Advertisement

Villanova Shoots Lights Out To Advance To National Championship Game

Mikal+Bridges+Jalen+Brunson+Nicholls+State+XATShYTVybUl

There’s something about Villanova in Final Fours in Texas against Big 12 teams. Two years ago the Wildcats absolutely destroyed Oklahoma in the Final Four. This year it was a 95-79 win over Kansas thanks to one of the best shooting performances I can remember. Nova went 18-for-40 from three, including hitting 13 in the first half, which tied the record for most threes in a game at the Final Four.

It was just Villanova being VIllanova though and what I mean by that is the offensive juggernaut. There’s a reason they are the best offensive team in the country and it’s more than shooting. Nova doesn’t run set plays like you see so many teams in the country run. It’s just cutting, relocating and playing hoops. It’s beautiful. That’s what they were doing. They would set a high ball screen, hit the roll man, help would come so he would kick it to the corner. It felt like almost every three came with a hockey assist.

The reason for those open shots though was pretty much due to Jalen Brunson. The National Player of the Year was unreal all game. He was never forcing anything, partly because he might be a robot, but still ended up with 18 points. Early in the game, Kansas was throwing doubles on Brunson, which you simply can’t do. He’s too good of a passer to do that and it showed as he had four assists quick. When that wasn’t there, they just ran the high ball screen, forcing Azubuike/De Sousa to have to hedge or switch, which is typically fine except Spellman and Paschall can both score. That’s how they end up with a combined 39 points.

Despite this loss, I still think you can make a real case that this was the best coaching job that Bill Self has done at Kansas. He took a team that was supposed to be a down team for Kansas standards and won the Big 12 by multiple game,s won the Big 12 Tournament without Azubuike and made a Final Four.

But, this is still all about Nova. This was all about Brunson and Paschall and Spellman and DiVincenzo and Booth and Bridges. This is about the program that Jay Wright has built. That’s a program that’s been the best program in America over the last five years. That’s a program that is playing for its second title in three years. That’s what tonight signified.