On Friday, I wrote an article about how Houston’s NRG Stadium might be the worst place in the world to shoot a basketball. Historically, college teams have always struggled when a football stadium is transferred to an oversized basketball arena. However, this affected one team and not the other during Saturday’s Final Four game between Villanova and Oklahoma.
It’s certainly arguable the environment impacted Buddy Hield and his Sooners, especially from beyond the arc. Buddy shot just 1-of-8 from three, while the team shot just 6-of-27 as a whole.
But Hield did have one highlight that didn’t involve shooting.
That’s enough Oklahoma talk—I don’t want to take away from what the Wildcats were able to do in their 95-51 blowout.
Villanova is an “all-around” team that doesn’t need to rely on their shooting as heavily as Oklahoma. But regardless, whether they were shooting from three or inside the paint, the stadium didn’t seem to hurt the Wildcats on Saturday. In fact, it was their best game in over 20 seasons in terms of field-goal percentage.
Villanova's FG pct is its highest in ANY game the Wildcats have played over the last 20 seasons pic.twitter.com/6fTTjuscxC
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 3, 2016
This is a big-game team that never seems to have any trouble with their shooting.
And if you press Villanova, it will most definitely backfire.
Junior guard Josh Hart led all scorers with 23 points, while Kris Jenkins shot 4-of-7 and Ryan Arcudiacono went 3-of-4 from three.
Villanova will play in their first national title game since 1985, when they beat Georgetown as a No. 8 seed. I’d say the Vegas odds are a bit better for them this time.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 3, 2016