Sports · July 3, 2022

Kansas runs past Villanova to make it to the NCAA final

“We always had an answer,” Braun said.

It’s hard to imagine a worse start for Villanova.

Kansas scored the first 10 points, Villanova shot the ball on four consecutive possessions and Agbaji went on fire, making his first four shots, all from 3 points. When Agbaji cut Villanova’s defense and served McCormack for a rattling dunk, Kansas had taken their lead to 26-11 just over 10 minutes into the game, causing Villanova to time out.

“The reason they were effective on the inside with their size was because they made us stretch out early with Agbaji scoring 3 and we weren’t able to get down and help on the post,” coach Jay Wright said, adding. that keeping Agbaji in check was a priority. “This can become a problem for us.”

That Agbaji would play such a central role was hard to see when he came to Lawrence five years ago. He was one of Kansas City’s top players and an excellent student, but he didn’t even start for his Amateur Athletic Union team, the MoKan Elite, and so came to Lawrence as someone the coaches hoped would make a good teammate. and would grow up into a role player.

Instead, he morphed into something much more: an athletic winger with a deadly jump shot who was player of the year in the Big 12, the country’s most competitive conference in recent seasons, and an all-time first team. America.

“Obviously, my role has changed over the years,” Agbaji said. “I only joined as a collaborator, a guy off the bench, and then I ended up earning my role as a starter. As the years went by, my score was more necessary for the teams and then this year, of course, just to come forward and be that man. “

Agbaji only made 2 of his first 15 3 points in the tournament before regaining his shooting touch in the Midwest Regional Final against Miami. Even when he was struggling, his confidence didn’t falter and he found other ways to contribute.