The 2022 Men’s Final Four will open up with what should be an entertaining matchup between the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks and the No. 2 seed Villanova Wildcats on Saturday night. These two programs met in the Final Four in 2018 with Villanova moving on and claiming their second national title in the previous three seasons.
Saturday’s game will get started at 6:09 p.m. ET from New Orleans and will air on TBS with the Jayhawks as the favorites to get to the national title game.
No. 1 Kansas: 32-6 (14-4 Big 12):
First round result: Won over Texas Southern, 83-56
Second round result: Won over Creighton, 79-72
Sweet 16: Won over Providence, 66-61
Elite Eight: Won over Miami, 76-50
KenPom rating: 4 Overall, 7 Offense, 18 Defense
NET ranking: 6, (12-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Ochai Agbaji (18.9 ppg)
Key stat: Christian Braun is shooting 54.5% from beyond the arc in the NCAA Tournament on 11 attempts.
The Kansas Jayhawks clobbered the No. 10 seed Miami Hurricanes 76-50 in their Elite Eight matchup to reach this spot. Kansas shot 50% from the floor, and it could’ve been an even bigger blowout as the Jayhawks were also 50% from the free throw line.
Ochai Agbaji takes a ton of shots, but that’s okay because he makes a lot of them. He is taking 14.2 attempts per game and knocks down 47.1% of his shots including 39.8% from three-point range.
Watch for Kansas to get to the line often as they rank No. 11 nationally in total free throw attempts.
No. 2 Villanova: 30-7 (16-4 Big East):
First round result: Won over Delaware, 80-60
Second round result: Won over Ohio State, 71-61
Sweet 16: Won over Michigan, 63-55
Elite Eight: Won over Houston, 50-44
KenPom rating: 9 Overall, 9 Offense, 17 Defense
NET ranking: 8, (8-6 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Collin Gillespie (15.6 ppg)
Key stat: Villanova has made their last 21 free throw attempts, dating back to early in the second half against Michigan in the Sweet 16 round.
The Villanova Wildcats did an outstanding job knocking off a tough Houston Cougars team in the Elite Eight round. The Wildcats shot just 28.8% from the floor but played a great game defensively and knocked down all 15 free throw attempts.
Collin Gillespie took advantage of a fifth season after last year was cut short with an injury and has been exceptional offensively. He is knocking down 90.5% of his free throws and is hitting 40.9% of three-point attempts, scoring a career-high 15.6 points per game.
Watch for Villanova to slow this game down as much as possible as they rate No. 345 out of 358 teams in KenPom’s adjusted tempo.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Kansas -4.5
Point total: 133
Moneyline: Kansas -195, Villanova +165
Against The Spread Pick: Villanova +4.5
Point total pick: Under 133
Pick to Win: Kansas
These are two very evenly-matched teams, and it’s going to come down to the final moments to decide a winner. Agbaji hasn’t had a great NCAA Tournament shooting-wise, but he will be the difference as the Jayhawks win a close one. The under has hit in six of the Wildcats’ last seven games including three in a row, and I could not sleep at night recommending an over in this spot with the way they have chosen to play basketball.
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