A highly anticipated matchup of two No. 2 seeds turned into a blowout tonight as Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats beat Buddy Hield and the Oklahoma Sooners by a crushing score of 95-51. Josh Hart led Villanova with 23 points as the Wildcats shot an eye-popping 71 percent from the field and forced 17 turnovers.
Even more interesting is that Sooners star guard Buddy Hield, who ranked second in the nation in scoring and was averaging 29.2 points per game in the NCAA Tournament heading into tonight’s game, was a non-factor. The future first-round pick had just nine points on 4 of 12 shooting tonight as Oklahoma made just 32 percent of its shots and 22 percent of its threes, completely shut down by Villanova’s strong defense.
Villanova led 42-28 at halftime and for a brief moment in the second half, it looked like Oklahoma would keep it close. But that hope died the moment the Wildcats went on what amounted to a devastating 25-0 run before shifting into cruise control. As a result, Villanova is headed to its first championship game since 1985, when the Wildcats won a national title under coach Rollie Massimino.
Oklahoma, on the other hand, is now 0-13 in games in which it has trailed by more than 10 points at halftime in five seasons under Lon Kruger. To say the least, they looked like the exact opposite of the Sooners team that beat Villanova 78-55 at the Pearl Harbor Classic back in December.
Needless to say, Final Four Weekend has kicked off with a bang. Stay tuned to Campus Sports for further updates from Houston!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to NY Post