Josh Hart's 23 points led all scorers in Villanova's thrashing of Oklahoma in Final Four. (Photo courtesy of the Dallas Morning News)
BY RAY FLORIANI
You might have to go back to Carter vs. Reagan to find a bigger landslide.
Villanova dominated Oklahoma, 95-51, in their Final Four matchup in Houston. Yes, Sooners fans reiterated, ‘Houston, we have a problem,’ indeed.
Possessions: Oklahoma 63, Villanova 62 - Kind of conservative, considering Oklahoma needed more possessions given a 14-point halftime deficit.
Offensive efficiency: Villanova 153, Oklahoma 81
Jay Wright’s Wildcats scorched the nets with an 83 percent eFG mark, that figure coming courtesy of shooting 24-of-31 (.774) inside the arc and 11-of-18 (.611) when dialing long distance.
Who to guard? ‘Nova put six players in double digits, varying the attack and eliminating any thought of a double team or keying on one individual.
Don’t forget the defense. We are blinded by the numbers and shooting reminiscent of that evening 31 years ago in Rupp Arena. A big story, though, was the Villanova defense. They held Oklahoma to 37 percent eFG shooting while forcing a 27 percent turnover rate. Further proof was in allowing just 18 percent (11 attempts) in the free throw rate. A basic tenet of solid defense is not fouling. Oklahoma grabbed only 10 defensive boards, not a surprise. When the opposition rarely misses from the field, there are less rebounds available.
Individually, Josh Hart of Villanova led all scorers with 23 points. Hart’s effectiveness factor was 37. A turnover-less 30 minute outing gave Hart an outstanding EF per minute of 1.23.
Buddy Hield of Oklahoma scored nine points, with an EF of 16. Over his 37 minutes, that figured to .432 per minute. On the Linton (creator of EF) scale, that is labeled ‘average.’ Even that may have been generous given the job the Villanova defense did on the Sooner standout.
Other Villanova double digit scorers:
Kris Jenkins 18 points, EF 26.
Ryan Arcidiacono 15 points, EF 18.
Mikal Bridges 11 points, EF 13.
Daniel Ochefu 10 points, EF 18 (six rebounds, zero turnovers)
Phil Booth 10 points, EF 16 (one turnover, five steals).
Oklahoma’s leading, and only double-figure scorer was junior guard Jordan Woodard, who posted 12 points and an EF of 17.