As quickly as the madness struck, and it has struck (St Peters!), this year’s March Madness tourney is already down to the Final Four. While everyone was hoping the Peacocks could win one more game, I don’t think college basketball fans would prefer any other teams playing on Saturday in New Orleans. We have four “blue bloods” in Duke, UNC, Kansas, and Villanova. Four programs who have all won championships over the last 15 years. Let’s get into my predictions for both Final Four games with so much history on the line!

1. Villanova (+4.5) vs. Kansas

No. 18 Villanova holds off No. 1 Kansas, 56-55 - VU Hoops

2. UNC (+4) vs. Duke

Duke vs. North Carolina prediction, odds, line: 2022 NCAA Tournament picks, Final Four bets from proven model - CBSSports.com

Do you believe that sports are rigged? Because if you had told me that for the first time EVER that Duke and UNC will meet in the NCAA tournament on Coach K’s last season, I would have thought you were insane (Duke and Carolina have met once in the NIT tournament, a 73-67 UNC victory in 1971 at Madison Square Garden in the semifinals). I still can’t believe it, but here we are, the storybook ending to Coach K’s career is in the hands of his biggest rival. UNC is here for one reason only, and that is their guard play. Caleb Love has taken his game to another level in the tournament as he is averaging 18 ppg while hitting a bunch of clutch shots. RJ Davis averages 13 ppg, including his 30 pt barrage vs. Baylor. Their bigs have also elevated their game as Brady Manek and Armando Bacot have played to their potential that they weren’t showing in the regular season. Simply UNC has taken their game to the next level, and in the eight halves that have played so far, they have dominated five of them. For Duke, everything is clicking for them at the right time. Not too long along, their offense looked clunky, and their defense was exposed on a nightly basis. Now they play within a hierarchy led by Paolo Banchero, but the key has been Jeremy Roach, as his quickness and ability to break down his defender has set up many drives and kicks and easy finishes at the rim. In this game, you will get a terrific big-man battle between Mark Williams and Armando Bacot, as they are athletic freaks who can go up and finish at the rim. I think this game goes down to the last shot in movie fashion. Who’s going to hit it? I am not sure, but this game just screams at the buzzer, and I think that’s what we will get. The Series is tied 1-1 on the season, with each winning on the opposing team’s floor; I don’t know whose writing this script, but it’s a damn good Duke vs. UNC III that should be a classic. 

 

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