Just one team stands between the Kansas Jayhawks and a trip to the Final Four in Houston. The Villanova Wildcats stormed through their first three opponents. Will Kansas be able to stop them?
dnoll5: I don’t remember the last time I picked against Kansas in this forum, and I’m sure not picking against them now. Yes, it’s true that Villanova hits a lot of threes, but I’m going to predict that the Kansas defense contains it enough to get the win and a trip to Houston for the Final Four. Oh, and Perry operating against this Wildcat team could be a thing of beauty. Kansas 86, Villanova 72.
David: I have no idea what to expect in this game. I know Villanova will shoot plenty of threes, and if they make a lot of them, they'll likely win. The underrated part of Nova’s offense is how well they score from inside the arc as well. Kansas will need a fantastic defensive performance to limit the Villanova scoring attack, and will need plenty of their own buckets as well. Kansas presents a bit of a mismatch inside against this smaller team, but I'm also not sure who Landen Lucas can guard that won't be way too quick for him. It's a strange matchup for Kansas, and I can't decide who has the advantage. With the way Villanova scores, and the fact that Graham has been sick and Mason appears hobbled, I'll go with a close loss. Villanova 81, Kansas 77
fizzle406: This one could go either way. It's gonna be close but I'm hoping for another insane game from Lucas, Wayne and PMFE. Kansas 77, Villanova 75
NineToesBlogging: I am really conflicted on who to pick in this game. On one side, you have a team playing out of this world offense and looks like there is no stop in sight. On the other end, you have a top defense who Bill Raftery believes "Can guard anyone in this country." This game will be a battle, I don’t believe it will be decided a run. However, neither team can afford to have a significant cold streak during the game. Defense wins championships. Rock Chalk in this one. Kansas 82, Villanova 77
Jvaughn11: I am oddly confident about this one, I tend to be when the opponent is on our level. I guess it removes the pressure of avoiding a bad upset and the incessant chatter from my in-laws that inevitably accompanies one. I am hoping the law of averages kicks in and Nova’s scorching shooting cools off. On that same note KU hasn't had a really big night from three for a couple games and we are due. Success tonight rests on our guards and i think they rise to the occasion. I expect a big night from Graham. It's asking a lot to expect Perry to keep his current pace but he seems dialed in and determined so I expect him to play well. Again, I am confident but certainly not positive. Kansas 78 Nova 71
Winmore: By reaching the Elite Eight for the sixth time in 13 seasons at KU, that makes it eight trips to the Elite EIght for Bill Self’s career in 18 Tournament appearances (Tulsa, Illinois, Kansas). Self now averages nearly making an EE run 50% of the time he’s in the tournament. That is absolutely sick. With that being said though, the Elite Eight has been Self’s most frustrating round. He is just 2-5 in the EE - his only losing round. Even his two wins in the EE (Steph Curry’s Davidson and Roy’s North Carolina) were earned in stressful, hard fought fashion. Nova has looked great, but the Big East is now a mid-major conference. The Jayhawks last two opponents in the tournament (UCONN, Maryland) were tougher draws than what Nova faced (Iowa, Miami). The cake walk is over for the Wildcats. Kansas’ defense is like nothing Nova has seen all season. Looking back at my picks this season I’ve only picked against KU twice - on the road against West V. and at home against Kentucky. I’m not picking them to go down now. This team is locked in. I’m not saying it will be easy, but by 10 p.m. Lawrence time Mass Street will be rocking as a five block party that will spill into the early hours of Easter morning. Rock Out with Your Chalk Out, ‘Hawk fans! This team is the real deal. Kansas 82, Villanova 77
mikeville: There’s not much more to add here, the guys above have pretty much said it all. Villanova is shooting over 50% from behind the arc during this tournament. So it’s pretty simple to me - if they do so again tonight, they will win. We can’t let that happen. We WON’T let that happen! Happy Easter Jayhawk fans, Kansas 88, Villanova 75
misterbrain: The one thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Villanova has been extremely fortunate in their matchups so far this tournament. They say two opponents in the first round that couldn't really match up with their strength, and Iowa has been on a severe slump. Against Miami, they ran into a team that hasn't really shown any ability this year to adjust in game. Facing Kansas, they won't benefit from any of that. Instead they face one of the most balanced teams in the nation at a team that's in the top 10 in both offense and defense. Kansas 77, Villanova 72.