Villanova shoots its way to national championship game

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NCAA Villanova Oklahoma Final Four Basketball_284010

Villanova guard Mikal Bridges (25) shoots against Oklahoma during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Saturday, April 2, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 95-51. (AP Photo/Robert Deutsch, Pool)

HOUSTON (AP) — Josh Hart scored 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and Villanova advanced to the national championship game with a resounding 95-51 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday night.

The Wildcats (34-5) will face the winner of the North Carolina-Syracuse game for the title on Monday night.

This was the biggest Final Four semifinal win ever, eclipsing the 34-point wins by Cincinnati over Oregon State in 1962 and Michigan State over Penn in 1979.

“That was just one of those nights,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “I feel bad for Oklahoma.”

Villanova dominated the Sooners (29-8) after an opening 7 minutes that had the teams trading the lead on almost every possession.

The Wildcats broke it open with a 21-4 run. The stats about NRG Stadium being a horrible place to shoot went out the window along with the Sooners’ chances at playing for their first national championship.

The Wildcats, with Hart going 7 for 8, shot 66.7 percent in the first half, including 6 of 11 from 3-point range in taking a 42-28 halftime lead.

“We knew how they could beat us bad so we had a lot of fear coming into this game,” Wright said.

As the Wildcats, who won it all in 1985 with the shocking upset of Georgetown, kept making shots, Oklahoma star Buddy Hield kept missing.

The unanimous All-America selection was 3 for 8 in the first half, including 1 of 5 from beyond the arc. Hield came into the game shooting 46.5 percent from 3-point range.

“Just playing defensively as a team … we contained him,” Hart said.

The Wildcats kept it up in the second half and they had their fourth win in the tournament of at least 19 points, the only close game a 5-point win over overall No. 1 seed Kansas in the regional final.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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