WVU basketball: Mountaineers bow out to Villanova

Clyde Nash
March 24, 2018

Well, the four teams left in the East are the top three seeds and No. 5 West Virginia, who Villanova plays Friday night in Boston. No.1 Kansas takes on No.5 Clemson, while No.1 Villanova will face No.5 West Virginia.

West Virginia has a pair of good guards as well in seniors Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr.

The Wildcats struggled at times, especially in the first half, but dug out of a six-point hole in the second half with an 11-0 run.

"What a game, man".

Most Villanova guards did not last that long but whether it was Rollie Massimino, Steve Lappas or now Jay Wright, they would bring in great East Coach guards who dominated play. "I think that's a really valuable game for us, really valuable".

Q. This is a question for any of you guys: As veterans coming into this tournament, what's your advice for the younger kids?

The Mountaineers (26-11) stayed close throughout the night, ramping up the pressure and making Villanova play faster than it wanted to early.

The biggest Cinderella team remaining in March Madness continued their run with an inspired comeback and one huge shot

Through 30 minutes, West Virginia was hanging in with Villanova and even took a decent lead early in the second half.

Carter was called for his third with 17:33 left in the game.

Miles later hit is third three-pointer of the game to bring West Virginia within seven points, but the Mountaineers were unable to slow down Villanova during the game's final minutes as the Wildcats sealed the game with free throws.

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 Spellman that pushed the Wildcats back in front 65-60.

Jalen Brunson, the son of Salem High hoops legend Rick Brunson, paced the Wildcats with 27 points, leading a quartet of Wildcats who scored in double figures. That aspect of their game did not change against West Virginia in the Sweet 16.

After 20 minutes, it's Villanova 44, West Virginia 42.

The Villanova-West Virginia Sweet 16 game begins at 7:27 p.m. ET.

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The Wildcats shot a blistering 13-for-24 (54.2%) from beyond the arc against the Mountaineers.

It's highly unlikely, which will give the Wildcats two national championships in the last three years-and another victory parade in center city Philadelphia.

The Red Raiders beat second-seeded Purdue 78-65 on Friday.

The No. 1 seed Wildcats (32-4) had little trouble defeating No. 16 Radford 87-61 in the first round and No. 9 Alabama 81-58 in the second round in Pittsburgh.

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.

G Mikal Bridges, 6-6, Jr.

"Our mindset was to continue to play Villanova Basketball", stated Brunson of falling behind.

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The Red Raiders head into the half with a 30-25 lead over Purdue.

The team that's been led by Player of the Year candidate Jalen Brunson got off to rocky start against WVU's press despite the experience of the team's guards.

The Clemson-Kansas victor plays in the regional final Sunday against the victor of Friday night's other semifinal between second-seeded Duke and 11th-seeded Syracuse.

Duke is in the Elite Eight for the first time since its 2015 title run.

Carter would go on to sign with Huggins and the Mountaineers and become one of the best defenders in college basketball, embodying his program's nickname, "Press Virginia". While Orange is the New Black is the bigger show with a longer history on its side, The Ranch was the Cinderella story of our tournament a year ago, advancing all the way to the final round where they came up a few votes shy of winning against the Gilmore Girls.

JEVON CARTER: I felt like ever since our freshman year, we've always been underrated. "We didn't make free throws", Huggins said. "Since it's one of the games, they're throwing it in on a lot of the parlays".

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

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"We finished the game about as poorly as a team can", Self said. "It actually did make me a mature man growing up, because I had to be a role model [to my brothers and sisters]".

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