Kansas Runs Past Villanova to Get to the NCAA Final

Kansas Runs Past Villanova to Get to the NCAA Final

A Saturday night 81-65 victory against the Villanova Wildcats in the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament put the Kansas Jayhawks one win away from playing for their 10th national championship.

Up until this point, Kansas has been one of, if not the, most dominant teams in the tournament. The team defeated Miami 76-50 in the Elite Eight to earn the school’s 16th trip to the national championship game. Since losing on March 3, the Jayhawks have won 10 straight games.

For Villanova, the road to the Final Four was smooth as they won their first four tournament games by an average of 11 points. For a stretch beginning on February 5, head coach Jay Wright’s squad had won nine consecutive games and 14 of their previous 15 overall.

Kansas Runs Past Villanova to Get to the NCAA Final

The Jayhawks had a strong start to the game. They had a 19-point lead, but Villanova closed to within 38-29 with 1 minute, 24 seconds left in the first half.

In the first half, Kansas made as many three-pointers (seven) as Villanova did field goals (nine) (10).

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In the Opening Period, Ochai Agbaji Shot a Perfect 4 for 4 From Beyond the Arc.

In the first half, Kansas sprinted out to a 38-19 lead over the undermanned Wildcats, but Villanova found its footing in the second half and closed to within 64-58 with 6:10 remaining. The Jayhawks went on an 11-1 run from then, allowing them to regain the lead and avoid any tense moments down the stretch.

To help Kansas win, David McCormack scored a season-high 25 points and the Jayhawks outscored their opponents in the paint, 32-16. After sitting for the final 6:02 of the first half due to foul problems, Villanova was able to make a run and cut the deficit to 40-29 at the break.

As it turned out, Villanova couldn’t come back from a 19-point halftime disadvantage. After losing starting shooting guard Justin Moore to a season-ending Achilles injury in the Elite Eight, the Wildcats’ offence slowed significantly compared to Kansas University’s (53.7 percent).

Just like the first half, Agbaji’s three-pointer got the Jayhawks off to a good start to the second. The Wildcats attempted a few little runs, but they were never able to get within six points.

To put the game out of reach with under four minutes to go, Kansas’ Christian Braun drained a fade away three as time ran out, increasing the advantage to 12.

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McCormack finished with a season-high 25 points and 9 rebounds, and Ochai Agbaji made 6-7 threes for 21 points.

To recap, this is the Jayhawks’ first trip to the National Championship Game since 2012. They’ll face whoever emerges from tonight’s game between Duke and North Carolina for a shot at a fourth title.