The Villanova Wildcats are marching on to the Final 4.
After failing to advance the past two seasons, Villanova did not let the opportunity slip by this time around beating top seeded team Kansas, 64-59. It will mark the first time since 2009 that the Wildcats will get past the Elite 8.
Villanova did not score a field goal in the final 4 minutes of the game but it hardly mattered as they used a stifling defense to shoot down the Jayhawks. Kansas will go down in history as the 10th no. 1 team to fail to win an NCAA tournament in the 13 tournaments since the NCAA began ranking.
The Jayhawks were hampered by foul trouble on Delonte Graham, who picked up his fifth foul while diving for a loose ball. Making matters worse for Kansas is that they did not get a great game from the usually reliable Perry Ellis who only got four points and committed four turnovers.
Villanova went 8-for-8 from the free throw line and maintained their poise down the stretch as Kansas made a last ditch stand to turn the game around. Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, and Ryan Arcidiacono top scored for Villanova with 13 points each. They also overcame a 40-percent shooting percentage by going 18 of 19 from the foul line.
Kansas was led by Graham who led all scorers with 17 points with Mason III and Wayne Selden Jr chipping in 16 points apiece. Perry Ellis, who played in his final year, was checked all game long after scoring 27 points against Maryland.
The victory by Villanova marks the first time that a Big East team advances to the Final Four since conference realignment forced the league to move to teams in 2013. The Wildcats have now won 95 games in the last three seasons, the most in college basketball.
Villanova will next meet Oklahoma, who beat no. 1 seed Oregon, in a battle of no. 2 seeds. The national semifinals will begin Saturday with the winner moving on to the national Finals.