March 26, 2016 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Villanova Wildcats defeat Kansas advance to Final Four
The Villanova Wildcats are headed to the Final-Four after ending the season of the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks with a 64-59 win in the NCAA South Regional Final at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY. on Saturday night.
Both Kansas and Villanova started the first half slow and going cold from behind the three point line. Kansas shot 2 of 12 from three for 25 percent, while Villanova shot only 2 of 9 from downtown for 13 percent in the first half. Kansas won the tip and started the game playing Villanova physical on defense jumping out to a 7-6 early lead with 15:52 remaining in the first half. After Villanova took a brief lead off of back to back baskets from Senior forward Daniel Ochefu, Kansas would use a 7-0 run of its own to retake the lead at 14-10 with 11:29 before half-time.
Although it was a low scoring first half, Villanova was able to play some tenacious defense which led to 10 first half turnovers by the Jayhawks. The turnovers led to nine points for the Wildcats and a 32-25 lead at the half. Kansas finished the half shooting only 2 of their last 8 shots from the field.
Just like the start the game when both teams started slowly, the second half begin with the same slow start. At the 14:27 mark the score was 36-35 Villanova. Perry Ellis would give Kansas its first lead of 37-36 since early in the the first half, and Devonte Graham would stretch the lead to four after a long bomb from downtown, giving the Jayhawks a 40-36 lead with 12:52 remaining.
Villanova would then use a 14-5 run capped off by back to back three-point shots from guards Ryan Arcidiacono and Josh Hart for a 50-45 score with 7:54 remaining. Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, and Ryan Arcidiacono led the way in points for the Wildcats with 13 each, and big man Daniel Ochefu did the work on the glass pulling down eight rebounds.
The game would go down to the wire, but in the end Villanova would hit their free-throws late and come up with a couple loose balls to seal the victory to advance to the schools third Final Four and for the first time since 2009.
“I think that the basket shrunk a little bit for us.” stated Kansas Coach Bill Self. “And certainly, they probably got some confidence the way they defending us. But it came down to them making free-throws and it came down to a couple of loose balls, and that was the difference in the outcome of the game.”
Villanova will face the Oklahoma Sooners on April 2nd in Houston Texas, who advanced to the Final Four after defeating Oregon 80-68 in the West Regional game Saturday evening.
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