Final Four Prediction: Kansas vs. Villanova Trends and Odds

Final Four set

With Kansas and Michigan, Final Four Tickets Amongst Highest This Decade

Loyola of Chicago, on the other hand, hasn't been in this position for a while.

In the aftermath of this weekend's regional finals, the oddsmakers apparently can think of a few reasons.

Kansas is definitely on a roll and they are so fun to watch, so athletic, so they'll beat Villanova 69-62 in another close one.

But the past two weeks have proved that seedings and pedigree don't necessarily matter.

The Jayhawks have had a pretty easy time in this year's tournament, but they faced their biggest challenge in the Elite Eight round. Like Wright, he's working his third Final Four, and his Jayhawks won the 2008 national championship in San Antonio. The Villanova Wildcats proved themselves to be a worthy 1-seed as they ran through their region without trouble. "I just feel like I bring the energy, person that can bring a lot of energy, and just do a lot of different things for the team and help us be successful". Another is a blue blood that isn't as stocked with National Basketball Association talent as usual. The solid post play of Udoka Azubuike and Silvio De Sousa has taken KU to another level, but the emergence of Malik Newman as an elite scorer really makes the Jayhawks a threat to overcome doubters across the US and win its first title since 2008.

But Kansas Head Coach Bill Self and his staff adjusted to make pieces fit and gradually, this team seemed to build confidence as players became comfortable in their roles. On the other side, Loyola lacks playmakers.

Michigan's brand of rough and gritty basketball has been their identity and while their defense is not ideal, they have the ability to out-gun any of their opponents.

Some random thoughts on this thing they call "March Madness".

"Incredible to have a Chicago team in the Final Four". All were part of the Bulldogs' flawless SEC record, running through a tough conference schedule including a win over reigning champion SC in early February.

The Wildcats fell a game short of winning the Big East this year, but otherwise have met or exceeded expectations in a season where their biggest strength was their consistency.

Brunson was part of Villanova's national championship team two years ago.

Longtime Loyola fan Richard Miller of Lincolnwood, Illinois, ordered four.

"Our defense dictates everything", coach Porter Moser said.

KU-Villanova is regarded as a real title game of sorts before the victor plays Loyola or MI on Monday in San Antonio.

The star player off the court is the beguiling 98-year-old chaplain, Sister Jean. Television cameras have made a habit of showing her on the sideline and there is a bobblehead being rushed into production. Projected second round picks in senior Devonte' Graham (17 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists per game) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (14 points, 4 rebounds) carry the workload for the Jayhawks, while projected National Basketball Association lottery pick Mikal Bridges (18 points, 5 rebounds per game) and projected second rounder Jalen Brunson (19 points, 5 assists per game) spearhead the offense for the Wildcats. Eleventh-seeded Loyola takes on 3-seed Michigan Saturday, with tip-off a little after 5 p.m. Kansas will face Villanova on the same night, with tip-off shortly before 8 p.m. So the Wolverines understand that much of the nation is rooting for this unusual tournament to produce a fittingly quirky end.

The Jayhawks also clearly took Jay Jay's fourth point to heart, as they owned the glass against the bigger Blue Devils which was a key to their epic victory.

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