WVU falls to Villanova in Sweet 16

Posted March 24, 2018

Jalen Brunson, right, of Villanova gets fouled by Sagaba Konate, left bottom, and James Bolden of West Virginia during the 1st half of the East Regionals of the NCAA Tournament at TD Garden on March 23, 2018.

Villanova responded to tie the game at 60 as Brunson scored four points and Paschall added two free throws.

Villanova will battle West Virginia, a team that defeated Marshall, 91-74, to get to this round.

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Now they've reached the Sweet 16 for the sixth time under head coach Jay Wright. "We expect him to play at a high level every game". To watch these streams, you'll have a free preview before needing to sign in to a TV provider to keep watching, but if you don't have cable, you can do this by logging in with your Hulu credentials.

Turnovers. West Virginia is going to do whatever they can to speed Villanova up and make them turn the ball over, but Villanova has the guards to handle the pressure that the Mountaineers are going to throw at them. But foul trouble throughout the second half was too much for West Virginia to overcome after it gave up the lead.

Villanova star Donte DiVincenzo was called for his third foul with more than five minutes remaining in the first half.

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Then again, Villanova also can wear down an opponent with its depth, speed, shooting and defense. Its 11-point run was capped by a thunderous block and dunk on the other end by Omari Spellman that pushed the Wildcats back in front 65-60. Meanwhile, West Virginia may play full-court defense, but it's a bit weak at stopping the three-pointer.

For West Virginia, Daxter Miles leads the way with 11 points.

The Wildcats have been red hot with their shooting, dropping in 17 shots from beyond the 3-point arc against Alabama and 14 against Radford.

But while Brunson is not as decorated a defender as Carter, who leads the country with 108 steals, he is comparable in how hard he plays and how integral his leadership is to his team, which is pushing for its second national championship in three years.

Texas Tech are headed to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history.

Villanova will play the victor of the regional semi-final later Friday night between No2 seed Purdue and third-seeded Texas Tech for a spot in the Final Four.

On the season, Villanova averages 86.9 points, 35.5 rebounds and 16.8 assists per game. Before he and Carter combined to score 39 points in a win over Texas Tech, Miles knelt at at the school's logo and planted a kiss. Purdue got it down to one early in the second but the Red Raiders never surrendered the lead. Things typically start with Jalen Brunson (19.1 ppg, 3.7 apg) but the emergence of potential lottery pick Mikal Bridges down this recent stretch run has really elevated the team into a title favorite.

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The Boilermakers (30-7) were playing in their second straight regional semi-final. The Mountaineers are trying to get to the Elite Eight for the first time since their Final Four run in 2010.

Texas Tech (27-9) also got 33 points from its bench, compared to just six for Purdue.

They reminisced about each other in opposite locker rooms before their respective practices Thursday, talking about their teenage years together, but both did their best to deflect talk about their individual matchup in Friday's game.

"I think Clemson's overrated", he said.

Still, it could've ended on Friday - in horrifying fashion - after Clemson stormed back from a 20-point deficit that stunned a crowd filled mostly with fans from Lawrence and surrounding areas, which are only a few hours from Omaha. The Jayhawks led 62-42, but the Tigers pulled within six with 2:27 remaining before Devonte Graham grabbed a huge offensive rebound that allowed Kansas to kill nearly a full minute off the clock.

"We're going to come to play on Friday, and we're going to see what happens", Carter added.

"I felt like we gave it everything we had", Carter said.

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"I think we got used to the physicality, we got used to the aggressiveness, and we were executing better", Wright said.