One of the most exciting weekends in college sports is Final Four weekend.
One of the most exciting weekends in college sports is Final Four weekend. Players from all teams have dedicated blood, sweat, and tears all season since the beginning of November.
The time has come for each region to represent its schools and conferences on the national stage. Final Four weekend promises two games that sums up the excitement and anticipation of college basketball.
The first game will feature Cinderella long shot Loyola University-Chicago. They come into this weekends game as an 11 seed and haven’t made the Final Four in 55 years. The Ramblers will have their paws full as they face the University of Michigan. The Wolverines are on fire, winning their last 13 games in a row and having one of the most consistent defensive performances throughout the tournament. Spectators can expect a low scoring game since both teams only give up about 62 points a game. Loyola-Chicago is the number one team when it comes to field goal percentage in the tournament.
The Ramblers shoot 51 percent on field goals and 72 percent when it comes to free throws. Though Loyola Chicago has better shooting percentages, the Wolverines have played better competition all season long. Michigan is 4-4 against teams ranked in the top 32 teams in the nation while Loyola-Chicago hasn’t faced a top 32 team all year. Coaching experience will also be in Michigan’s favor.
Coach John Beilein has won over 700 games in Division-I basketball and has captured the Big Ten conference championship in back to back years. It will be interesting to see if Michigan can get out to a fast start and keep the momentum going. The Loyola Chicago Ramblers will take on the Michigan Wolverines Saturday at 5 p.m. on TBS.
Prediction: Michigan 56, Loyola Chicago 49
The second game of Saturday’s slate will include the Villanova Wildcats matching up against the Kansas Jayhawks.
This will be a battle of true offensive power. Both teams are averaging over 80 points per game and are ranked top 10 in offensive efficiency in the tournament. Each team will look to score in transition and get wide open looks from three. Both the Wildcats and Jayhawks shoot the ball well but when it comes to making shots behind the 3-point arc, Villanova has the more balanced advantage. This game has the potential to present great individual match-ups from some of the best players in the country.
The first matchup will be both starting guards from each team. Villanova’s Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges versus Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. The backcourt of Kansas will have a hard time stopping Brunson and Bridges as they both shoot over 50 percent from the field. Another matchup that will be intriguing to watch is Kansas’ center, Udoka Azbuike against Villanova’s forward Omari Spellman.
These two don’t play the same position but each leads their team in rebounds per game. Since 2015 the Wildcats have beaten the Jayhawks three times in a row. If the game comes down to turnovers and free throws, Villanova will walk away with this one easy. However, Bill Self has been in many big games and should not be underestimated. The only way Kansas will advance to the next and final round is if they can contain the combination of Brunson and Bridges. The Kansas Jayhawks and Villanova Wildcats will tip off at 8 p.m. on TBS.
Prediction: Villanova 76, Kansas 72