Nova is a better team, athletes and players, best program in the country over the last five years. If we played them ten times, we would lose eight or nine.
They shot lights out early and got confidence, the basket grew and most shots where swishes from downtown. The set the record for made threes (tied it in the first half!). That shot at the start of the second half after we had a glimmer of hope as the shot clock expired, from way downtown…enough said.
Their front court was better than ours and their back court was better than ours, deeper and more versatile. (In the title game their bench guy 6th man scored 31 and was named Final Four MVP…wow! that is depth and many weapons at a whole different level, GREAT O and much better than average D, just a complete deep team with talent and experience, 'hats off to the program and this year’s crew and coach Jay - they are truly the elite college team)
So, in summary, we (and everybody else) was completely outclassed, offensively and defensively and Villanova was peaking at just the right time. There is NO WAY we could have jacked up 40 three pointers, come on man!
Also, the number of threes depend on the quality of the shot, not quantity of shots attempted… You either have to step back and take a looooooong one from way downtown, or your O scheme has to allow for open catch and shoot looks, then knock 'em down. No one is going to get his own consistently off the dribble at the college level.
The way they were running their offense and the quality of looks against our average D was not going to be successful unless they missed and got tight, and the opposite happened.
BTW…the Big East is NOT mid-major, come on man! It is a good conference. And Nova peaked at just the right time…like a court full of Newmans confidence wise in their shots in March. That team would beat anybody consistently at the end of the year. They would outscore with great O or grind it out with strong D. The great defensive teams this year (like UV or MSU or TTor WVU) did not have the fire power and the great offensive teams (like KU) did not have the D to compete and win consistently against that team, this year, in March.
The ONLY thing KU could have done which we did not do was close out better on their three point shooters which MIGHT have disrupted their rhythm just a little. We tried but were a step too slow and with the big guy we could not protect the three point line after the switches. They had SEVEN players hit a three in the first half and all starters had at least two threes in the first half! Unreal. Once they got going, it was a fret train.
TT was the best defensive team in out conference this year and they disrupted a little bit more the open threes that Nova creates through mismatches and GREAT ball movement. WVU is good and their press is really good. Nova beat the field by double digits. And they got better each game!
Still, as their POY stud point guard said, “if we we were not hitting shots, we would have just grinded it out and still won”…impressive and true, just as they did against TT.
BRAVO to KU players and coaches who got as much out of this team as humanly possible.
Great year, lots of fun, no embarrassment in the semis…just ran into a buzz saw who shot it lights out. Thanks to all in KU nation for a highly entertaining year. We overperformed, be proud and happy and supportive. Well done!
GREAT Big 12 champs again (14 straight is amazing), Big 12 touney champs w/out Dok was impressive, GREAT GREAT Elite Eight win over Duke - by far the game of this year’s Madness.
Now on the next year, as pre-season number one! RCJH!