MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama's season came to an end at the hands of the Villanova Wildcats Saturday afternoon. The No. 9 seed Crimson Tide (20-15) fell 81-58 to the No. 1 seed Wildcats.
After a close first half, Villanova pushed out to a large lead in the second half and didn't look back. Alabama hung around in the first half, only trailing 32-27 at the break paced by Freshman Collin Sexton's 9 first-half points. It was Dante DiVincenzo off the bench for the Wildcats who kept Villanova ahead and in the game. DiVincenzo had 18 points for the game, all came in the first half after guard Jalen Brunson sat with foul trouble.
The Wildcats opened the second half on a 9-0 run to push out to its largest lead of the game at the time. Forward Mikal Bridges came to life. Bridges had less than five points when the second half began, and he scored 19 of Villanova's first 24 points of the second half. Bridges finished with 23 points to lead all scorers.
Turnovers and missed shots were key in igniting Villanova's run to open the second 20 minutes. Alabama turned the ball over three times. Combine that with the eight out of 10 missed shots the Crimson Tide had in the first seven minutes and you get a 27-8 Villanova run.
Sexton led the Crimson Tide with 17 points. He was the only Crimson Tide player in double-digit scoring. After fellow freshman John Petty dropped 20 on Virginia Tech Thursday, Petty had only three points in Saturday's loss.
Villanova advances to the Sweet 16. The Wildcats will play the winner of West Virginia/Marshall.