Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Villanova 77, Duke 54

Villanova routs Duke in NCAA Tournament

BOSTON — Villanova used a strong second half to rout Duke 77-54 Thursday in the East Region semifinals.

The Wildcats' swarming shutdown defense was at its best against the usually deadly perimeter shooting Blue Devils to set a school record for wins and reach the Elite Eight for the second time in the past four years.

The Wildcats (29-7), who led 26-23 at halftime, meet Pittsburgh on Saturday for a trip to Detroit and the Final Four. They won the lone regular-season meeting against their Big East brethren, 67-57, at home on Jan. 28.

Duke (30-7), which had won five straight and 10 of its previous 11, had no answer for Villanova.

The Blue Devils hit just 7 of 25 shots in the first half (28 percent), including 2 of 11 from 3-point range. Junior standouts Gerald Henderson was 0 for 5, and Jon Scheyer was 1 of 8. Henderson finished 1 of 14 in the game, and Scheyer, the ACC tournament MVP, was 3 of 18.

It got worse after the break as the Wildcats, looking more aggressive and confident at both ends, opened a commanding 49-33 lead with 12:33 left. Duke never cut the deficit below double figures, finishing with a season-low field goal percentage (26.7 percent on 16 of 60).

"A great game for us,'' Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "We're getting better this late in the year, which is really exciting."

Duke failed to reach the Elite Eight for the fifth consecutive year.

"Around January, coach said if the team is going to be great, it's when you all take pride in defense," Villanova junior guard Scottie Reynolds said. "We all knew we could score and put points on the board, but there's going to be those times where we don't score and will have to do it on the defensive end."

"It's the commitment to defense we have now," said junior guard Reggie Redding. "And us playing hard and together."

Brian Landman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3347.

NCAA Tournament Thursday's games

Tonight's region semifinals

No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 12 Arizona, 7:07, Ch. 10

No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Syracuse, 7:27

No. 2 Michigan St. vs. No. 3 Kansas, 9:20

No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 4 Gonzaga, 9:57, Ch. 10

Villanova routs Duke in NCAA Tournament 03/26/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 27, 2009 7:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.