Kansas vs Villanova - key players to watch
March Madness is days away from reaching its climax, with Final Four action kicking off with the matchup between the Kansas Jayhawks and Villanova Wildcats.
Both teams have won three NCAA titles each, although Kansas has had a longer championship drought, winning their last one in 2008. Villanova last won the crown in 2018.
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Villanova bets on experience
The Wildcats have an experienced roster of players, and one of the most notable is senior point guard Collin Gillespie, who has played in the Final Four in the past. He saw action in the team’s 95-79 semifinal victory, also against the Jayhawks, in 2018.
Gillespie has been honored as the Big East Player of the Year for two years in a row. He has averaged 15.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.
There’s also shooting guard Caleb Daniels, who has been contributing an average of 10.2 points per game. Small forward Jermaine Samuels, like Gillespie, was on the Wildcats’ last national championship lineup.
Kansas' well-rounded lineup
The Jayhawks, on the other hand, are considered to have the most balanced team among those who clinched a semifinals seat this year. They are led by guard Ochai Agbaji, who was named the Big 12 Player of the Year at the Champions Classic which ended in January.
He has been averaging a team-high 18.9 points per game. Agbaji is joined by an impressive front-court unit which features small forward Jalen Wilson, who has scored an average of 11 points per game, and center David McCormack, who boasts a 10 point-per-game average.
One particular matchup to watch out for is the one between Agbaji and Samuels. Agbaji is likely to be a challenge for the Wildcats’ defense, while Samuels has had an exceptional performance during this tournament.
The Kansas Jayhawks face the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday, April 2. Tip-off is at 6:09 p.m. ET / 3:09 PT.