Final Four Preview : Villanova vs. Kansas

San Antonio T.X. ~ In a tournament full of upsets, the Villanova Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks, both number one seeds, would not let an underdog take them out. Not worried of defeat after two other one-seeds were wiped out on the opening weekend, these two college basketball powerhouses strolled smoothly through their respectable regional’s, leaving the underdogs in the dust. Both teams have star point guards that have led their teams throughout the season – Villanova’s Jalen Brunson and Kansas’s Devonte Graham. This game will also feature star center’s and sniping shooters. With both teams built extremely alike, this game should be one for the ages.

The factor that will be most exciting is the two point guards. Jalen Brunson, the Player of the Year in College Basketball, and Devonte Graham are simply the best two at their position in America.

Their game’s are different as Brunson is a savvy player that uses all aspects of the game to help his team. He has a nasty shot-fake and is an incredible passer. With his stocky body, he can even post up on opposing bigs. Most importantly, he can change the pace of the game and he can take over when he needs to. Brunson’s one weak link is his defense, which could come to be a problem against an explosive player like Graham.

Graham has struggled this tournament, but he is a prolific scorer and a great passer. It will be very exciting to see him and Brunson go at it against each other.

Now we’ve talked about the point guards, but there will also be a battle of the bigs tonight underneath, featuring Omari Spellman for Villanova and Udoka Azubuike for Kansas.

Azubuike is absolutely huge – he’s 6’10, 280, and extremely athletic for one his size. Azubuike is very important tot= the Jayhawks because he owns the paint. You can count on him to snatch every rebound possible and slam the ball back home. Azubuike is his best when he is within five feet of the rim.

On the other hand, Spellman is a great shooter who spaces the floor well. But what will be frightening to Azuibuke is Spellman’s ability to also close out under the basket. How is Azuibuke going to cover Spellman all over the court when he is used to just patrolling the paint.

For Kansas, they have the hottest player in the country as of right now. Malik Newman is averaging 27.7 point per game throughout seven games this March. Last Sunday against Duke, Newman scored 32 points to help Kansas advance to the Final Four, including all 13 of the Jayhawks’ points in overtime. I expect Villanova to switch defenders on Newman on the perimeter. If the Wildcats can slow Newman down, they have a good chance at winning this game.

With Omari Spellman’s ability to spread the court, and if Villanova can stop Newman, the Jayhawks season will come to an end.

By Jacob Szczap

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