'Nova Ends UCLA's Final Four Run

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2009 6:44 PM CDT
Villanova's Antonio Pena (0) collides with UCLA's Alfred Aboya (12) in the first half of a second-round men's NCAA college basketball tournament game in Philadelphia, Saturday, March 21, 2009.    (Michael Perez)
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(Newser) – The Wildcats had it all the way. Dante Cunningham scored 18 points Saturday, helping Villanova reach the round of 16 for the fourth time in 5 years with an 89-69 victory over UCLA that ended the Bruins' bid for a fourth straight Final Four appearance. Corey Fisher and Reggie Redding each had 13 points for the third-seeded Wildcats (28-7), who will play the Texas-Duke winner in the East Region semifinals in Boston.

Backed by a raucous, hometown crowd at their off-campus home, Villanova jumped on UCLA early and hardly let up. The combination of tight defense, physical play, and excellent shooting was too much for UCLA. Villanova led 44-31 at halftime, and the game that was expected to be close and low-scoring turned into a rout in the second half, with the Wildcats leading at one point by 25.