NEW ORLEANS – David McCormack made his way to 25 points, Ochai Agbaji was almost perfect off the field and added 21 points, and hot-shooting Kansas advanced to a big start before Villanova endured every run for an 81-65 win on Saturday night. Sends Jayhawks back to the national title game.
Christian Brown also had 10 points, including an original 3-pointer to avoid a late return to the game, as the Jokes (33-6) took a measure of revenge for the Final Four beatdown by the Wildcats in San Antonio four years ago. .
Now, they are hoping to follow a familiar pattern against Duke or North Carolina on Monday night. The Jayhawks and Wildcats have met three times in the tournament, with the winner going to cut the net.
Playing without injured guard Justin Moore, Villanova (31-7) saw the only No. 1 seed to reach the semifinals, scoring the first 10 points of the game and eventually creating a 19-point cushion. And despite having big nights from Colin Gillespie, Brandon Slater and Jermaine Samuels, the small-handed and small-sized wildcats never returned.
Gillespie, in his 156th game for the Wildcats, hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points, where Slater made four 3 seconds and 16 points. Samuels finished the last game of his college career with 13 points.