Seems like it was just yesterday videos and interviews after the game on Sunday showed an ecstatic Jay Wright entering the locker room doing two fist pumps and a relieved Wildcats team jumping around. They had every right to not only be happy they are advancing, but happy to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2009. The No. 2 Wildcats defeated No. 7 Iowa in a dominant 87-68 performance.
Nothing changed last night as the Wildcats dominated No. 3 Miami in the Sweet Sixteen 92-69 to reach the Elite Eight for the first time since they reached the Final Four in 2009. The Wildcats played an astonishing game at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY against Atlantic Coast Conference Miami.
Junior Kris Jenkins and Senior Ryan Arcidiacono led the Wildcats with 21 points apiece. Jenkins also finished with 9 rebounds and 4 assists as Arcidiacono chipped in with 3 rebounds and 4 assists.
Senior Daniel Ochefu and Junior Josh Hart added 17 points and 14 points, respectively.
The Wildcats are the first No. 2 seed to win a regional semifinal by 23 or more points since Iowa State beat UCLA 80-56 in 2000. They finished with just 7 turnovers and 16 team fouls on the night as their remarkable defense held the Hurricanes to just 68 points on the night.
Sheldon McClellan led Miami with 26 points as Angel Rodriguez chipped in with 13 points and 8 assists.
Villanova outrebounded Miami 26-16 and forced 12 turnovers and 19 team fouls. Offensively, the Wildcats scored 1.58 points per possession, the best among any game from the past five seasons. They shot 62.7-percent from the field, 66.7 from the three point line, and a remarkable 94.7 from the free throw line.
Coming into the game, Miami was 5-3 (27-7 overall) this season against the Associated Press Top 25. On paper they seemed to be more of a challenge for Villanova as they entered the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 6 in the AP poll. Miami was a strong defensive team coached by Jim Larranaga. They faced Larranaga in 2011 as he coached No. 8 seed George Mason who defeated No. 9 Villanova at the time 61-57 in the second round in Cleveland.
With the win, the Wildcats advance to the South Regional Final to be played on Saturday. They will play No. 1 seed Kansas who defeated No. 5 Maryland 77-63 to reach its 22nd Elite Eight. No. 2 Villanova (32-5) and No. 1 Kansas (33-4) tip-off at 8:49pm tomorrow at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY on CBS for the Elite Eight showdown.