Look below to find our top March Madness predictions for all the Final Four action.
Saturday, April 2nd 2022
#2 Villanova vs #1 Kansas – 6:09pm ET
The top two teams on this side of the bracket are set to meet. As the Villanova Wildcats will take on the Kansas Jayhawks for a trip to the national championship game. Villanova will be looking for their third title in the last six years while Kansas will be looking for their first since 2008.
Both teams were among the ‘dark horse’ candidates to win the championship and of them will have a chance to advance to the NCAA championship game. The Jayhawks are a 4.5-point favorite going into the game and I am not sure if there are enough reasons for that. Kansas finished the regular season on top of the Big 12 with a 32-6 record and had no trouble reaching the Final Four even though they didn’t face any contender on their way to New Orleans as they are coming off a 76-50 Elite 8 win over the Miami Hurricanes. The Wildcats, on the other hand, finished the regular season second in the Big East with a 30-7 record and also had no hard time making it to the Final Four but defeated the strong Houston Cougars on their way by 50-44 in the Elite 8.
These two teams have played 9 times so far with Villanova winning 5 of those. Their most recent encounter took place back in 2019 with Villanova winning 56-55. Kansas scores 5 more points per game than Villanova but the Wildcats allow 5 more than the Jayhawks. Kansas is the faster team between these two and can be really dangerous if Villanova tries to keep up with them in transition but the Wildcats will not do that and play their own game which will lead them to covering the spread.
Marko’s College Basketball Pick: Villanova +4.5 (-114)
The Villanova Wildcats could potentially add to one of the greatest runs in the history of the sport with two more victories. They have already won two national championships in the last decade and now they will be playing for a chance to win a third since 2016. Villanova has clearly shaken off the reputation of “mid-Major” many moons ago and have become one of college basketball’s biggest powerhouses. They come into this game with a record of 30-7 and as champions of the South region.
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) April 1, 2022
The Kansas Jayhawks are one of the five winningest teams in the sport along with Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, and North Carolina. Now they will be looking to return to the mountaintop where they rightfully belong and claim their first national championship in nearly a decade and a half. However, first they must get past this rough and scrappy Villanova Wildcats team. Kansas comes into this game as champions of the Midwest region. They currently have a record of 32-6. As for the result of this game however, I have the Villanova Wildcats getting the victory.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Villanova (+162)
The first of our Final Four matchups gives us the Villanova Wildcats taking on the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas has been one of the best teams in the country all year long, as they were the one seed in the region after winning the Big-12 regular season and tournament titles, and now for the most part they’ve managed to run through their first four games of the NCAA tournament without real concern. They struggled in the first half of their Elite Eight matchup against Miami, but a monstrous 47-15 second half scoring margin allowed them to cruise to victory. The key for the Jayhawks here is going to be getting Ochai Agbaji involved early and often, as he’s the best player on the roster and almost a certain lottery pick in this year’s draft.
Villanova, on the other hand, is a much more defensive minded team under head coach Jay Wright, and that’s how they’re going to have to win this game if they plan on advancing. They secured a spot in the Final Four by knocking off Houston in the Elite Eight, in a game that saw the Cougars shoot 1-20 from beyond the arc. For ‘Nova to get a win here, I think we’re going to have see a similar defensive effort, and more importantly, guys like Colin Gillespie are going to have to hit more shots. In the end, I actually think that happens, as I trust defense late in the season, and with Jay Wright on the sidelines, one of the best defensive minds in the game, give me the Wildcats in a close one.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Villanova (+162)
#8 UNC vs #2 Duke – 8:49pm ET
Tobacco Road apparently leads to the Final Four this season. As for the first time ever the North Carolina Tar Heels will meet the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Tournament. It couldn’t of happened in a better year as this is Coach K’s final year in charge of the Blue Devils.
For the first time in 102 years since their first matchup and 257 games against each other, Duke and North Carolina will face each other at the NCAA tournament. The Tar Heels are among the top 4 teams in the country for a record 21st time while Duke is there for the 17th time. The ACC conference rivals met each other in March this year with the Tar Heels spoiling Mark Krzyzewski’s last game and the Cameron Indoor Stadium with a 94-81 win.
The Blue Devils finished on top of the ACC with a 32-6 record but failed in the conference finals against Virginia Tech by 82-67 which is their biggest loss of the season. The Tar Heels finished second in the ACC with a 28-9 record and were also eliminated by the Hokies in the semifinal of the conference tournaments. Both teams performed well in the tournament so far having only one game where their destiny was on the line. Duke is coming off a 78-69 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Elite 9 while North Carolina defeated the biggest upset of the tournament, the Saint Peter’s Peacocks by 69-49. The Blue Devils are a 4-point favorites going into this one which is a lot for a final four game. North Carolina will definitely be able to cover that and maybe even win.
Marko’s College Basketball Pick: North Carolina +4 (-110)
It has been a magical year for the Duke Blue Devils. They are one of the best teams in the nation this season and they are in the middle of sending off their legendary head basketball coach. Hopefully for Duke they are able to send him off with not only a final win over their most hated rival, but with a national championship as well. Duke comes into this game with a record of 32-6 as the champions of the West region. This would be the perfect ending to the coach K era as the final two games could end with some of the biggest wins in program history.
— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) April 1, 2022
The North Carolina Tar Heels faced a much harder road to get here than the Duke Blue Devils did. As they had to take on the number one seeded Baylor Bears in the second round. Clearly, North Carolina ended up getting the victory. Now they have the chance to get the biggest win in their program history over their biggest rivals. They will also look to get into their second national championship game and win their second in the last 4 years. As for the result of this game however, I have the Duke Blue Devils getting the win.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Duke (-196)
The second matchup of this year’s Final Four has the chance to be one of the most anticipated college basketball games of all-time, as we get this year’s third matchup between bitter rivals Duke and North Carolina, and the first time these two have ever faced off in the tournament. Duke was expected to be here by many people, as they were a two-seed that fell just off of the one-line, whereas North Carolina has managed to shock a ton of people, as they came into the field as an eight-seed.
The other key side of this game that can’t be overlooked is the fact that this is Coach K’s last year on the sideline, and Duke is now in the Final Four. I know that UNC took care of the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor in the final game of the regular season, but I’m not convinced that the referees or the NCAA is going to be quick to let that happen on this stage. If Brady Manek, Caleb Love, and company just get hot and cruise, then Carolina gets the win, but if it stays close, take Duke all day long. In the end, most games in this series end up being tight, and this one proves no different. Give me Coach K, Paolo Banchero, and the rest of the Blue Devils to fight to live another day, or two, and advance to Monday’s national championship game.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Duke (-196)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.