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Villanova beats overall No. 1 Kansas to reach Final Four

Villanova’s Kris Jenkins, right, celebrates as Kansas’ Frank Mason III looks for a call in the first half. Jenkins is one of three players with 13 points for the Wildcats and hits two key free throws with 13.3 seconds left in their 64-59 victory.

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Villanova’s Kris Jenkins, right, celebrates as Kansas’ Frank Mason III looks for a call in the first half. Jenkins is one of three players with 13 points for the Wildcats and hits two key free throws with 13.3 seconds left in their 64-59 victory.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kris Jenkins made two free throws with 13.3 seconds left, Jalen Brunson added two with 3.5 seconds left and second-seeded Villanova upset top-seeded Kansas 64-59 on Saturday night in the NCAA Tournament South Region final to reach the Final Four.

Mikal Bridges and Josh Hart made big steals in the final minute to help the Wildcats (33-5) end the Jayhawks' 17-game winning streak. The Wildcats are in the Final Four for the first time since 2009, and they can credit balanced scoring and ferocious defense.

Jenkins, Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono scored 13 each for the Wildcats, who used a 10-0 run to take a 50-45 lead and got key baskets and plays down the stretch.

Devonte' Graham had 17 points and Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden Jr. 16 each for Kansas.

Villanova got 10 points from Daniel Ochefu, including a big jumper with 6:14 left, just one of many big plays the Wildcats made to preserve the lead after finally wresting it from Kansas.

It wasn't easy. Mason scored five as the Jayhawks got within 60-59 with 15 seconds left. But Arcidiacono preceded that with four free throws before Jenkins and Brunson followed with two each as the Wildcats made 18 of 19 at the line and all eight in the final 33 seconds.

Darryl Reynolds had two free throws and Bridges a key tip-in for the Wildcats.

There was an officiating controversy at the end that hurt Kansas. Graham was called for his fifth foul with about 30 seconds left when he dived for what seemed to be a loose ball and undercut a Villanova player.

Villanova gets to pursue its second national title in its fifth Final Four berth, though the NCAA vacated its 1971 appearance because star Howard Porter had signed with an agent. The Wildcats face Oklahoma on Saturday in Houston.

Villanova beats overall No. 1 Kansas to reach Final Four 03/26/16 [Last modified: Saturday, March 26, 2016 11:58pm]
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[Bill Serne | Times]