For the second time in three years, the Villanova Wildcats are in the Final Four!
The Wildcats defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 71-59 on Sunday afternoon in Boston. With the win, ‘Nova is the East Regional Champion, and will play in San Antonio next Saturday against either the Kansas Jayhawks or Duke Blue Devils. Thus, they have the opportunity to win their second National Championship in three years.
Villanova won despite turning in an off day from the field. The Wildcats shot just 19-for-15 from the field and 4-for-24 from the 3-point line. This included marks of 9-for-30 and 2-for-15 in the second half. But despite that, the Wildcats survived and advanced past the Red Raiders. At this point of the year, that’s all that it’s about. It should be noted, though, that they were 29-for-35 at the free throw line, which no doubt helped them along the way.
Five Wildcat players got into double figures, as Jalen Brunson, Eric Paschall, Omari Spellman, Donte DiVincenzo and Mikal Bridges had 10+ points. Brunson led the way with 15, while Paschall had 12, as did DiVincenzo and Bridges. Spellman put up 11 points.
Even despite those poor shooting marks, Villanova wasn’t particularly fazed by Texas Tech’s defense. They missed quite a bunch of open looks, which could be pretty fearful for whomever they face next. Those shots, as we’ve learned, can fall and fall in numbers when the ‘Cats really get going. Chances are, they very well may next time around.
Keenan Evans and Jarrett Culver led in points for Texas Tech, as Evans had 12 while Culver posted 11.
This isn’t the first time that Villanova has made their way to the Final Four through Boston, of course. They got there in 2009, and I’m sure many in Nova Nation are happy this wasn’t quite as stress-inducing as that Elite Eight contest with Pitt was. Whatever the case, the dynasty is still marching forward. Now, we’ll see if ‘Nova can cut down the nets, as many believed they could at the start of the season. They’re just two games away from immortality. Time will tell to see if these ‘Cats can get to the top.