In the 2018 NCAA Tournament Championship Game, Dante's Inferno was rewritten. In this version, our hero Donte Divincenzo isn't led through Hell by a poet. This time Donte is the guide taking the Michigan Wolverines through their own Hell. Rather than 9 rings of torment, he unleashed 5 flaming 3 pointers, damning the Wolverines into Eternity.
If Donte Divincenzo's performance surprised you then you haven't been watching Villanova basketball. Don't let the fact that he doesn't start for the 'Cats fool you, that's by design. That's the Divincenzo Code. He could start for any team in the nation. His style of play and his energy are better served coming off the bench to spark and ignite Villanova on both ends of the court. Never was it more apparent than last night.
After star point guard and team leader Jalen Brunson scored the first 2 hoops for Villanova, he quickly cooled and went 1-6 for the rest of the half. Potential lottery pick Mykal Bridges was nowhere to be found. The Wolverines were playing like a pack of wild... well, Wolverines. They were clearly the aggressors and pushed an early lead to 7. The answer? Bring out the Big Ragu with his flaming red hair and jump shot to match. Divincenzo had an immediate impact, scoring 18 first half points and literally pinning a Michigan lay up attempt between the rim and backboard. It was a huge defensive play and the possession arrow, much like everything else in the game was going Villanova's way. The 'Cats had a 9 point lead at halftime and never looked back.
Divincenzo's big night was far from over. He started the second half on the bench. He stayed there for 52 seconds. Then he came back in and completely took the game over again. He would score 11 straight points for Villanova and did this to an attempted dunk:
It goes without saying that he was named Most Outstanding Player as he finished with 31 points on 10-15 shooting (including 5-7 from 3 point range) 5 rebounds, 3 assists and the 2 huge blocks.
He took Mo (S)Wagner's swagger away and winked his way to glory. Grease up the light poles, Philly is on top of the world again.