Oklahoma vs. Villanova predictions and bold picks for Saturday’s Final Four matchup.
In Oklahoma’s loss to West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament, Buddy Hield was held to just six points on 1-of-8 shooting from the floor and 1-of-6 from long range. It was his worst performance of the season and had Sooners fans sweating bullets as the Big Dance grew nearer.
Since entering the NCAA Tournament, Buddy is now averaging 29.3 points per game and is mercilessly bombarding each opposing team with NBA-length three pointers and scorching shooting streaks. Hield was arguably the best player throughout the 2015-16 college basketball season, and now he’s the undoubted star of the NCAA Tournament, dazzling audiences with one mind-boggling shooting performance after another.
They don’t call him “Buddy Buckets” for no reason.
Villanova doesn’t have a bonafide star on its roster like that of the Sooners, but what the Wildcats do possess is one of the most functional and balanced units in college hoops.
Ryan Arcidiacono is the true definition of a floor general. He’s the engine that makes this team run so smoothly. With Arcidiacono, it’s as if Villanova has two head coaches, one working the sidelines and the other directing the offensive flow on the hardwood. And when you have players like Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, and Jalen Brunson operating as your artillery, Arcidacono’s job becomes that much easier.
Many picked against Villanova based on its recent string of underwhelming performances in the NCAA Tournament, but Jay Wright has proven that this team is no fluke. The Wildcats defeated Kansas, the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament, in the Elite Eight and manhandled an incredibly talented Miami team in the Sweet 16. Against the Hurricanes, Villanova shot 63 percent from the floor, 67 percent from three point land, and 95 percent from the charity stripe. The Wildcats are doing everything right.
But will it be enough to slow down the Sooners? Though Buddy is the face of this Oklahoma team, he’s not the only offensive threat. When Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins combine their game with Buddy’s, the three-headed monster is practically invincible. Add Ryan Spangler’s rebounding and Khadeem Lattin’s shot-blocking in the post and voila, a perfect national championship recipe is born.
Both of these teams are playing their best basketball at the perfect time. This must-see matchup will have no shortage of entertainment and is bound to display all there is to love about college basketball.
With tip time approaching, here are the Oklahoma vs. Villanova predictions and bold picks from the Campus Insiders crew.
I like the Buddy story, you like the Buddy story, we all like the Buddy story. Villanova has the defense to stop Mr.Hield, and in the Houston Stadium of Death for deep-shooting teams, the Oklahoma threes are going to be clanking.
Buddy Buckets’ shooting evaporates the net, causing a 10-minute delay, on his way to 38 points and a Sooners win over the Wildcats.
This Villanova team has looked fantastic in the tournament so far, but Buddy Hield’s game has been reminiscent of Steph Curry in the past four contests. Buddy Buckets is playing at such an elite level right now, he’ll lead the Sooners to the Championship.
Buddy, Buddy, Buddy, can’t you see … the way your shot just hypnotized me. Hield will explode for another 30-plus-point night as the Sooners will roll into the national championship game.
Buddy Hield scores 50 points, plays only 30 minutes, and the game doesn’t go to overtime.