Villanova VS N. Carolina in the BIG Dance

Courtesy of CBSNews.com
HOUSTON --Villanova had a night to remember on both ends of the court.
Buddy Hield had a night to forget.
The Wildcats, setting a record for margin of victory in a NCAA Tournament Final Four semifinal, held Hield to his second-lowest output of the season in a 95-51 
    "That was just one of those nights," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "I feel bad for Oklahoma."
    He can feel good for his Wildcats (34-5) as they advanced to Monday night's national championship game against the winner of the North Carolina-Syracuse game.
    Josh Hart scored 23 points and his 10-of-12 shooting performance was part of Villanova's 71.4 percent (35 of 49) effort. Villanova missed just five shots in the second half.
    The margin topped the 34-point Final Four wins by Cincinnati over Oregon State in 1962 and Michigan State over Penn in 1979.
    The Wildcats now have four wins in the tournament of at least 19 points, the only close game a 5-point win over overall No. 1 seed Kansas in the Elite Eight.
    Villanova dominated the Sooners (29-8) after an opening 7 minutes that had the teams trading the lead almost every possession.
    The Wildcats broke it open with a 21-4 run. The stats about NRG Stadium being a horrible place to shoot went out the window along with the Sooners' chances at playing for their first title.
    "I definitely think it helped," Wright said of practicing shooting in the dome. "'We're going to be good,' we keep telling them, and I think they believed that."
    The Wildcats, with Hart going 7 for 8, shot 66.7 percent in the first half, including 6 of 11 from 3-point range in taking a 42-28 halftime lead.
    "I wouldn't say it's easy, but when you have guys like (teammates) you can go off any night," Hart said. "When they're aggressive, it helps me. The driving lanes, able to get a couple of shots to fall, when that happens, able to kick out and get some guys some shots."
    As the Wildcats, who won it all in 1985 with the shocking upset of Georgetown, kept making shots, Hield kept missing.
    The unanimous All-America selection was 3 for 8 in the first half, including 1 of 5 from beyond the arc. Hield came into the game shooting 46.5 percent from 3-point range.
    "Just playing defensively as a team ... we contained him," Hart said.
    Hield kept putting on and off his familiar white sleeve on his right arm. It didn't matter as the Sooners absorbed their worst loss of the season.
    The Sooners finished 31.7 percent (19 of 60) for the game.
    "Just credit them for what they were doing. Made it tough on me throwing multiple bodies at me," said Hield, who had six points against West Virginia. "They just played terrific tonight."
    Hield said Villanova was: "one of the best teams I've ever played in college."
    Several Wildcats get credit for the great defense against Hield.
    "We were just loading into him," Mikal Bridges said. "We just tried our best to limit his touches and load to him when he had the ball."
    Kris Jenkins added 18 points for Villanova and Ryan Arcidiacono had 15.
    Jordan Woodard led the Sooners with 12 points.
    Villanova turned the tables from the teams' December meeting with a 21-4 run in the first half.
    The Wildcats made one less 3-pointer in the run than they did in 32 attempts in the 78-55 loss at Pearl Harbor. Bridges, Jenkins and Arcidiacono hit the long jumpers for Villanova and Oklahoma, meanwhile, couldn't get anything going. The Sooners went 4 1/2 minutes without scoring. They committed four turnovers on their first five possessions of the drought
    Hart capped the half for Villanova with a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left that made it 42-28.
    The Wildcats had as many assists (9) as Oklahoma did turnovers. Villanova shot 66.7 percent (18 of 27) while the Sooners were just 12 for 25 (48 percent).
    "I'm happy we had one of those games, we made every shot," Wright said. "Kind of similar to our game in Hawaii against Oklahoma, they made everything, we couldn't make anything.
    "We were dialed in. Played great defensively."
    The teams were as close as you can possibly get in the final AP poll. Villanova was sixth and Oklahoma seventh. Both teams spent time at No. 1 this season.

    Inside-outside job lifts Tar Heels to 83-66 win over Orange


    HOUSTON -- North Carolina's latest step on the way to a title was shaping up as strictly an inside job.
    Out of nowhere, Marcus Paige figured out how to hit from 3-point land and the Tar Heels put an end to any hopes of another Syracuse comeback.
    Using layups, floaters and putbacks -- then, finally, three very timely 3s from Paige -- the Tar Heels outmuscled Syracuse 83-66 on Saturday to move a win away from the program's sixth national title.
    Paige finished with 13 points and Brice Johnson and Justin Jackson led North Carolina (33-6) with 16 apiece, as the Tar Heels, the lone No. 1 seed in the Final Four, beat Jim Boeheim's 10th-seeded Orange for the third time this season and advanced to Monday's title game against Villanova.
    Earlier, the Wildcats made 11 of 18 shots from behind the 3-point line, debunking the theory, first advanced at the cold-shooting Final Four in 2011, that nobody could shoot in Houston's cavernous stadium.
    Then, the Tar Heels, ranked 284th in the country this season from long range, reversed that one-game trend. They bricked up 3 after 3, going 0-for-10 in the first half and barely drawing iron on some of them. Paige opened the second half with North Carolina's 11th straight miss, and for the next 10 minutes, the Tar Heels (33-6) basically ignored the 3-point line.
    Only when Trevor Cooney and Malachi Richardson triggered a 10-0 Syracuse run to trim a 17-point deficit to seven did the Tar Heels start thinking long range again. Paige made three 3s and Theo Pinson hit another to stifle the rally and make Carolina almost respectable from the 3-point line: 4 for 17 for the game.
    Meeks finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, including a paddy cake putback after batting a second offensive rebound to himself off glass. That gave the Heels a 67-53 lead.
    Before Paige found his range, that was how North Carolina built its lead.
    It was a reminder of the days before the 3-point shot was invented, when the way to really beat a zone -- and Boeheim's 2-3 is the best in the game -- was to make blink-of-an-eye passes in and around the paint and crash the offensive glass to take advantage of a defense that doesn't put bodies on bodies when the ball goes up.
    That plan still works these days.
    Early in the second half, Jackson made a jump pass from the corner to the lane, where Paige was waiting and batted the ball with an open hand over to Meeks, who dunked.
    A bit later, Joel Berry got an easy offensive rebound and a layup to put the Tar Heels ahead by 17.
    North Carolina finished with 16 second-chance points on 16 offensive boards.
    Syracuse trailed by 16 in its crazy comeback victory over Virginia last week to make it here. But there was no full-court press that could beat the Heels, and no meltdown awaiting from them either.
    Cooney led the Orange (23-14), the first No. 10 seed to make it to the Final Four, with 22 points. Richardson had 17, but after his 3 trimmed the deficit to seven with 9:48 left, Syracuse couldn't pull closer.
    author

    We Are Houston #1 Internet Station for HipHop and R/B

    Home of the Indie Hits. We are Powerhits281, Houston's #1 Internet Radio Station.Playing a TRUE mix of Indie and Commercial artists. Keeping HTOwn on LOCK.