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Villanova Wildcats vs Kansas Jayhawks Betting Preview

On Saturday, the Final Four gets underway with a battle between the No. 2 Villanova Wildcats (30-7) and the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (32-6), with a trip to the National Championship on the line. This game will be played at the Caesars Superdome, with tipoff scheduled for 6:09 pm ET.

After winning the Big East tournament, Villanova has continued its run of strong basketball in the NCAA tournament with wins over No. 15 Delaware, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 11 Michigan, and No. 5 Houston.

In their 50-44 win over Houston in the Elite Eight, Jermaine Samuels led the way with a game-high 16 points to go along with ten rebounds. Caleb Daniels added 12 points in the victory.

Kansas has been on an equally impressive win streak. They won the Big 12 tournament over Texas Tech and then proceeded to take down No. 16 Texas Southern, No. 9 Creighton, No. 4 Providence, and No. 10 Miami in the NCAA tournament.

They easily dismantled Miami in the Elite Eight, 76-50. Ochai Agbaji tied for a game-high with 18 points, while David McCormack and Christian Braun combined for 27 points and ten rebounds.

Kansas is the favorite in this one. They are -200 to win while the Wildcats’ moneyline sits at +164. The spread features Villanova +4.5 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 133.

By The Numbers

Statistically, Kansas has the stronger offense of the two. They rank 16th in the nation in scoring averaging 78.3 points per game. The Wildcats rank 122nd averaging 71.9 points.

Defensively, it is Villanova with the advantage. They rank 18th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 62.2 points per game to opponents. Kansas ranks 107th allowing 67.3 points.

Shorthanded Villanova Looking For Major Upset

Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats played sensationally in their win over No. 5 Houston, but it came at a cost. In the final minute of the game, guard Justin Moore suffered a torn Achilles and is out for the rest of the tournament.

Moore was the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer averaging 14.8 points to go along with 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Without Moore, Villanova is going to need others to step up. The leading scorer is senior guard Collin Gillespie.

This season, he is averaging 15.6 points on 43.1 percent shooting. He also adds 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and a steal per game.

The other main contributors for Villanova include Jermaine Samuels (11.1 points, 6.5 rebounds), Caleb Daniels (10.2 points, 3.8 rebounds), and Eric Dixon (9.1 points, 6.4 rebounds).

Kansas Has The Offense, Needs Defense To Stay Strong

It is no shocker that Bill Self’s offense can put up points. They have ranked as one of the best teams in the nation this season at scoring, but it is their defense that has also been impressive this tournament.

In fact, through four games of the tournament, the Jayhawks are holding opponents to an average of less than 60 points per game. If they can keep the defense up, they will be tough for any team remaining to take down.

On the offensive side, the Jayhawks are led by senior guard Ochai Agbaji. As one of the best in the country, Agbaji is averaging 18.9 points on 47.1 percent shooting. He is also averaging 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

The Jayhawks are extremely deep as they have three others averaging double digits. Christian Braun (14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists), Jalen Wilson (11 points, 7.4 rebounds), and David McCormack (10.1 points, 6.8 rebounds) have all been sensational this season.

To illustrate their depth, this list doesn’t even include Remy Martin, who has averaged just under 17 points per game this tournament.

Take Kansas To Win And Cover

There is just a lot to like about Kansas in this one as they look for their 10th-straight win. Not only are they one of the hottest teams in the country, but they have been playing like one of the most complete teams as well.

Even with a strong Villanova defense, the Jayhawks should be able to find ways to put points on the board, and their defensive responsibilities sadly became easier with the injury to Justin Moore.

For Villanova to have a chance, they are going to need players like Jermaine Samuels to continue to play at an elite level, but even then, it might not be enough against a loaded Kansas team.

Take the Jayhawks to both win and to cover the 4.5-point spread.

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