Villanova’s 95-79 destruction of Kansas in a national semifinal at the Final Four on Saturday was a master class in three-point shooting — and in fearless chucking.
Nova was 18-of-40 on threes, which is great. They shot 40 threes to 25 twos, taking more than six in 10 shots from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats had taken 26 three-pointers by halftime, and they’d made 13 of them. Their 14th, a minute into the second half, set a record for a full Final Four game:
The Final Four record for most three-pointers in a game is 13 (UNLV vs Indiana in 1987; the first year of three-point shot). Villanova has 10. There are nearly seven minutes left. In the first half.— David Worlock (@DavidWorlock) April 1, 2018
Villanova also set the NCAA record for made three-pointers in a season during the first half. They’ve now made an all-time record 454 triples this season.
The Wildcats absolutely love the long ball. Here’s a supercut from the first half:
Nova is violating fundamental norms about how basketball is played.
The most three-point-happy teams in the country shoot threes on a little more than half of their overall field goal attempts. For instance, of 351 Division I teams this season, just five shot threes on at least half their attempts from the floor.
Nobody shot a three on more than 55.4 percent, the mark for Savannah State. In the NBA, only one team this season is shooting more than 40 percent of its shots from deep: the Rockets, at 50.2. But in the first half, Nova shot 26 threes out of 33 total field goal attempts. That was 79 percent, and it represents a pretty unprecedented commitment to firing threes.
The three-pointers tapered off a little in the second half, which made sense because Nova had built a substantial lead. But the point about Villanova’s offense remains: This is the best shooting team in the country, and it’s also one of the most fearless about firing shots away.
In Michigan, the Wildcats are facing a great three-point defense in the national title game. But if they shoot like this again, it’s impossible for them to lose.