Two No. 1 seeds square off in the second game of the Final Four in San Antonio on Saturday when the Villanova Wildcats take on the Kansas Jayhawks. Villanova, who finished the regular season as the No. 2 team in the nation, is seeking their second national championship in three seasons, while Kansas, who finished No. 4 in the country, is looking to win their first title since 2008.
The Wildcats are favored by five points with the over/under at 155 points, according to betting site Vegas Insider.
While Villanova has a very balanced scoring attacking, Jay Wright’s squad is led by Jalen Brunson. The junior guard averaged 19.2 points per game on 52.7 percent shooting during the regular season and had an excellent game against West Virginia in the Sweet 16, with 27 points and four assists. Brunson will look to bounce back from a poor shooting night against Texas Tech in the Elite Eight, when he converted just four of his 14 field-goal attempts and missed all four of his three-point shots.
Kansas was able to edge their last three opponents by an average margin of three points, but faced strong competition. In the Elite Eight, Kansas held off a loaded Duke Blue Devils squad in overtime, 85-81. Head coach Bill Self received a stellar performance from guard Malik Newman, who led all scorers with 32 points.
It may take another such effort from Newman to hold off Villanova. Kansas could also use more scoring from Devonte’ Green, who has combined for just 9-29 shooting over the past three games. The senior led the Jayhawks in scoring in the regular season at 17.2 points per game.
The winner advances to Monday’s national championship to face the Michigan vs. Loyola-Chicago winner.
Prediction: Expect this game to be tight most of the way, but for Villanova to squeak out a victory because the Wildcats simply have more way to score than the Jayhawks.