Final Four: Hot-shooting Kansas dominates Villanova to reach national title game

Written by on April 2, 2022

NEW ORLEANS — Kansas is heading to the nationwide title recreation. 

The ultimate No. 1 seed remaining on this males’s NCAA Event, the Jayhawks regarded the half in dominating No. 2 Villanova within the Closing 4 on Saturday for a 81-65 win earlier than a sellout crowd of greater than 70,000 on the Caesars Superdome. 

Kansas will meet the winner of Duke and North Carolina within the nationwide championship on Monday (9:20 p.m. ET, TBS). 

The Jayhawks (33-6) got here out firing on all cylinders and placed on an offensive clinic. They shot a blistering 13-for-24 from three-point vary, together with a 7-for-10 begin from past the arc. 

“We got here out able to play,” coach Bill Self stated. “I believed we performed nice offensively.”

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Kansas regarded dominant from the tip, leaping out to a 10-Zero lead off a a triple from Ochai Agbaji (21 factors on the night time), who acquired sizzling early with 4 first-half threes after which drilled a pair of dagger jumpers to place the sport away within the second half.

“I simply felt relaxed, however nonetheless assured and able to assault the sport,” Agbaji stated. 

Villanova took a timeout halfway via the primary half after wanting discombobulated after KU jumped out to a 26-11 lead off a David McCormack slam. The large man gave the Jayhawks a transparent benefit in opposition to an undersized ‘Nova squad, ending with 25 factors and 9 rebounds.

“If we will play inside, it opens up for extra pictures and driving lanes,” McCormack stated. “That made it straightforward.”

Kansas forward David McCormack dunks against Villanova during the first half in a national semifinal at Caesars Superdome.

The Wildcats (30-8) would not go away and confirmed indicators of life, chopping the deficit to 38-29 within the first half off a three-pointer by Collin Gillespie (17 factors off 5 three-pointers), ‘Nova’s five-year senior level guard who stored them in hanging distance along with his playmaking in phases of the second half.

“We felt like we have been proper there,” Gillespie stated. “We have been going to do no matter it took to battle again.”

A Jermaine Samuels three-point play reduce it to 64-58 with 6:10 remaining. The Wildcats had 13 three-pointers of their very own to match KU on that entrance.

“We knew Villanova would make a run,” Self stated. “We held on and responded. Except defending the arc, I simply thought we performed terrific.”

In the long run, Villanova simply did not have sufficient weapons to match Kansas’ dynamic offense, with starter Justin Moore out with an Achilles damage.

“We have been prepared and we have been ok to win that recreation,” coach Jay Wright stated. “(Kansas) did a variety of issues that made them win the sport.”

The Jayhawks did not get the traditional manufacturing it was used to from its bench, particularly guard Remy Martin – KU’s main scorer in three NCAA Event video games. However others stepped up and made clutch performs. Simply as Villanova was inching again into the sport, a Christian Braun three-pointer with 4:51 left sealed the victory. 

Kansas is again in its first title recreation since 2012 when the Jayhawks misplaced to Kentucky. This system hasn’t gained a nationwide championship since 2008 when it beat Memphis in additional time. 

The matchup between Kansas and ‘Nova was being tabbed because the “undercard,” by Self, with a nationwide semifinal matchup between archrival blue-bloods Duke and North Carolina hyped as one of the biggest college basketball games in history

Observe faculty basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson


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