#2 Villanova (32-5) vs #1 Kansas (33-4)
When: Saturday, March 26th 2016
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY
Time: 8:49 ET | TV: CBS
Two of the hottest teams in the country will square off Saturday night with a trip to the Final Four on the line when the Villanova Wildcats battle the Kansas Jayhawks in the South Region final. The Jayhawks may be the hottest team entering this tournament and they have not slowed down. Kansas has won 17 straight games and have outscored their first three opponents in the Big Dance by 26, 12, and 16 points. Coach Bill Self is looking to take the Jayhawks to their first Final Four since 2012. Leading scorer Perry Ellis (17.2) led the Jayhawks with a season high-tying 27 points in Thursday’s 79-63 victory over Maryland in the Sweet 16. Ellis is averaging 23 points in this year’s tournament so far and would love to cap his senior season in style. Junior F Landen Lucas has really stepped up his game since the beginning of the tournament. He is averaging 12.0 points and 10.3 rebounds a game – up from his season averages of 5.7 and 6.6. Kansas is ranked fifth in the nation in field-goal percentage (49.6) and third in three-point percentage (42.2).
Villanova put on a shooting clinic against a Miami team that many thought would give the Wildcats some trouble. Villanova shot 62.7% from the field, hit 10-of-15 three pointers, and 18-of-19 foul shots in the 93-69 victory over the Hurricanes. Four Wildcats scored in double-figures led by Kris Jenkins and Ryan Arcidiacono’s 21 each. Jenkins is 8-for-11 from beyond the arc in the last two games and is 38.6% for the season. Arcidiacono is shooting just over 65% from the field (10-of-16 from behind the arc) in his final NCAA Tournament. Leading scorer Josh Hart (15.4 points) struggled (2-of-9, 10 points) against Oklahoma back on December 7th as the Wildcats lost by 23 in their only game against a Big 12 team this season. Villanova is looking to reach the Final Four for the first time since 2009 and have won 15 of their last 17 games. The winner will play either Oklahoma or Oregon in the National Semifinals in Houston, Texas.
I can’t see Villanova shooting lights-out against Kansas like they did Miami. The Jayhawks haven’t lost a road/neutral game in exactly two months. Kansas has the edge in the rebounding department and I think that will be the difference in the game.
Pick: Kansas -2.5