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@KeepTheJuice21 March Madness Final Four Picks

Kansas (32-6) vs Villanova (30-7)

Villanova deserves a ton of credit for this season. The way they play is so methodical and controlled and it’s been too much for any team to keep up. But losing Justin Moore is going to hurt them more than some are anticipating. Nova slows down the game very effectively, but when that’s the game you play you have to be able to score efficiently. He’s a huge part of the scoring and I just don’t think they will be able to go shot for shot with Kansas anymore. They’ll be tempted to get away from their identity and push pace if they get down which would only hurt them more. Jay Wright is a good enough coach to keep them in line so they won’t lose focus for too long, but it still won’t be enough without the same scoring threats.

Chuck's Pick

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Kansas -4 @ -110

Duke (32-6) vs. UNC (28-9)

It pains me to say it, but Duke is the team to beat this year. They have been playing like the best basketball team in the country and are making everything down the stretch. The emotions will be as charged as ever, in what could be the most anticipated final four matchup of all time. We would all love to see Duke lose but they’re just a different class of team than UNC.

Of course, UNC did beat Duke at the end of the regular season so let’s see how it happened. Most of the stats are pretty even on either side, distribution of shots, percentage made, rebounds and assists. The difference was made at the free throw line, where UNC made 19/22 vs Dukes 6/8 and in turnovers (UNC-5, Duke-9). Can they replicate that? I would say no.

In UNC’s last 3 tournament games, they have an average turnover margin of -4.3, meaning the opponent forced 4.3 more turnovers per game than UNC did. Their opponents have also averaged 15 free throws per game. Duke in their last 3 had an average turnover margin of -1, took 18.7 free throws per game and allowed only 10.6 free throws per game. The way Duke has been playing in the tournament and all season make the loss to UNC look anomalous. They are locked in and should win this one, with free throws to cover.

Chuck's Pick

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Duke -4 @ -105
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