March Madness Final Four: Things to know and who to watch
This Saturday, the final four remaining teams will compete to see who makes it to the NCAA championship. Here’s the things and names you should know.
The Final Four is upon is. This Saturday, the best of the best teams of March Madness will compete to see who will make it to the final NCAA championship game.
Who is in the Final Four and when do they play?
The No.1 Kansas Jayhawks will take on the No.2 Villanova Wildcats first at 6:09 p.m. ET. Later on at 8:49 p.m., the No.2 Duke Blue Devils take on the No.8 North Carolina Tar Heels.
Let’s take a look at each of these teams ahead of the Final Four this Saturday.
Kansas vs Villanova
The Kansas Jayhawks beat out several top teams to make it to the Elite Eight before finally obliterating Miami 76-50 to win the Midwest Region and move ahead to the Final Four. They have been dominant all through their regular season and into March Madness, winning two of their tournament games by more than 25 points. They are going into the Final Four with the best defense of the teams. They attack in the glass and are in the 95th percentile in points in the paint per game. They will be looking for their first national title since 2008.
Similarly, the Villanova Wildcats had a tough road to make it to the Elite Eight before taming the Houston Cougars, beating them 50-44. They are in the 10th percentile in paint scoring, but are the kings of free throws. In the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, they went 25 for 27 from the line and are on the verge of breaking the NCAA record for free throw percentage in a season. Where they really differ from Kansas is in their playing style. Villanova is a much slower-paced, half-court team. They’re led by star Collin Gillespie who is the best lead guard in college basketball.
Key Kansas players to watch:
Key Villanova players to watch:
Duke vs North Carolina
Duke suffered a blowout loss to North Carolina in their final game of the regular season. They’ll have their chance at revenge and to send off Coach K the right way on Saturday when they face UNC again in New Orleans. Perhaps the biggest story of the Final Four, Duke will be looking to avoid humiliation from the same team a second time. Mike Krzyzewski’s team is full of scorers and particularly good 3-point shooters and are effective on offense. Their defense has improved in the post season, but they struggled in their last game with North Carolina, so they’ll have to be on their game to avoid a repeat upset.
North Carolina almost didn’t even make it into March Madness to begin with. They’ve since proven they can make big wins when it matters, beating out No.1 Baylor and UCLA to make it to the Elite Eight and then fighting relentlessly to destroy Saint Peters 69-49. With players like Armando Bacot, the Tar Heels know how to impact the game in the paint. North Carolina is going to be looking to humiliate Coach K and end his post season the same way they did in the finale of their regular season.