11 unbelievable stats from Villanova’s epic 44-point Final Four rout
In one of the most stunning and dominant performances the 77-year-old Final Four has ever seen, the second-seeded Wildcats beat Oklahoma and star Buddy Hield 95-51. Villanova shot a mind-boggling 71.4 percent from the field, meaning the ’85 and ’16 teams are Nos. 1 and 2 in the Final Four record book and the only teams to shoot better than 68 percent in any Final Four game.
That wasn’t the only impressive stat:
1. Villanova had the biggest margin of victory in any Final Four game, beating Oklahoma by 44 points. The previous record was 34 by Ohio State in 1961 and Michigan State in 1979.
2. It was, by far, the best FG% in a national semifinal. Villanova shot 71.4 percent, shattering the previous record of 63.3 percent by that same ’61 Ohio State team.
4. They scored more points in the second half than Oklahoma scored in the game. Villanova dropped 53 in the second half and that included basically sitting on the ball for the last three minutes. Oklahoma had 51 for the whole game.
5. Villanova missed fewer shots (14) than Oklahoma had turnovers (17). I don’t even know where to go with that one.
6. The ’85 team had its historic performance on 28 shots. The team took 49 on Saturday. That’s efficiency, Holmes.
7. Six players scored in double digits. The lowest Villanova scorer had eight.
8. Buddy Hield managed only nine points. That means six ‘Nova players outscored the senior superstar who was two votes away from winning the National Player of the Year award. Hield scored in single-digits only once this season, in Oklahoma’s final game of the regular season against eventual No. 3 seed West Virginia.
9. Oklahoma led 17-16 in the game. After that, Villanova oustcored Oklahoma 79-34. SEVENTY-NINE TO THIRTY-FOUR!
10. Villanova is shooting 58.2 percent from the field during the tournament. That’s the highest ever since the 64-team bracket was introduced in 1985 (yes, the year Villanova shot more than 70 percent in a game and won the title.
11. Oklahoma beat Villanova 78-55 back in December. Saturday’s game was a 67-point swing from that night.
It wasn’t even that Oklahoma played poorly; it’s that Villanova dominated the Sooners in every facet of the game, from shooting to rebounding to passing to defending to conditioning to hustle to coaching and everything else in between. Hield wasn’t just rendered ineffective, Villanova essentially disappeared him.
When Villanova scored 92 in a 23-point Sweet 16 blowout of Miami, that figured to be the high-water mark for the Wildcats, not because Villanova wasn’t a threat to win the title but because it’s hard to play more perfectly than shooting 62.7 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from beyond the arc against one of the best teams in the country. Eight days later, Villanova proved that wrong in a huge way.
Less than an hour after Villanova and Oklahoma walked off the court, the second semifinal, North Carolina vs. Syracuse, tipped off in Houston. If the Wildcats can play Monday night at even 75 percent of the level they played Saturday, UNC-Cuse might as well be an exhibition.
This is Villanova’s tournament to lose.