Final Four preview: Villanova has many ways to beat Kansas

Kansas' Malik Newman and Marcus Garrett celebrate after defeating Duke 85-81 in overtime a regional final game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday
Report: Marvin Bagley and family tied to benefits from Nike team sponsorship
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30 March, 2018

Considering this will be Nova's third straight Big 12 opponent, following a season of Big East wars, they're ready for anything.

Grandpa might tell you UCLA or IN should still be IN the mix. Compare that to the almost thirty thousand at the University of Maryland at College Park or the forty-two thousand undergraduates at Arizona State. Sophomore guard Jackie Young has also made her mark on the tournament this year and will need to have another statement game as she did against Texas A&M and Villanova in the second round to help propel her team to the title game. They have made third-seeded MI an early favorite over the 11th-seeded Ramblers and figure Villanova should handle Kansas in a more conventional matchup of No. 1 seeds.

- 134. Wins (and counting).

The Irish will try to keep up the momentum in the Final Four, but it could be hard against red-hot UConn.

Though Michigan is a reasonably high seed, the Wolverines spent much of the season looking ordinary.

The Bulldogs would then face Chantel Horvat and UCLA for a spot in the Final Four. Indeed, with the exception of Arizona in 1997, every national champion since 1989 has won at least 30 games.

There's another number worth noting: $60 million.

"I don't think any of us cares about rankings, seedings or none of that", forward Moritz Wagner said.

More news: Villanova shoots down West Virginia pressure — March Madness

Any way you count it, the Wildcats' decade of dominance has turned their blood as blue as their "V" logo. We got beat by VCU here too in 2011, but it was a little bit different scenario; it wasn't the Final Four.

The Wildcats soared to the top of the AP Top 25, earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and won another Big East Tournament title without a senior on the roster.

And just as Arcidiacono, Jenkins and then freshman Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges cut down the nets in Houston, look for these 2018 Cats to do it again late Monday night in another Texas town.

Spellman, who leads Villanova with 56 blocks, said he's not focusing on trying to force Azubuike into foul trouble - "I'm not trying to bait him into fouling me or play mind games with him". Those are two factors in the KU 85-81 OT win that will stand out forever.

Even though Villanova isn't the greatest rebounding team either that doesn't mean it's a sure thing Kansas won't struggle on the boards. It will be a tight one and will come down to whose star players are on that night, but when the dust settles, the Kansas Jayhawks will be facing MI in the National Championship. Loyola's most successful season under Smith was the 2016-17 season, in which the Greyhounds went 16-17 and finished tied for sixth in the Patriot League with an 8-10 league record. But first, they have to face the University of MI this weekend. "The guys popularity on campus has increased in a big big way and somebody asked me yesterday, they'll be remembered forever for going to a Final Four?"

But it can't be ignored that Wright has brought the program to heights that not even his mentor and 1985 championship coach Rollie Massimino could achieve.

"It's our duty as college basketball teams and (for) fans to satisfy those requests".


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