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Villanova, Michigan to play for national title

Villanova bombed its way past a blueblood to reach the national title game. Michigan got there by taking away Cinderella's slipper.

This end to March Madness should be good.

A wild NCAA Tournament of upsets comes down to this: Villanova and its squadron of long-range shooters against Michigan and its ultra-stingy defense, Monday night at the Alamodome.

The Wildcats (35-4) turned a Final Four showdown with fellow No. 1 seed Kansas into a laugher, dropping in 3-pointers like they were playing pop-a-shot in the 95-79 rout. Villanova made a Final Four-record 18 3s in a record-matching 40 attempts, its second trip to the title game in three seasons never in doubt.

Bradley: Villanova’s rain of treys lands mainly on Kansas’ addled noggin

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Junior Eric Paschall led the barrage, going 4 for 5 from 3, 10 for 11 overall, and finishing with a career-high 24 points. But the hoop was as wide as the Alamodome for pretty much everyone in a Wildcats jersey. Villanova shot 45 percent from 3.

The third-seeded Wolverines (33-7) had a bit more trouble against the bracket's favorite underdogs, overcoming a frightful first half to send Loyola-Chicago and Sister Jean packing.

Bradley: Michigan and Wagner make Loyola go away

The Wolverines trailed 29-22 before snapping to life in the second half and run past the underdog Ramblers.

Michigan had the nation's No. 3 defense efficiency-wise and put Loyola on lockdown in the second half, holding the Ramblers to 1-of-7 shooting from 3 to send Sister Jean Delores Schmidt to the exits early.

The Wolverines are seeking their first national title since Glen Rice and Rumeal Robinson rumbled through the bracket in 1989.

Michigan got very little contribution from its two starting guards, Zavier Simpson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman.

They combined for 7 points on 2-for-17 shooting.

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