Publish Date: 04/02/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
The storyline for this Final Four matchup is something out of a Hollywood film pairing bitter-rivals meeting for the very first time at this stage. Duke is a minor favorite sitting at +4, but as we know, it’s best to throw out the records and rankings in this setting. Although Duke had a difficult path as an 8th seed North Carolina had to go through 4 separate challenging opponents in Marquette, a one seed in Baylor, tourney tested UCLA and then blowing the doors off the Cinderella story of St. Peter’s. North Carolina was able to ruin an important night at Duke in Coach K’s last home game to close out the regular season. Before that, Duke demolished UNC on the road back in early March. Will Coach K ride into the sunset in a storybook finish to a brilliant career? Can North Carolina play the ultimate spoiler by defeating Duke and moving to the Championship game? The best bookmakers for betting on the Final Four!
The Pick: In a competitive game, Duke closes the door in the last few minutes.
All four programs in this year’s Final Four can be considered blue bloods, with Villanova joining that group due to their recent success, winning two national titles since 2016. On paper, the more talented team is Kansas, but talent only goes so far on this high level and teams that gel together as a unit generally rule the day. On paper, Kansas is a 4.5 point favorite and guard Ochai Agbaji leads the way for the Jayhawks. Collin Gillespie is the straw that stirs Villanova’s drink on the other side of the coin. One could argue that we’ve seen both of these teams have more talent up and down the roster in years past. This college hoops junkie sees a pick’em type outcome in which the team that establishes their brand of basketball will be the one who advances. If this game comes down to free throws like so many tight contests, that would strongly favour Villanova knocking down 15 of 15 against Houston in the Elite 8.
The Pick: Kansas gets by Villanova in a game decided under a minute.
Will Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks add another prize to their trophy case? Or will Duke beat Kansas, making a perfect exit for one of the best coaches ever? Coming into the 2022 tourney, Duke had the most talented roster bar none. Kansas, of course, has the pedigree and plenty of guys to get the job done. The size and caliber of athletes favor Duke, and an unsung player in Jeremy Roach is the glue that keeps it all together, as strange as it sounds. Roach lost his starting spot a while back but has been a critical clog for a team with so many mouths to feed on offense. If Roach is playing out of character on Monday, Duke can always turn to the more highly touted Trevor Keels from a guard perspective. Look for Paolo Banchero and Wendell Moore to shine for the Blue Devils. Check out our list of new sports betting sites to bet on.
The Pick: Duke writes the last chapter in a beautiful story for Coach K.
Written by Chris Carlson, Host of The College Ball Show Podcast, available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio or TheGruelingTruth.Com Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio