HOUSTON, Texas – Thousands packed NRG Stadium Saturday night to watch the Sooners take on the Villanova Wildcats to see who is championship bound.
Before the first tipoff, Villanova and the Sooners took the court to shoot around a few baskets before the big matchup.
While the teams were on the court, OU head coach Lon Kruger stopped by the student section to shake fans’ hands.
In addition to thousands of fans being in the audience, the teams were also playing in front of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
At the beginning of the game, Hield only needed four points to become the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer.
He almost reached that feat on the first possession of the game, scoring three points under intense pressure from Villanova.
With 14:47 left in the first half, Hield was officially named the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer with 2,287 career points.
However, it was much tougher for the Sooners on the court.
Simple mistakes and turnovers put them down 23 to 17 early in the first half.
With about eight minutes left on the clock, the Sooners needed some magic.
They made 7 of 15 field goals and were 3 of 7 from the 3-point line. However, they had seven turnovers and four team fouls.
After Ryan Spangler missed both shots from the free throw line, Villanova went up by 11 points- which was the largest deficit the Sooners had faced in this tournament.
When Villanova went on a 21 to 4 run before the break, Christian James started taking shots, scoring five points in a matter of seconds.
But the Sooners still needed more, going down 42-28 at the end of the first half.
Hield was 3 of 8 and 1 for 5 from the 3-point line.
Hield scored seven points in the first half, the most of any Sooner player, followed by Christian James at five points.
James and Hield also had one steal a piece.
On the other hand, three Wildcat players scored more points than Hield in the first half.
Villanova’s Josh Hart led the team with 15 points, followed by Ryan Arcidiacono with 10 points and Kris Jenkins with 8.
In the second half, the Sooners came out swinging, scoring points immediately out of the gate.
Jordan Woodard made some Sooner magic while shooting free throws following a foul by Ryan Arcidiacono.
After making two baskets, his third free throw looked like it was about to be lost when he ran to the rim and tipped it in, closing the gap to 9 points before a timeout.
But, the Wildcats were simply too aggressive and continued to build their lead.
Turnovers continued to hurt the Sooners as Villanova was able to capitalize on the team’s weaknesses to continue to score points.
Following a turnover at Oklahoma’s end of the court, Nova went to the basket for three points, stretching their lead to 62-41.
Villanova effectively shut down OU’s shooting star Buddy Hield, holding him to single digit scoring.
OU only shot 31 percent, compared to Villanova’s 71 percent.
Khadeem Lattin was taken out of the game in front of his hometown crowd after fouling out with six minutes left on the clock. He finished the game with two points and five rebounds.
The OU student section was nearly silent as the Wildcats’ lead grew to almost 40 points, 81 to 42.
Sadly for Sooner fans, it only got worse.
Villanova went up 92-49 as the clock wound down to under three minutes to play.
Saturday night’s game was a farewell to a few seniors who made a major impact on the team’s season, including Ryan Spangler, Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield.
OU’s starters were pulled from the game, giving the second string room to work.
But the deficit was too much to overcome.
Villanova routed Oklahoma 95 to 51 in the Final Four, moving on to the national championship.