Saturday was not a good night to be an Oklahoma Sooner.
Villanova put a 44-point beating on Oklahoma in a national semifinal, the largest loss a team has ever taken in the Final Four. It was the most comprehensive defeat in the history of college basketball's premier event. It was also painful for the remarkably simple way it happened: The Sooners couldn't hit a thing, and they couldn't get Villanova to miss.
Oklahoma's misery on Saturday had many facets, but – like everything with this team – you need to start with Buddy Hield. The Sooners' senior shooting guard is a million kinds of brilliant. He's been college basketball's most terrifying scorer all year, and he averaged a cool 29 points in his first four tournament games, as his team rolled to Houston.
On Saturday, the wheels fell off for Hield
It couldn't have been a lot worse for Oklahoma's best player. He finished with 9 points, just the second time all season he failed to reach a double-digit point total. He's had 27 sub-10-point games in his career, but 9 points is shockingly low not just in the context of this season, but really the last two.
In sum, it was Hield's fifth single-digit scoring game in his last 72 over two seasons. In this simplistic measurement, it's in the bottom 7 percent of Hield games over two years and the bottom 5 percent or so in just this season. If you were betting on Hield having this unproductive of a game, you could've gotten really good odds and made a lot of money.
It wasn't just a low point total, though. Hield was 4-of-12 from the field and 1-of-8 on three-pointers. That 12.5 percent clip from deep is his second-worst in 37 games this year, and the only one "worse" was a game when he only tried two shots beyond the arc. He made a three on Oklahoma's first possession of the night, then didn't connect again for 39 minutes and change. Hield kept firing, and he kept missing.
Nobody else could make a shot, either
Non-Hield players shot 15-of-48 from the field, good for a 31.25 percent rate that was actually worse than Hield's overall field goal percentage in one of the worst games of his career. The Sooners needed someone to pick up the scoring slack, and nobody could.
They were a preposterous 6-of-27 (22 percent) on threes, and exactly one player, guard Jordan Woodard, reached double figures. Woodard had 12 points, which would've been fifth on Villanova (and was only three points away from being seventh.) The Sooners couldn't get anything to fall, and it never got better.
On the other end, Villanova refused to miss
It didn't feel like the Sooners were playing that badly on defense.
When they gave up a 25-0 run in the middle of the second half over about six minutes, the offense was obviously really bad, but the defense seemed fine enough. It felt like a breeze as Villanova ran up the score, and I doubt I'm the only person who didn't realize the run was as big as it was until Oklahoma finally ended it with a free throw.
At the end of the day, Villanova's scoring efficiency was preposterous. Oklahoma had no chance.
1.57 points per possession. 82.7% eFG%. That’s absolutely incredible, Villanova.— Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan) April 3, 2016
For some context on that: Villanova is an incredible team, and its previous best effective field goal percentage this season was 74.6. This was maybe the best team in the country on a shooting night it will quite possibly never have again.
How bad was it? Here are some more figures
The history and the numbers mostly speak for themselves.
Oklahoma is the second single-digit seed to lose by 44+ in the NCAA tournament. Rhode Island (an 8) lost to North Carolina 112-67 in 1993.— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) April 3, 2016
Last thought on the first game: Of the 128 NCAA tourney matchups of 1s vs. 16s, only five were as lopsided as the Nova/Oklahoma semifinal.— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) April 3, 2016
Craziest stat in that game? Villanova took 11 fewer shots than Oklahoma, but won by 44.— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) April 3, 2016
That's right! Oklahoma had a 19-to-7 offensive rebounding edge and lost by seven touchdowns, not even counting the extra points. The Sooners gave up literal touchdown passes, too:
We all have bad days sometimes. Oklahoma just had the worst day at the worst time.