Miami falls to 0-3 in Sweet 16, routed 92-69 by Villanova

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) The Miami Hurricanes pride themselves on playing some good defense honed in the powerful and deep Atlantic Coast Conference.

Not that it mattered against Villanova.

Sheldon McClellan scored 26 points, tying his career-high making five 3s, but the third-seeded Hurricanes couldn't slow down No. 2 seed Villanova nearly enough Thursday night, losing 92-69 in the South Region semifinal.

''Nobody shot the 3 and stretched our defense like these guys did,'' Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. ''They only took 15 3s, seemed like they took 30 and made 25 of them. Seemed like every, every opportunity we had to get a stop, especially like at the end of the first half, it's a 3-point game, they throw it out to Kris Jenkins and he buries a 35-footer like it's a layup.''

The Wildcats (32-5) earned their third trip to the regional final with coach Jay Wright and seventh overall, coming through with former coach Rollie Massimino, who led Villanova to the 1985 national championship, sitting nearby.

Ryan Arcidiacono and Kris Jenkins each scored 21 points, and Villanova never trailed as the Wildcats shot 62.7 percent. Daniel Ochefu added 17 points, and Josh Hart had 14 for Villanova.

''If any team is shooting the way we're shooting right now, they'll easily be the most dangerous team in the country,'' Villanova senior forward Daniel Ochefu said. ''But hopefully, we'll keep shooting like that, so we can keep playing the way we are.''

Miami (27-8) now is 0-3 in this round and 0-2 with Larranaga. Angel Rodriguez added 13 points.

''We, as a group, we expected to really take this program really far this year but just feel like we came back disappointed,'' Miami senior center Tonye Jekiri said.

Miami got here by beating a pair of double-digit seeds, Buffalo and Wichita State. Villanova showed the ACC team why the Wildcats were ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in program history earlier this season. It was the first game between the teams in the NCAA Tournament, and the first overall since March 2004, when both teams were in the Big East.

They turned in a dizzying first half with both teams shooting 64 percent - or better - from the floor and were even sharper beyond the arc where they combined to hit 13 of 19.

''Look at the numbers, it's kind of crazy to think that was good defense,'' Wright said. ''But I'm very proud of the second-half defense. When you play great teams like Miami, that's going to happen. We just got more stops than them.''

Villanova led 43-37 at halftime with Jenkins coming through with the highlight shot of the game with a 3 that instantly drew comparisons online to shots by reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry.

''It was a bit of a surprise they came out on fire like that,'' McClellan said.

When Miami put together a 16-2 run that pulled the Canes within 31-30 on Rodriguez's layup with 4:33 to go, Jenkins simply hit another 3. Miami never got that close again, and Villanova just padded its lead over the final minutes of the game with each dunk or 3 giving Wildcats' fans yet another reason to cheer.

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TIP-INS

Miami: The Hurricanes gave up the most points they've allowed in the first half this season to Villanova and the second-most points for a game. They gave up 96 to North Carolina on Feb. 20. ... Larranaga now is 1-1 against Villanova in this tournament. He coached George Mason to a win in 2011 in the round of 64. ... The Canes didn't shoot badly. They were 25 of 47 (53.2 percent) overall and 10 of 17 from 3-point range.

Villanova: The Wildcats put on a shooting clinic all over the floor. They hit their first 15 free throws before finishing 18 of 19 at the line. They hit a season-high 66.7 percent (10 of 15) beyond the arc as well. ... The Wildcats outrebounded Miami 27-17 and had an 18-9 scoring edge off turnovers.

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LAST GAME

This was the last game for a quartet of Hurricanes: Jekiri, Rodriguez, McClellan and Ivan Cruz Uceda.

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UP NEXT

Villanova will play top-seeded Kansas on Saturday.

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