Kansas wins 81-65 over Villanova in the Final Four – Reading Eagle


New Orleans (AP) — Ochai Agbaji chased the celebrations of Kansas players in the final four and shouted, “One more!”. It goes all the way up the tunnel of the Super Dome and echoes to the locker room door.

Another game, the biggest in their career, is waiting.

J-Hawks returned to the National Championships on Saturday night for a historic shooting performance. David McCormack scored 25 points and Ochai Agbaji hit six three-pointers, scoring 21. Also, the only No. 1 seed to reach the national semi-finals defeated Villanova 81-65, and a year after the pandemic, New Orleans Saints kept almost everyone away.

“That’s everyone’s attitude. After this match, last weekend, and the weekend before, everyone’s attitude was directed towards the next match,” Avaji said.

Well, they are looking forward to a big showdown now. The most victorious program in Division I’s history, the J-Hawks are in third place on the list and face North Carolina, who has played more final fours than anyone else.

Tar Heels retired Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski by winning 81-77 on Saturday’s semi-final night.

J-Hawks (33-6) hopes that the familiar pattern also applies. In the last three tournament encounters between Kansas and Villanova, the winner cut nets, including a biased final four match at Sun four years ago. Antonio.

“You’re coming to Kansas for a big game,” said Christian Brown, who had 10 points against Wildcats. “But you don’t come to Kansas to play in the Elite Eight. You don’t come to Kansas to play in the Final Four. You’ll be playing for the championship.”

Wildcats (30-8), playing without injured guard Justin Moore, scored the first 10 points in the game and finally made a 19-point cushion on Saturday night. I was watching. And despite the great success of Collin Gillespie, Brandon Slater and Jermaine Samuels, the short, smaller Wildcats never returned.

Gillespie, who played in Wildcats’ 156th and final match, hit five three-pointers and finished with 17 points. Meanwhile, Slater hit four 3s and scored 16 points. Samuels finished with 13 points in the last match of his career.

“They played great. They were well prepared. They really did,” said Jay Wright, director of Villanova. “We’ve done a lot of wrong things, but we want them to get the credit they deserve. They played a great game.”

Each team finished with 13 3-pointers, with a total of 26 shots from across the arc, surpassing the 25 shots made by the same two teams at the Alamodome in 2018, setting a final four-game record.

But unlike that night, it was Jay Hawks who first attacked Villanova, trying to run an irregular team whose depth problems were exacerbated only by the loss of Moore, who tore the Achilles tendon in the regional finals. did.

The J-Hawks put pressure on the moment Villanova inbound the ball. They unleashed a trap on the half-court, which was rarely done during the normal season. And they chose the pockets of Gillespie, a big east player twice this year, twice, leading to a simple basket and a 10-0 lead before some of the more than 70,000 fans found a seat.

“We got off to a big start depending on how we shot the ball,” said Kansas coach Bill Self.

Whenever this year’s Big 12 player, Avaji, enjoyed the soft rims of the Superdome and didn’t knock down three seconds, a 6’10, 250-pound McCormack roaded with a smaller Wildcat in paint. Was advancing.

The J-Hawks lead quickly stretched to 15 in the middle of the first half, before Wright finally called the timeout.

His counterparts could probably be related to: In a game that Self hates to watch again, Wildcats took a 22-4 lead from the gate four years ago, taking part in the Final Four explosion and eventually the third national championship.

“This is a legitimate revenge for 2018,” tweeted Jalen Brunson of the Mavericks, who played a major role in Villanova that night.

Daniels and Gillespie did everything they could to rewrite the finish.

Daniels from New Orleans, who started his career in Tulane, continued to play hustle around the hoop, and Philadelphia’s blue-collar kid, Gillespie, was able to defeat two contested threes.

The J-Hawks still led 50-34 early in the second half when Wright went to a lesser lineup and increased pressure on defense. As a result, Villanova was able to trim the lead to a single digit with three consecutive turnovers and a quick three-pointer by Slater and Antoine (a guard not used to absorb much of Moore’s minutes). ..

“We felt like we were there,” Gillespie said. “This is a long game, a 40 minute game, we take pride in playing 40 minutes every night, and we’re just talking about digging, scrapping, and claws, and finally I tried to steal it. “

McCormack finally made Villanova pay to make it smaller at 10:25 with a dunk where the rim rattles and plays.

McCormack and Brown replied again when Wildcats made his final run, scoring a three-point play from Samuels and finishing within 64-58 with just over six minutes remaining. The latter deep fade-away 3 when the shot clock ran out gave Kansas another breathtaking place, from which the Big 12 champions coasted to the title game on Monday night.

“We knew that Villanova would run, so we waited a bit and reacted,” Self said. I thought we were defensively trained. Basically, I thought I was just a fake shot for 40 minutes. And, except to defend Ark, I just thought we played great. “

Welcome home

The Hawks will compete in the championship on the same Superdome floor that they lost to Kentucky in the 2012 title game. Kansas allowed Wildcats to build a big early lead that night before the comeback bids ran out.

Familiar enemy

Kansas and North Carolina played their seventh NCAA tournament, five of which took place on the final weekend. This includes the title game of three extra-time games in 1957, won by Tar Heels in Kansas City, Missouri.

Statistics and streaks

Kansas has committed only seven turnovers, while Villanova has made nine turnovers. … Self-taught his 75th tournament game and was ranked 5th on the career list with Tom Izo of Michigan State University. … Villanova fell to 5-6 this season when his opponent scored at least 70 points. … Gillespie and Slater were 9 out of 15 across the arc. The remaining wild cats were 4 out of 16.


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Kansas wins 81-65 over Villanova in the Final Four – Reading Eagle

Source link Kansas wins 81-65 over Villanova in the Final Four – Reading Eagle

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