Colby Dant, Sports Gambling Podcast Network’s (SGPN) college basketball expert, is bullish on Jay Wright’s coaching skills against Kansas, believing Nova Nation has plenty of reason for confidence as Saturday at 6 p.m. approaches. Colby offers additional analysis of Nova-Kansas and Duke-North Carolina on the College Basketball Experience Podcast. Enjoy the games!
Villanova vs Kansas (Kansas -4.5) – Saturday, 6:09 p.m.
You could say Bill Self and Kansas have easily been the luckiest team in the NCAA Tournament. Creighton was without two starters for their matchup and now Villanova loses Justin Moore right before the Final Four. Still, Kansas has won the games, and now comes their toughest challenge of the tournament thus far.
Jay Wright is arguably the best coach in college basketball over the past five years, compiling a 20-3 record in the NCAA Tournament since 2016. Justin Moore led the Wildcats in minutes and was the team’s 2nd leading scorer, so losing him is a huge deal. However, Moore did miss one game this season and Villanova replaced him with Chris Arcidiacono and they ended up knocking off UConn by double digits. Forward Jermaine Samuels is the real X factor for the Wildcats in this game as he can get the Kansas bigs in foul trouble. The rotation has been incredibly thin for the Wildcats, but giving Wright four days to prep is why I’m taking the Villanova and the points.
Duke vs North Carolina (Duke -4) – Saturday, 8:49 p.m.
From a national perspective, this is perhaps the biggest college basketball game ever. The greatest rivalry in all of college basketball and perhaps the best rivalry in sports is on tap in the Final Four in what may be the final game for maybe the game’s most legendary coach. I don’t think it gets much bigger than this. Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils were embarrassed in his final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium just weeks ago as Hubert Davis and North Carolina seemed to figure things out and catch lightning in a bottle. UNC’s Caleb Love went bananas against UCLA, hitting Steph Curry-like shots. And Armando Bacot and Brady Manek have been perhaps the most dominating frontcourt in college basketball this March. But if you look at Duke’s lone win against Carolina this year, Bacot got in foul trouble and Duke ran away with it. Manek has killed Duke with 11 three-pointers in just two games, shooting them at over 50 percent. The story of the game will be whether Duke can keep them in check. Revenge for the loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium is on the Blue Devils’ mind, so give me Duke -4 in what should be a great game.
(Colby Dant is SGPN’s college basketball expert. He picks all tournament games against the spread at www.SportsGamblingPodcast.comand provides in-depth analysis on college basketball and college football year-round. All SGPN content is free here.)
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