New Orleans, LA will play host to this weekend’s Final Four with the two winners facing off Monday night in the national championship. Before we get there, however, four Blue Bloods in the form of Villanova/Kansas and North Carolina/Duke will go at it on Saturday for a chance to play for it all.
Let’s take a closer look at each game, and key in on who has the edge as tip-off approaches in the Big Easy.
Villanova Wildcats +4.5 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Opening as 3.5-point favorites, the Jayhawks quickly moved to -4 and then -4.5 which is where I’m pouncing on the other side. While much has been and will continue to be made of the loss of the Wildcats’ #2 scorer Justin Moore, I don’t think enough is being made of his backup in fourth-year senior Caleb Daniels.
Coming off the bench this season as Moore’s backup, Daniel still averaged 10.9 points per game and is just two seasons removed from averaging 16.9.
On the Jayhawks’ side of this matchup, the one-two punch of Remy Martin and Ochai Abaji has averaged a combined 28.3 points per game but will run into a different kind of opponent in this one. Look for the Wildcats’ own one-two punch in Big East Player of the Year Collin Gillespie (12.6 ppg) and Jermaine Samuels (14.7 ppg) to be too much for a Jayhawks team who fell to this same Wildcats team in 2018’s Final Four in blowout fashion.
Duke Blue Devils -4 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
In what was supposed to be Coach K’s final game against Duke’s arch-rival North Carolina, as well as his last game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Tar Heels had other plans. The game turned into a route late, with the Tar Heels winning by 13 points on March 5th in what ended up being their spark for this historic Final Four run.
Now, not only will Coach K look to get his revenge, but he’ll be doing so in the first Final Four matchup between the teams in their 259 meetings.
While the Tar Heels have been led by a pair of strong forwards this tournament in Brady Manek (19.5 ppg) and Armando Bacot (15.8), they meet their match in this one in a highly motivated duo from Duke who has been publically begging for this matchup.
Led by freshman stud and future top 5 pick Paolo Banchero, the Blue Devils’ starting frontcourt anchored by Wendell Moore Jr. and Mark Williams is averaging 45.7 points per game this tournament. Expect Duke to pull away late in a game that should be one for the ages.
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