The turning point came midway through the first half, when Villanova made a tactical adjustment on the defensive end of the floor.
"Wow. I certainly do not, I'll tell you honestly, count myself in that category", Wright said.
It was a team unlike any John Beilein had coached at MI.
Back then probably not even Wright himself could've imagined six years later he'd be at the top of his profession, mentioned in the same breath as Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Tom Izzo and John Calipari. Coaches around the county must've been envious of the players' ability-and more importantly willingness-to complement each other. Remember, the parameters of our dream-coach search include longevity. "And a lot of it goes to Jalen Brunson", Wright said.
"That's a testament to the coaching staff, coach Wright and the guys that he recruits", said Kris Jenkins, another former Wildcats and the owner of the most famous shot in college basketball history. And the case for why he has the best program in the nation right now. When the Wildcats trounced MI 79-62 in Monday's national championship, it completed an unstoppable 6-0 run through the NCAA Tournament, winning by an average of 17.7 points.
After the Wolverines started the game 8 for 12, Villanova held MI to 3-for-16 shooting for the final 11 minutes of the half as the Wildcats dug out from an early 21-14 deficit to lead 37-28 by the break.
The Wildcats use a motion offense and can shoot 3s from every position.
Who's the greatest coach in Big Five history? . He was a Villanova coach, who missed the NCAA Tournament in his first three seasons and knew his job was in jeopardy again. Players are considered in their final seasons not based on whether their eligibility is about to run out but based on when they are likely to leave (like Brunson and Bridges, juniors who are both projected as first-round draft picks).
Villanova's efficiency rating was 127.8, a number that has only been eclipsed by the 2015 Wisconsin team that lost in the National Championship.
On nights when shots were not falling, though, Villanova needed to make sure it could find other ways to win.
Villanova finished the season 36-4 and, according to Kenpom's adjusted efficiency metric, they ranked as the second-best national champion since 2002, coming behind only the 2008 Kansas Jayhawks. But when Wright took over in 2001-2002, the Cats had made the NCAA Tournament only once in the previous four seasons, and hadn't gotten past the second round since 1988.
Wright got interest from the Phoenix Suns after Villanova's 2016 national title.
"When they signed Herschel Walker, they had a press conference and the Stars sent me up to represent them", Wright said. Didn't happen, mainly because they didn't need it too. They'd rather bask in the joy of another title, celebrate with their teammates and be part of the university community. And he'll do this without a Top 10 recruiting class. His team set an NCAA record for 3-pointers this season, and the Wildcats' 18 baskets from beyond the arc in their win Saturday over Kansas were by far the most in a Final Four game.
He's resisted overtures from National Basketball Association teams in the past but if the situation - and the cash - was right, the coach dubbed "GQ Jay" could be swayed to leave his cushy gig in the tony Philly 'burbs.
Not only will Villanova return one of the most versatile front courts in the country next season in Eric Paschall and Omari Spellman, it will be able to move DiVincenzo into a starting role on the perimeter next to junior Phil Booth, a Baltimore native lauded by Wright for helping keep his team steady as MI raced to a seven-point lead early on Monday night.
Maybe they should try doing it the Jay Wright way ...