Published: Sun, April 01, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Villanova breaks Final Four record for 3s in a game

Villanova breaks Final Four record for 3s in a game

Villanova (35-4) will take on red-hot MI (33-7) in the championship game.

A strong Villanova team stands in between MI and the school's first basketball title since 1989.

About the only drama in the second half was whether the Wildcats would top Loyola Marymount's NCAA Tournament record of 21 3-pointers in a game (against MI in 1990).

"Wow. If you put it like that, it's probably cool", Wagner said. We had trouble scoring the first half.

"Man, they played a good game tonight and I'm still proud of them", said Jared Clark.

"And I honestly just tried to do my job".

Now Wright's team has a chance to win its second championship in three seasons, not just because of Villanova's fire power.

Villanova knocked off the Big 12's three best teams - West Virginia, Texas Tech and Kansas - by a combined margin of 40 points.

"That was one of our main focuses coming into this game, just limiting their 3s", Villanova junior guard Phil Booth said.

BC-BKC-Final Four-Kansas-No Answers, 1st Ld-Writethru, 713 Kansas can't find a way to slow Villanova's 3-point barrageAP Photo FF238, FF586, FF256, FF250Eds: Updates throughout.

The Wildcats made them pay with forwards Eric Paschall (24 points on 10-for-11 shooting, including 4 of 5 on 3s) and Omari Spellman (15 points, three 3-pointers).

But the hoop was as wide as the Alamodome for pretty much everyone in a Wildcats jersey. Instead, Self found himself flailing his arms in disbelief as Villanova's very first basket was a corner 3 on a clean look - the start of a have-no-answers night as the Wildcats made 3s at a record pace to shoot the Jayhawks right into the offseason.

Kansas (31-8) came in playing a guard-heavy lineup that theoretically could give them a bit more ability to chase Villanova's shooters on the perimeter. That doesn't happen often. "Of course we wanted to see them win tonight but I'm still Rock Chalk all the way". The Wolverines have been underdogs in nine games this season and went 5-4 straight-up in those games.

Nobody has had much success this season, and in what turned out to be an unexpectedly lopsided matchup between top seeds, Kansas (31-8) certainly didn't Saturday night.

Things got so bad that the Wildcats had tied the Final Four single-game record of 13 3-pointers by halftime, prompting the NCAA to post a highlight montage of each and every one on Twitter.

A Kansas team that averaged 25.1 3-point tries in its first 38 games couldn't as much as release a single 3 in the national semifinals' opening 12-plus minutes, making it all the more hard to keep pace with the devastating shots leaving the hands of Villanova shooters, who set a Final Four record for 3-point makes, connecting on 18 of their 40.

Much earlier, at about the 13-minute mark of the first half, Collin Gillespie spotted up and swished for 'Nova's sixth 3 of the game, which gave it the NCAA record for 3s in a season, with 442.

Coach Bill Self did what he could, urging his 7-foot center, Udoka Azubuike, out of the paint and into the faces of this group of hybrid forward-guards, all of whom can shoot.

The Jayhawks, back in San Antonio on the 10-year anniversary of winning their last title here, made mini runs, but the deficit never got below double digits. The season that revolved around the highly entertaining ball of feel-good energy, senior point guard Devonte' Graham, sparkled with far more thrills than spills. Malik Newman, who pushed his game into overdrive during the postseason, had 21. His lone 3-point make came 33 seconds later.

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