Wagner, Michigan end Loyola's Final Four run

Brunson driving past Kansas guard Malik Newman in the second half. Credit Robert Deutsch  USA Today Sport

Brunson driving past Kansas guard Malik Newman in the second half. Credit Robert Deutsch USA Today Sport

Villanova shot 53.1 percent (17/32) before the break.

Jay Wright's Wildcats used a plethora of three-pointers to keep No. 1 Kansas out of the contest, while the Wolverines relied on impressive numbers from their star forward to end No. 11 Loyola of Chicago's Cinderella run. "I kept looking possession by possession, we had trouble scoring the first half", Wagner noted.

Paschall scored 10 of Villanova's first 12 points in the second half and the advantage grew to 20, 59-39, on his 3-point basket with 15:13 to play.

"We recruit guys that just want to be in college", Wright said. It wasn't almost enough against the hot-shooting Wildcats, who tied their program's single-season wins record and have a chance to win their third NCAA championship.

"We didn't do what we were really supposed to do with the aggressiveness we should've because we were anxious about the result because they had already picked on us some". MI is very good at defending the three, holding teams to 32.7 percent on the season.

Spellman 6-15 0-0 15, Paschall 10-11 0-0 24, Brunson 7-14 1-3 18, Booth 4-9 0-0 10, Bridges 4-8 0-0 10, Cosby-Roundtree 0-0 0-0 0, Samuels 0-0 0-0 0, Delaney 0-0 0-0 0, Gillespie 1-2 0-0 3, DiVincenzo 4-6 4-4 15, Grace 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-65 5-7 95. It labored for a while against West Virginia's pressure defense, but made 13 three-pointers in a Sweet 16 victory. Each time Kansas tried to muster a rally with a layup or short jumper, Villanova had the answer.

Bill Self's exasperated and nearly helpless reactions said everything about why Kansas' latest Final Four trip would last only one game.

The last time MI allowed more than 72 points in a game was the day before Super Bowl LII, when the Wolverines surrendered 73 points to Minnesota.

"When we got spread out and our game plan went to crap on how we were going to guard certain actions, then we got caught in between", Self said. "The shots were falling the second half".

Villanova is led by Associated Press national player of the year Jalen Brunson, a heady, always-in-control junior who fills up the box score.

Deflating seems like a good word to describe the feeling opponents have when Villanova makes a couple of 3-pointers in a row, and it's clear the Wildcats' patented avalanche of points is coming.

The Wildcats went on to splash in 17 more from downtown, setting a Final Four record.

"It just feels good", Paschall said. "They might not have gotten the hype, but they were the players that kind of led those young guys through that experience". "And I think the teams - the Duke teams, the Kentucky teams that have won with one-and-done players - they've had great experienced players on those teams, too".

Brunson has averaged 19.1 points and 4.8 assists this season and is shooting 52.7 percent. A championship trophy is the goal, but Villanova doesn't want to settle. "I like to try to stay in style, stay current with the haircut's style going on in today's world".

Nobody has had much success this season, and in what turned out to be an unexpectedly lopsided matchup between top seeds, Kansas (31-8) certainly didn't Saturday night.

The Wildcats were unstoppable from the floor all game long.

Network officials say the numbers are up compared with two years ago, when the Final Four last aired on cable rather than CBS.

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