Villanova and Connecticut took different roads to their pending matchup in the NCAA Tournament. UConn advanced with its three-point shooting. Villanova moved on despite it.
UConn earned an 89-81 overtime victory against Saint Joseph's on the strength of its 11-for-24 showing from beyond the arc. The Huskies' accuracy allowed them to stay close after Saint Joseph's came out firing.
Villanova, meanwhile, was just 4 for 23 from three-point land and missed its first 16 attempts. It resulted in a scare for the second-seeded Wildcats, who eventually pulled away for a 73-53 win over Milwaukee.
Villanova will need to shoot much better to drop the Huskies on Saturday in the third round of their East Regional.
"We've had some games like this," coach Jay Wright said today in First Niagara Center. "I think it's like baseball. If you're a .300 hitter, the numbers are going to play out and you're going to make shots.
"I know these guys are good shooters. After it's over and you win, I like it better because you get the confidence that we can win when we're not making shots."
Villanova (29-4) had a shooting percentage of .365 on three-pointers entering the tournament, but it was slowed by James Bell's 0-for-8 showing Thursday. He was 81 of 211 (38.4 percent) during the season.
"As a shooter, you're going to have good nights, and you're going to have bad nights," Bell said. "It's not about making the shots. It's about taking the right ones and recognizing you're open."