No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 3 Texas Tech

Time, TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, CBS

Why Villanova will win: Villanova got its toughest test of the tournament against West Virginia. When the Mountaineers led by six midway through the second half and Wildcats coach Jay Wright called a timeout, the wheels very easily could have fallen off. But as Wright looked at Jalen Brunson, Phil Booth and Mikal Bridges, he knew he had nothing to worry about. Sure enough, Brunson scored four points in the first 20 seconds after the timeout — a free throw and a three-point play — and fed Bridges for a key 3 a minute later. Villanova is solid enough on offense and defense to go toe-to-toe with anyone. But its maturity and poise is the all-important X-factor at this time of the year.

Why Texas Tech will win: Depth. The Red Raiders’ bench has contributed 38% of the team’s points this season, and it outscored Purdue 33-6 in the Sweet 16 win. The injuries that were so costly during the regular season have become a benefit, with Texas Tech having at least eight players who could be starters. The Red Raiders are also playing with house money, making their first-ever trip to the Elite Eight.

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 2 Duke

Time, TV: 5:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Why Kansas will win: A four-guard lineup features potent three-point threats, but each guard has ability to slash to the basket. Both are key to cracking Duke’s zone defense. Udoka Azubuike’s sprained left knee is not quite 100 percent, but it’s close. His presence on both ends is huge for Kansas.

Why Duke will win: This is the most talented team in the NCAA tournament. In 6-11 forwards Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter, who combine to average 35 points and 20 rebounds, the Blue Devils’ size and power advantage could be insurmountable, exposing Kansas’ lack of interior depth.

About admin

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply