Villanova buries Oklahoma in 95-51 Final Four victory

first_imgHOUSTON – With Villanova up by 36 and over seven minutes left in the game, Wildcats head coach Jay Wright was swearing at the referees after a call didn’t go his team’s way.The game was a farce, the first of two Final Fours billed as Buddy Hield’s chance to prove he was the country’s clear-cut best player on the biggest stage in college basketball. Instead, Oklahoma was embarrassed and humiliated in a 44-point blowout.The second-seeded Wildcats made a mockery out of No. 2 seed Oklahoma and turned a nine-point second half game into a 95-51 win to advance to the national championship game at the NRG Center. The win was the biggest ever in the Final Four. Villanova scored more points in the second 20 minutes than OU did the entire game. The Wildcats await the winner of Syracuse (23-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) and North Carolina (32-6, 14-4), which it will play in the NCAA title game on Monday.Hield, the AP Player of the Year, began the game with a stepback 3 over Ryan Arcidiacono, but that was about the cleanest look he’d get in the first 20 minutes. After the two teams traded 3-pointers, Villanova opened up a double-digit lead courtesy of a balanced scoring attack with Josh Hart at the forefront.The Wildcats shut down Hield, who managed two contested layups for the rest of the half and went into the break with seven points on 3-of-8 shooting from the field as the Sooners trailed, 42-28.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOklahoma came out of the break with more offensive gusto. Hield converted a crafty layup to begin the half and OU soon sliced its deficit back to single digits. Jordan Woodard drew a foul on a 3-pointer, made the first two foul shots, grabbed the offensive rebound after missing the third and made the ensuing layup in midair to make it 46-37 with 16:17 left in the game.But the Wildcats responded with a run of their own, re-taking an 18-point lead with under 12 minutes left and a upping its shooting to a staggering 25-for-36 mark from the field. And following a Phil Booth corner 3, VU grabbed its largest lead of the game at 21 points still with 12 minutes to play.From there, it seemed easy for Villanova. Kris Jenkins hit a 3 with over nine minutes left to put the Wildcats up 28. Then on the ensuing transition, big man Daniel Ochefu knocked the ball away from Woodard and Arcidiacono hit another long ball on the other end.A nine-point game turned into a 31-point romping courtesy of an 18-0 ‘Nova run and a Wildcats’ shooting percentage that eclipsed 70 percent. Then the margin reached 40, then more and Wright put in his walk-ons with about three minutes left.When Booth pulled up on a breakaway and instead dribbled the ball out with under a minute left, Villanova fans let out a sigh of disappointment, the only one of the day in an otherwise unrelenting domination of Oklahoma. Comments Published on April 2, 2016 at 8:32 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more