The No. 2-seeded Villanova Wildcats defeated the No. 5 Houston Cougars, 50-44, in the Elite Eight Saturday night to advance to the Final Four.
In a defensive battle, the Wildcats held Houston to just 29.8 shooting from the field and just 5.0 percent from three-point range.
Villanova’s Jermaine Samuels led all scorers with 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Samuel was one of just two scorers to finish in double figures. Houston’s Taze Moore finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and an assist.
Guard Collin Gillespie, Villanova’s leading scorer (15.9 PPG), was held to just six points and five boards, while forward Justin Moore, who averaged 15.0 PPG this season, scored eight points before leaving the game with a late lower-body injury.
Villanova held Houston scoreless for over two minutes to start the game while tallying nine of the game’s first 11 points.
The Wildcats held a seven-point lead over Houston at halftime, 27-20, leading by as many as 11 in the first half.
Nova had to hold off Houston, which cut the Wildcats’ lead to just two with under six minutes to go in the second half, but the Cougars scored just four points the rest of the way.
Villanova became the first team among the Elite Eight to advance to the Final Four in New Orleans. The Wildcats will play the winner of No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 10 Miami.
This is the Wildcats’ fourth trip to the Final Four since 2009. Villanova has reached the Final Four seven times in program history, advancing to within a game of the national title in 1939, 1971, 1985, 2009, 2016 and 2018.