March Madness predictions: Final Four


Tonight, North Carolina and Duke will face off for the third time this season. History will also be made, as this is the first time the two teams will have met in the NCAA tournament.

The Elite Eight battle is over and plenty of damage has been left in its wake. History has been made, and fans have lost a part of their heart. But now that all the smoke has cleared from the past few weeks, four teams are left standing. Villanova, Kansas, Duke, and North Carolina are all that are left, and the nerves are growing. Each team is so close but yet so far. Saturday kicks off the second to last battles, and we will have to wait to see which two teams come out of the battle alive.

Villanova vs Kansas

Both Villanova and Kansas finished first in their conference tournaments and were closely seeded, with Villanova a two-seed and Kansas a one-seed. Both teams are also coming off a nine-game winning streak in the NCAA tournament. Villanova was underdogs last week to Houston but ended up pulling off a shocking victory 50-44.

Currently, Kansas is a four-point favorite. with Villanova’s star player Justin Moore out with a torn Achilles. With Moore, Villanova had a 42% chance of beating Kansas but with Moore’s injury, their chance of winning has dropped significantly to 31%. Although Moore is out, Villanova has a roster that won’t disappoint. Collin Gillespie is on his way to being crowned Big East Player of the Year for the second season, averaging 15.6 points per game.

Kansas also has a killer roster with their top scorer Ochai Agbaji scoring almost an average of 19 points per game. Kansas also is 26th in the country when it comes to making baskets scoring an average of 78.3 points per game. Kansas is no doubt a strong team and this game may be one of the most exciting of the tournament.

Villanova and Kansas have competitive rosters, and it is a major disadvantage for Villanova to be missing one of their leading scorers. But I still believe that Villanova can pull it off. Kansas is an incredible team no doubt, and the last standing one seed, but Villanova has had all week to focus and adjust without Moore. I think Villanova will pull off an upset and advance with the possibility of claiming another National Championship.

Duke vs North Carolina

Duke and North Carolina is a long-awaited game with two of the blue bloods playing each other for a spot in the championship. Duke and North Carolina have faced off hundreds of times in their regular conference games, being one of the biggest rivals, if not the biggest in college basketball. But the two have never faced off in the NCAA tournament in history. History is about to be made.

Coming into this game, Duke is favored by four points, alongside their long-time coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is in his last season coaching college basketball. With his incredible coaching career coming to an end, Krzyzewski does not want to end his career without claiming his final title. North Carolina destroyed St. Peter’s in their last game by a whopping 20 points.

UNC and Duke have already played twice this year, and the series is tied. Duke’s win over North Carolina was a shocking 20-point victory, but yet again they lost shortly after in a rematch. Duke is ranked 9th in the country for points per game, scoring an average of 80.1 points per game. Duke also has a ruthless defense that only allows teams to score an average of 67.4 points against them. UNC isn’t far behind scoring an average of 78.1 points per game.

UNC and Duke will have tons of basketball fans captivated, but I think all viewers can expect to see Duke pull away with a victory. It will be a tight game, but when Duke is on their game, they are a huge threat. UNC can play, but Duke can play harder.