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2022 cbhsports men’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament Final 4 Preview

Here is my 2022 Final Four Preview:

Final Four

1.Kansas vs. 2.Villanova
Caesars Superdome (New Orleans,LA)
April 2, 6:09 PM ET, TBS
Villanova’s Jay Wright has become one of, if not the best coach in college basketball. He has now appeared in the Final Four three times in the past six seasons. With thirty seconds left in their Elite 8 win over Houston, the Wildcats’ best player Justin Moore (15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists per game) tore his achilles. Back to back Big East player of the year (guard) Collin Gillespie (16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists per game), forward Jermaine Samuels (11 points, 7 rebounds, 47% from the field), and forward Brandon Slater (8 points and 4 rebounds per game) will have to play their “A” game if they want to upset Kansas’ run to winning another championship. Kansas had trouble with Miami in the first half but then turned it up defensively in the second half and used forced turnovers to defeat the Hurricanes. Star wing Ochai Agbaji (19 points and 5 rebounds per game) has been huge for the Jayhawks and if he is on, Kansas should defeat Villanova. Key minutes from guard Christian Braun (14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists per game), guard Remy Martin (9 points and 3 assists per game), and forward David McCormack (10 points and 7 rebounds per game). If Villanova were to upset Kansas, the Wildcats would be in the consideration with Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, and Kansas, as a true blue blood. It would be Villanova’s third championship since 2016 but Kansas’ scoring should lift them to a win. Projected Score: Kansas 80, Villanova 70

2.Duke vs. 8.North Carolina
Caesars Superdome (New Orleans,LA)
April 2, 8:49 PM ET, TBS
In Coach K’s last NCAA Tournament run, and wins over Cal State Fullerton, Michigan State, Texas Tech, and Arkansas, likely NBA number one pick (forward) Paolo Banchero (17 points and 8 rebounds per game) and fellow forward (and likely lottery pick) AJ Griffin (11 points and 4 rebounds) have led the Blue Devils to another Final Four. Duke guard Jeremy Roach has also been hot, and has played much better than his regular season average of nine points a game. Coach K’s team meets its biggest rival, North Carolina, for the first time in NCAA Tournament history. North Carolina’s Brady Manek has scored almost 22 points a game in the tournament, leading the Heels to another deep NCAA run. The Oklahoma transfer is joined by guard Caleb Love, who notched 30 points in the Heels’ Sweet 16 win over UCLA and guard RJ Davis also scored 30 points to knock off defending champion Baylor in overtime in the Round of 32. It would be a shame if North Carolina big man Armando Bacot (17 points and 13 rebounds per game) was not mentioned. He flexed his muscles in the Elite 8, scoring 18 points and 22 rebounds, giving him the most double-doubles in ACC history. If Duke’s offense continues to shoot between 45 and 60 percent in the Final Four and championship game, the Blue Devils should get their revenge on Carolina, make Monday’s championship game. If North Carolina continues its pestering defense it showed in its Elite 8 win on Sunday over Saint Peter’s, it can make the final. If Bacot can eliminate or at least keep Duke big man Mark Williams off the boards, the Tar Heels will have a better shot at winning. North Carolina has won the national championship in New Orleans once before (1982) but this is Coach K’s championship to lose. Projected Score: Duke 86, North Carolina 78

By Carter Huff

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