talking about the city greasing poles in Philly, that it’s been another great night for Philadelphia. And it’s a good thing the Crisco came out because last night was another great night for Philadelphia. Villanova 79, Michigan 62.

Nova’s second title in three years and third overall. And last night couldn’t have been any different than the first two titles. There was no perfect David v. Golaith upset and there was no last second shot. 

And it wasn’t like Saturday’s evisceration of Kansas where they hit everything. Because at the start, they really weren’t hitting anything. Michigan’s defense was causing them problems. And then Nova found its hero. And that hero wasn’t Jalen Brunson, Omari Spellman, Eric Pascal or Mikal Bridges. It was Donte DiVincenzo. Donte Freaking DiVincenzo. 

The Michael Jordan of Delaware.

How good is Villanova? Brunson, the national player of the year had an off-night and they still won by 17. How good is Villanova? Donte DiVincenzo, the most outstanding player of the Final Four, comes off the bench. But he doesn’t just come off the bench to give the stars a breather. He comes off the bench as a star. 

31 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. He kept Nova in it early when everyone else was struggling with 18 points in the first half. In fact, there were stretches where it seemed like there were two or three Donte’s on the floor because he was everywhere – scoring, snagging rebounds, nailing chase-down blocks. The Michael Jordan of Delaware was dominating like the Michael Jordan of North Carolina.

And if you don’t like the MJ of The Blue Hen State gloss, you can roll with the Big Ragu. Or you can just go with what Brunson called him after the game: killer. And that is the truth. He is a killer. That’s a whole team of stone-cold killas. Donte’s got nearly as many nicknames as he has ways of hurting you. Two years ago, he was Buddy Hield in game prep for the national semifinal and last night he was better than Buddy Hield. 

Because as nice as that 18 in the first half was, the 11 straight he dropped at the start of the second half was even better. Just when Michigan came out of halftime and thought maybe they had a chance, Donte ended it. And did it so easily that he still found time to wink at his old practice rival, Josh Hart, in the stands. 

Last night he became the first player in a title game to crack 30 points since Miles Simon. If you’re besting a Miles Simon title game performance, you had yourself a damn good night. How good was it? John Beilein, one of the best coaches around and a true wizard, said afterwards: "Even if we had played our best, it would have been very difficult to win that game with what DiVincenzo did. It was an incredible performance. Sometimes those individual performances just beat you, and you just say, 'OK, we played you the best we could, and tonight, you were better than us.'"

That is the truth. Last night, they were better than Michigan and all season, they were better than everyone else. And now they have two titles in three years and Philadelphia has two titles in two months. The City of Brotherly Love is the City of Champions. No one can ever rap that city for not being able to win the big one. And no one can ever rap Villanova for not being able to win in March. Philadelphia and Villanova are both golden. Made now forever. And no one will ever see the two the same ever again.