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NCAA College Basketball Final Four Predictions and Previews

The Sweet 16 round was a wild and crazy thing, were every college basketball fan held their breath and cried out in joy at the final buzzer. In the end, Villanova took out No. 1 Kansas 64-59; Oklahoma won over Oregon with a crushing 80-69 victory; the Tar Heels stuck it to the Fighting Irish, 88-74; and, the Syracuse Orange had upset Virginia 68-62.

Now, all eyes are turned towards the Final Four and it promises to be one heck of a day.

Oklahoma Sooners vs Villanova Wildcats

  • Time: Saturday, April 02, 2016 6:09 PM ET.
  • NRG Stadium.
  • Betting Odds: Villanova -2; 145.5 Total.

These teams did what they came here to do and earned their ticket to the Final Four. Having toppled Kansas, the Wildcats have their sights set on Sooners with a huge chip on their shoulders after having lost to them earlier in the season.

Bet on the Oklahoma Sooners

Buddy Heild has been the motor powering the Sooners’ offense. Over the first four games of this competition, Heild has averaged 29 points in each match and pretty much took Oklahoma to the Final Four.

However, not only Heild has performed well for the Sooners as the rest of the team has also contributed when needed. Jordan Woodward has averaged 17 points per game and Isaiah Cousins put up 11 himself, though struggling over the last two.

Oklahoma defeated the Wildcats earlier in the season and it’s doubtful to think that Villanova can stop Heild altogether. Especially from beyond the arc, Heild can do plenty of damage and the Wildcats are not really good defending against the three. Heild put up 37 points, eight of them being three-pointers, in the game against Oregon and he could have another performance like that in this game.

Bet on the Villanova

The Wildcats have had a dream season that’s culminated in a Final Four berth. And, their story might be far from over, if they continue to play as they have. Villanova cut through their first three opponents behind a balanced play style that’s hard to defend against. In fact, they beat UNC Asheville, Iowa, and Miami (FL) by an average margin of 27 points.

That’s not all, they then shocked everyone by winning over the overall No. 1 seed Kansas. With this in mind, it’s hard to argue that they don’t have a shot at making the finals.

Four players are scoring in the double figures and they’ve averaged 82 points per game throughout this tournament. And, they’re defense is second to none; the Wildcats have not allowed more than 70 points to opponents and have been very successful in forcing turnovers. Against Kansas, they forced turnovers on 22 percent of the Jayhawks possession time. And, considering the Sooners are giving up the ball on 16 percent of its possessions, it’s probable that this number will be higher.

The Wildcats need to keep Heild under check, if they can accomplish this, their shooters can go toe-to-toe with Oklahoma in putting up points. Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Ryan Arcidiacono, and Daniel Ochefu can all put up big numbers as seen and most likely one of them will score in the double digits.

Our Prediction: Villanova wins.

Syracuse Orange vs North Carolina Tar Heels

  • Time: Saturday, April 02, 2016 8:49 PM ET.
  • Place: NRG Stadium.
  • Betting Odds: North Carolina -9; 146 Total.

Though NC is the clear favorite, anything can happen in this competition and David might defeat Goliath in this epic game.

Bet on Syracuse Orange

Who would have prepared Virginia Cavaliers’ fans for the score at the end of the game against Syracuse. When a team is down by 16 points in the second half, it’s difficult to see that lead be cut down without any answer from your team.

And yet, that’s what happened when freshman Malachi Richardson went on to score 21 points that eventually led the Orange to victory and a berth in the Final Four. This is huge folks, Syracuse is the first 10th seed in the history of this tournament to make it to this point and who knows, they just may make it to the Finals.

However, in their way is North Carolina and as if Virginia wasn’t enough, the Tar Heels are an even deadlier opponent.

The Orange need to play even better against UNC, they cannot just hit 36.8 percent of their field goal attempts as they did against the Cavaliers. And, they’ll need to be relentless on defense to shut down UNC, that ranks 31st in Division I with just 10.8 turnovers per game.

Bet on North Carolina Tar Heels

With a win over Notre Dame last weekend, the Tar Heels have made it to the Final Four for the 19th time. And, though it’s their first since 2009, it was back then when they ended up winning the title.

Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson have been paramount in driving this team to victory. Paige put up 13 points, which is not fantastic, against ND, while Johnson put up his 23rd double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds.

The Tar Heels outplayed Notre Dame in scoring, in rebounding and in possession time. A reason which has taken them to its spot in the Final Four. The Tar Heels can average 89.3 points per game in the Big Dance, keeping their opponents’ offense under wraps with an average scoring margin of 16 points in their tournament victories.

Though anything can happen in this competition, it’s hard to imagine the Tar Heels losing this game. But, it was also hard to imagine the Cavaliers losing a 16 points lead against Villanova and yet here we are.

Our Prediction: North Carolina wins.