With the NCAA Tournament reaching its final hours, it’s time to break down the last two matchups before the championship game: the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four. In the first matchup of the evening, the Villanova Wildcats (the No. 2 seed in the Southern Region) will square off with the Kansas Jayhawks (the No. 1 seed in the Midwest). After that, the Duke Blue Devils (No. 2 in the West) will take on their hated rivals, the North Carolina Tar Heels (No. 8 in the East), for the first time ever in the NCAA Tournament.
In this breakdown, SBS will go over each matchup, what to expect from both teams, and ultimately, who will prevail in each contest.
|NCAA Men's Final Four 2022||The Pick|
|Villanova vs. Kansas||Villanova +4.5||-112||-112||-112|
|North Carolina vs. Duke||North Carolina +4||-110||-110||-110|
Tip-off will occur at 6:09 p.m. EDT
What to look for from Villanova Wildcats
The Big East Tournament champions, Villanova has been having another fantastic year under head coach Jay Wright. With a 30-7 record during the regular season, the Wildcats have cruised along during this year’s NCAA tournament. Their closest game was the last round against Houston where Villanova was able to outlast the Cougars, 50-44. Outside of that, the Wildcats have earned their keep as the No. 7 overall team heading into the tournament. In addition to their wins in the tournament, the Wildcats have gone 9-5 against ranked teams this season and are currently riding a nine-game winning streak heading into Saturday.
What to look for from Kansas Jayhawks
The No. 3 overall team in the tournament, Kansas is heading into this matchup looking for their second national championship under Hall of Fame head coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks, also riding a nine-game winning streak, are coming off another Big 12 Tournament championship, earning their 50th NCAA Tournament appearance in the process. An extremely veteran squad, Kansas has seven seniors on its roster, including superstar guard Remy Martin. The Jayhawks were also dominant against ranked teams with a record of 12-4.
Prediction: This game will come down to the wire in what should be an intense matchup. This will be another classic in the series (the team has played eight times since 2003-04), but look for the Wildcats to have the edge again for the sixth time in the series as Wright seems to have Self-figured out.
Tip-off will occur at 8:49 p.m. EDT
What to look for from North Carolina Tar Heels
Under first-year head coach Hubert Davis, Carolina is cruising into the Final Four. The Tar Heels are coming off a 69-49 thrashing of Cinderella story Saint Peter’s in the Elite Eight and have gone up against some of the best competition in the tournament. This includes wins over 2021 champion Baylor (93-86) and also No. 11 UCLA (73-66). Captains Caleb Love, Armando Bacot, and R.J. Davis have all held steady for the Heels. In their last matchup against their hated rivals, Carolina was able to down No. 4 Duke, 94-81, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Coach K’s final home game.
What to look for from Duke Blue Devils
In perhaps the biggest storyline from the tournament, this will be the first time Duke and North Carolina have faced off in an NCAA Tournament. What’s more, is that this could also be legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game ever. With a ton riding on this game, the Blue Devils do have the firepower to hang with anyone in the tournament. The ACC regular-season champions, Duke won 32 games this season and has a superstar on their roster in freshman forward Paolo Banchero. While they were unable to oust North Carolina at home to end the season, they did dominate the Tar Heels earlier this year 87-67 on the road.
Prediction: This will be potentially the biggest game of the entire tournament with the highest stakes considering Coach K’s legacy on the line. While Duke does seem to have more blue-chip players, Carolina is more battle-hardened as of late and will prevail again on Saturday.
When you are ready to make your NCAA tournament picks, make sure to first check out the SBS breakdown on finding the best March Madness wagering strategy. This will give you all the info you need on finding the best betting site. Moreover, another great guide to brush up on would be the SBS page on VIP Sports betting which goes over all the perks of being a VIP. Finally, if you are someone that is always on the go, perhaps the SBS guide on best betting apps should satiate your needs.