Top seeds Villanova, Kansas advance to Elite Eight

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Villanova (33-4) will play Sunday against the victor of Friday night's second semifinal game between No. 2 seed Purdue and No. 3 Texas Tech for the right to go to the Final Four for the second time in three years.

The top-seeded Wildcats continued their outside feast, downing the fifth-seeded Mountaineers 90-78 on Friday night to earn their second trip to the Elite Eight in three seasons.

Brunson, who was selected to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division I All-American First Team, has put together an impressive junior season, averaging a team-leading 19.1 points per game, and is one of the favorites to take home Player of the Year honors when all is said and done.

The West Virginia press made Villanova uncomfortable in the first half.

The senior big man tried to wear a brace in Purdue's round of 32 game against Butler, but the NCAA nixed it because the brace had metal in it.

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. "We play every game like it's our last". The No. 5 seeded Mountaineers are known as "Press Virginia" for their relentlessness and they way they cause havoc on everything the opposition tries to do. The Mountaineers had more of a scare early against Marshall in the second round, but still have only trailed for a little more than nine minutes in this tournament, and never in the second half.

Carter was called for his third with 17:33 left in the game. That was followed by Daxter Miles being whistled for his third and fourth fouls over a two minute stretch that sent him to the bench with 15 minutes remaining.

Then again, Villanova also can wear down an opponent with its depth, speed, shooting and defense.

A pair of free throws from Spellman would then tie the game at 52, but Ahmad would dran his first three-pointer of the game to give West Virginia a 55-52 lead at the 12:26 mark. While shooting 8-for-15 from the field, Brunson dropped in a game-high 27 points. Villanova will run. Want to knock heads the way the Mountaineers did for 40 minutes Friday night at TD Garden, Villanova can do that, too.

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

Brunson led VU with 16 points in the period, though he picked up his second foul with 1:27 left in the first half. "The Blue Devils" defense forced the Orange to commit 16 turnovers.

Villanova has defeated Radford (87-61) and Alabama (81-58) to open its NCAA Tournament run.

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. Eric Paschall (14 points) and Mikal Bridges (16 points) also provided quality outings. They are led by the frontrunner for National Player of the Year in Jalen Brunson and he did not disappoint against West Virginia.

Malik Newman had a team-high 17 points for Kansas, which is in the regional finals as a No. 1 seed for the third straight year. They were denied what would have been their first Elite Eight berth since 2000.

After the timeout, Brunson got to the free-throw line and hit one of two.

Not bad for a guy that looked like this just three years ago before he was in a college strength program.

Still, it could've ended on Friday - in horrifying fashion - after Clemson stormed back from a 20-point deficit that stunned a crowd filled mostly with fans from Lawrence and surrounding areas, which are only a few hours from Omaha.

"I felt like ever since our freshman year, we've always been underrated", guard Jevon Carter said "We've always been the underdogs coming into any game we've played". The Jayhawks led 62-42, but the Tigers pulled within six with 2:27 remaining before Devonte Graham grabbed a huge offensive rebound that allowed Kansas to kill nearly a full minute off the clock.

"If you're at this point, you're just as good as the team in front of you", Villanova guard Phil Booth said. "[Huggins] just gave me a chance, a small guy from Maywood, Illinois, didn't have a lot of looks. Since it's one of the games, they're throwing it in on a lot of the parlays". "Sometimes that's not easy to keep fighting like that", Clemson coach Brad Brownell said.

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