Villanova vs Kansas Preview
April 2, 6:09 pm ET, Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Villanova- 2 Seed (South Region) 30-7 overall
Kansas- 1 Seed (Midwest Region) 32-6 overall
Why Villanova will win
The Wildcats are coming off a tough, gritty 6 point win over Houston who had been playing arguably as good as any team in the NCAA Tournament through the first 3 rounds. The team shot a perfect 15 of 15 from the free throw line and currently holds the NCAA single season team record for free throw shooting at 82.6%. Kansas on the other hand currently sits outside the top 160 in free three percentage at 71.9% and if the game comes down to free throw shooting late Villanova definitely has the edge. Jay Wright’s team enters the game shorthanded and is the undisputed underdog which should allow them to play free and loose with a nothing to lose attitude.
Why Kansas will win
Villanova’s win over Houston came at a price losing starting guard Justin Moore who suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Moore average 34.1 minutes per game along with 15 points and 4.9 rebounds. The Jayhawks also come into the game with a ton of confidence putting together possible their best half of the year in 76-50 blowout win over Miami. After trailing by 6 at halftime they outscored the Hurricanes 47-15 in a dominant second half performance. Playing in the toughest conference in college basketball Kansas posted a 7-1 record in Big 12 games decided by 4 points or less. This is a mentally tough team that has found ways to win all season long.
Key to the Game
Does Villanova control the tempo? Kansas has only been held under 70 points 6 times all year. 3 out of their 6 losses came in those 6 games. Villanova is 342 in possessions per game and only gives up just over 62 points per game. If the shorthanded Wildcats can keep the game in the 60’s it just may be enough to punch a ticket into Monday night’s Championship game.
Eye Test Analytics Predicted Score- Kansas by 2.72 points