April 04, 2022 2 min read
What an exciting Saturday night in college basketball as the Kansas Jayhawks and North Carolina Tar Heels remain the last two teams standing and will compete for the National Championship on Monday night in New Orleans.
In the first of the two Final Four games on Saturday night, The Villanova Wildcats were no match for a dominant Jayhawks team, the only number one seed remaining in the tournament. Nova missed Justin Moore, who tore his Achilles in the South Regional championship game. Moore had averaged 13.6 points per game this season. Villanova was playing from behind the entire game. The Wildcats cut the lead to 10 just before the half and threatened to close the gap in the second half, but the game was never really close and Kansas was just too dominant, winning 81-65.
The Tar Heels advance after an 81-77 win in the second game. It’s hard to refer to the Duke Blue Devils as the sentimental favorite because you’re either a Duke fan or you’re not and those who are not, typically have strong feelings against the Blue Devils. That said, with the end of Mike Krzyzewski's career in sight, some of the haters seemed to soften out of respect for the longtime Blue Devils' head coach.
This game was exciting before it even began, as Duke faced off against their longtime rival and North Carolina neighbor. The Tar Heels embarrassed the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium during the regular season, so the rematch was highly anticipated with a lot more on the line. Duke had its chances in this one and easily could have won if not for a number of missed free-throws and mistakes down the stretch. Coach K’s career comes to an end with 1,202 wins, 13 Final Fours and five national championships.
Now it’s down to the North Carolina Tar Heels led by Hubert Davis in his inaugural season as head coach and the Kansas Jayhawks with head coach Bill Self looking for his second national championship.
North Carolina’s Caleb Love scored six points in the final seconds against Duke. Look for Love to be a difference maker for the Tar Heels. That said, there’s a reason the Tar Heels are the 8-seed in this tournament and the Jayhawks are a 1-seed. Kansas is the better team. Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack are quite the 1-2 punch for the Jayhawks. Agbaji had 21 points against Villanova. McCormack scored 25. Charles Barkley predicted Kansas would win on Monday, even before the winner of the Duke-North Carolina game was determined. It’s hard to argue with Chuck on this one. Expect the Jayhawks to do what they likely would have done in 2020 had Covid not derailed their season. They’re a standout force going into the championship game.
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