Villanova vs. Houston score, takeaways: Wildcats lean on defense to suffocate Cougars, advance to Final Four

No. 2 seed Villanova became the first team in the 2022 NCAA Tournament to punch a ticket at this year’s Final Four. The Wildcats, a slight underdog to No. 5 seed Houston, went wire to wire for the win over the Cougars, advancing to the final weekend of March Madness with a 50-44 victory.

In a matchup between two efficient, top-10 offenses, the Wildcats prevailed by winning in a way they don’t often do: with their defense, holding the red-hot Cougars, which eliminated No. 1 seed Arizona in the Sweet 16, to 1-of-20 shooting from 3-point range and 17-of-58 shooting from the floor. It was Houston’s worst shooting performance from the field since the 2013-14 season and its worst mark from 3-point range in over a decade.

“They played tough. It was hard to score for both teams,” said Villanova coach Jay Wright in a post-game interview. “That’s what good defense is all about. They were good defensively, we were good defensively.”

Villanova became the first No. 2 seed to ever beat a No. 5 seed in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. Jermaine Samuels again starred for the Wildcats with a team-high 16 points, while Caleb Daniels — the only other Nova player in double figures — added 12 points.

Villanova will face the winner of the Midwest Region in next week’s Final Four, where it awaits the winner of No. 1 seed Kansas and No. 10 seed Miami.

CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way Saturday with live updates, analysis and highlights. Stay tuned for takeaways from Saturday’s South Region final.

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