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NCAA Final Four: Villanova Wildcats vs. Kansas Jayhawks Preview

Ncaa Final Four 2018

Villanova and Kansas Jayhawks Battle in Late Final Four Matchup

The NCAA Tournament has been as wild as ever in 2018. There is some sanity in San Antonio. College powerhouses and No. 1 seeds Villanova and Kansas square off Saturday in an intriguing Final Four matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:49 pm EST. TBS Superstation will have the telecast.

Oddsmakers have Villanova as 5-point favorites in this Final Four matchup. The total has settled at 155.

Villanova defeated Texas Tech 71-59 in the East region of the Elite Eight. Kansas ousted Duke 85-81 in an overtime instant classic in the Midwest.

This is the sixth Final Four appearance for the Wildcats and the second in the last three years. They captured the national title in 2016. It was the program’s second championship. One more victory would tie the 35 wins of the 2016 team.

This will be the third meeting between the schools during March Madness. The Wildcats defeated the Jayhawks in the 2016 South Regional Final. Kansas was victorious in the 2008 NCAA regional semifinal.

Villanova is a Well Rounded Team That Can Shoot

Villanova began this Final Four run by draining a bevy of 3-pointers. They’re hardly defined by just shooting, though. They hit just 4 of 24 triples against Texas Tech and still managed to win.

Villanova has pummeled 436 3-pointers so far. They enter the Final Four just six shy of the NCAA single-season record for made 3-pointers set by VMI in 2007.

Villanova guard Jalen Brunson is a National Player of the Year candidate. He was named the Most Outstanding Player at the East Regional. Brunson averaged 21.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in Boston. He was a part of the 2016 National Title team.

The Wildcats have won their four tournament games by 26, 23, 12 and 12 points. The Elite Eight win over Texas Tech followed a different formula than the first three games. Villanova shot only 33.3 percent against the Red Raiders and finished with 71 points. Well below the team’s country-leading average of 86.6 points

Kansas is Not Stranger to the Final Four

Kansas advanced to its 15th Final Four in program history. This is the third under head coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks last advanced to the Final Four in 2012 when they fell in the title game to Kentucky.

Guard Devonte’ Graham was the Big 12 Player of the Year. He is the only Division I player averaging more than 17.0 points, 7.0 assists and 1.6 steals while committing fewer than 3.0 turnovers per game.

Guard Malik Newman was named Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player. He averaged a team-high 21.8 points in its first four NCAA Tournament wins. He scored a career-high 32 points in the Elite Eight win against Duke.

The Jayhawks have five double-digit scorers on the season. Graham, who is part of a four-guard attack, and big man Udoka Azubuike, who is coming into form after missing the Big 12 Tournament with a knee injury.

Newman has made 13 3-pointers in the last three games. He is averaging nearly 26 points per game in that stretch. Lagerald Vick has been consistent with either 13 or 14 points in all four games of the tournament.

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk notched 11 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against Duke. The Jayhawks’ fate likely will come down to Graham, who had a game-high 17 points two years ago when Kansas was upended by Villanova in the Elite Eight.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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