Villanova Tops Kansas in Final Four to Set Up 2018 Championship vs. Michigan

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2018

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 31:  Eric Paschall #4 of the Villanova Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2018 NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at the Alamodome on March 31, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The No. 1 Villanova Wildcats own the most efficient offense in men's college basketball by a wide margin, and the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks learned that the hard way on Saturday.

With a spot in the national title game on the line, the Wildcats throttled the Jayhawks 95-79 behind a three-point shooting barrage of historic proportions at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Villanova, in a performance reminiscent of its dominant 2016 Final Four win over Oklahoma, set a new Final Four record by drilling 18 threes, including 13 in the first half to tie the previous high mark.

Six different Villanova scorers drilled at least two shots from beyond the arc, including stretch big Eric Paschall.

The junior, who didn't make a three in the Elite Eight against Texas Tech, finished with a season-high 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three.

Jalen Brunson (18 points, six assists), Omari Spellman (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Donte DiVincenzo (15 points) also easily worked their way into double figures.

With the Wildcats firing on all cylinders, Kansas alum and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid—who's recovering from surgery for a fractured orbital bone—expressed his dismay in a series of predictably hysterical tweets:

The Jayhawks did their best to keep pace, shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 7-of-21 from three, but a 15-point halftime deficit proved too steep to overcome despite Kansas' 16-5 scoring edge at the free-throw line.

Devonte' Graham led Kansas with 23 points and Malik Newman, fresh off a 32-point eruption against Duke in the Elite Eight, managed 21 points as his breakout campaign ended with a whimper.

The Jayhawks will now make a short trip back to Kansas, while the Wildcats will extend their stay in San Antonio for a few more days as they prepare for their second national title game appearance in three years.

Next up for Villanova: A meeting with the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines and their third-ranked defense following a 69-57 win over No. 11 Loyola-Chicago in the evening's first semifinal.

     

Advanced stats courtesy of KenPom.com.

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