2022 March Madness: Villanova Road to the Final Four
Wildcats Chasing Third National Title Since 2016
Head coach: Jay Wright
Seed: No. 2 seed in South Regional
Up next: Saturday vs Kansas in national semifinal, 6:09 p.m. ET
Villanova college spread: Villanova is listed at +450 to win the national title.
Title odds before the season:
Villanova was listed at +1600 to be cutting down the nets in New Orleans
How they got here:
Defeated Delaware 80-60, Ohio State 71-61, Michigan 63-55 and Houston 50-44
Previous Final Four appearances:
1939, 1971 (finalist, vacated by NCAA); 1985 (national champions); 2009; 2016 (national champions); 2018 (national champions).
Road to the Final Four: Villanova vs College Spread
The Big East tournament champions are riding a nine-game winning streak and have covered in each game in the NCAA Tournament. It hasn’t been easy, especially when it came to covering.
The Wildcats were favored by 15 points in the first round against Delaware and Villanova led by 16 with five minutes to play. Jermaine Samuels went 3 of 4 from the foul line and added an assist in a 5-0 run to restore a 20-point cushion. Delaware got no closer than 19 the rest of the way.
It was the only NCAA Tournament game for Villanova to go over the total as two foul shots by Delaware’s Wes Peterson pushed the game over the 135½-point total.
Villanova was favored by five points against No. 7 seed Ohio State and it was a two-point contest with five minutes to play. Samuels and Collin Gillespie had key baskets and combined to go 4 for 4 at the foul line to advance to the regionals. The 71-61 game fell just short of the 134-point total.
Michigan was a 4½-point underdog in the Sweet 16 matchup and had those who bet online a little anxious when the Wolverines pulled within four points with 3:19 left to play. A layup by Samuels followed by a Gillespie 3-pointer 29 seconds later put Villanova ahead by nine. Samuels hit four straight free throws in the final 15 seconds to secure the win.
The Wildcats were underdogs for the first time since a Feb. 22 loss at UConn. Houston, the three-point favorite, was within two points with 5:28 left to play but would miss 11 of its final 12 shots as Villanova won by six in the lowest-scoring regional final since Syracuse’s 55-39 win over Marquette in 2013.
In the college spread, Villanova is listed as a 4½-point underdog against Kansas.
Final Four History
Villanova has won its last four games in the Final Four and covered in each of them.
The Wildcats beat Kansas 95-79 as a five-point favorite and Michigan as a seven-point favorite to win the 2018 national title.
In 2016, Villanova rolled to a 95-51 win over Oklahoma as a 2½-point favorite and won the 2016 national title 77-74 against North Carolina on a buzzer-beater by Kris Jenkins. The Wildcats were three-point underdogs. Three of the last four games went over the total.
Second-leading scorer Justin Moore suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the win over Houston and will not play in the Final Four. A knee injury will keep reserve guard Jordan Longino from playing in the Final Four. They will both be missed.
Players to Watch
Collin Gillespie: The senior guard is the top scorer on the Wildcats with an average of 15.6 points per game. He is averaging 13 points in the NCAA Tournament but is just 15 of 35 from the floor.
Jermaine Samuels: After contributing 11.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game heading into the NCAA Tournament, his averages have jumped to 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in the tourney.