March Madness Final Four Matchups and Point Spread
Point Spread: No. 1 Kansas (-4) vs No. 2 Villanova
Moneyline: Kansas -180, Villanova +160
Game Total: 133
Date: Saturday, April 2nd
Time: 6:09 p.m. EST
Point Spread: No. 2 Duke (-4.5) vs No. 8 North Carolina
Moneyline: Duke -190, North Carolina +170
Game Total: 151.5
Date: Saturday, April 2nd
Time: 8:49 p.m. EST
By virtue of North Carolina emerging as champions of the East Region, basketball fans now get treated to the first-ever men's NCAA Tournament matchup between two of College Basketball's biggest rivals in Duke and UNC. The ACC foes split their regular-season meetings, with the Tar Heels spoiling Mike Krzyzewski’s final home game on the sidelines at Cameron. Having these two storied programs face off in the Final Four, in Coach K’s final season, is arguably the dream matchup of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
Villanova's Jay Wright has beaten Bill Self twice in three NCAA Tournament matchups. The Wildcats have most recently beaten the Jayhawks en route to becoming National Champions in both 2016 and 2018. With a full week to prepare, don't underestimate 'Nova who is 20-3 SU and 19-4 ATS since 2016 in the men's NCAA Tournament.
Get your popcorn ready!
March Madness Betting Recap
Even wonder why they call the men’s NCAA Tournament “March Madness”? Just review the results of this year’s tournament and you will easily discover the answer. After 59 games, we have only one No. 1 seed (Kansas) in the Final Four and underdogs lead the way at sportsbooks around the country holding the edge at 57.6%.
Now the question becomes does that trend continue in the Final Four?
In the first round, favorites went 22-10 straight-up (SU) but more importantly for sports bettors, underdogs posted a 17-15 against the spread (ATS) mark.
In the second round, favorites went 11-5 SU and 10-6 ATS but underdogs like No. 15 St. Peter’s (+325), No. 11 Michigan (+215), No. 10 Miami(+255), No. 11 Iowa State (+170) and No. 8 North Carolina (+195) pulled off outright upsets.
In the Sweet 16, underdogs went 5-1 SU and 6-2 ATS after only No. 2 Villanova covered as 4.5-point favorites against Ohio State. No. 2 Duke (+108), No. 4 Arkansas (+400), No. 5 Houston (+107), No. 15 St. Peter’s (+650) and No. 8 North Carolina (+125) all won outright and advanced to the Elite Eight.
In the Elite Eight, favorites went 3-1 SU and ATS, with Villanova (+145) being the only underdog to win outright.
Overall in the NCAA tournament, favorites are ahead 39-20 SU while underdogs lead the way at 34-25 ATS.
Saturday's Elite Eight Recap:
In the South Region, No. 2 seed Villanova advanced to their third Final Four in the last six tournaments in vintage Villanova fashion, after beating No. 5 seed Houston, 50-44, as 3-point underdogs. Once again, Jermaine Samuels led the way for the Wildcats scoring a game-high 16 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. The versatile senior was named the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the South Region after averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the NCAA Tournament thanks to shooting 56.2% from the field.
The Wildcats were superb on the defensive end, suffocating the Cougars on the perimeter, holding Houston to a dismal 1-of-20 (5%) from beyond the arc. Villanova, who is on pace to become the best free-throw shooting team in NCAA history, went 15-of-15 (100%) from the charity stripe. After shooting only 28.8% from the field, the Wildcats needed every bit of that production to get by an extremely talented Houston squad that entered the Elite Eight with 32 victories.
The euphoria of a Final Four win that collegiate players and coaches dream about, became bittersweet on Sunday afternoon when Villanova learned second-leading scorer Justin Moore (14.8 ppg) suffered a torn Achilles in the final minute of the victory and has been lost for the season. Expect veteran Caleb Daniels (10.2 ppg) to move into the starting lineup for the Wildcats and draw the defensive assignment of guarding Kansas' leading scorer Ochai Agbaji. The depth of the Villanova bench takes a tremendous hit as well.
In the nightcap, No. 2 seed Duke advanced to their 17th Final Four in program history after beating No. 4 seed Arkansas, 78-69, as 4-point favorites. The Blue Devils helped Coach Mike Krzyzewski reach the Final Four for the 13th time after winning the West Region. Duke once again received a solid performance from freshman Paolo Banchero who filled up the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Mark Williams was tremendous for the Blue Devils on both ends of the court. The imposing 7’0” big-man notched 12 points on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, while controlling the glass with 12 rebounds. His presence in the paint on the defensive end was felt with a game-high three blocks while altering many other Razorback attempts from in close all game.
Sunday's Elite Eight Recap:
The action from the hardwood returned on Sunday afternoon from the Midwest Region where No. 1 seed Kansas ousted No. 10 Miami, 71-65. The Jayhawks, who have been installed as the second betting choice to cut down the nets at SI Sportsbook, came back from a six-point halftime deficit to knock out a Hurricanes club that entered the Elite Eight 12-2-1 ATS when placed in the role of underdogs.
Kansas absolutely dominated Miami in the second half, outscoring the Hurricanes 47-15. Senior Ochai Agbaji led the way for Bill Self’s club with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.
In the last game of the weekend, No. 8 North Carolina ended No. 15 seed St. Peter’s Cinderella run, crushing the Peacocks, 69-49, easily covering as 8.5-point favorites. St. Peter’s, who entered Sunday 10-0 SU and ATS in their last 10 games, were simply outplayed by the powerful Tar Heels. Despite the loss, the Peacocks can proudly return to their Jersey City campus after making history as the first 15-seed to ever advance to the Elite Eight.
Among the top 16 seeded teams in the tournament only three remain.
We will have full betting breakdowns of all the respected action for the Final Four matchups later this week on SI Betting.
FUTURES ODDS TO WIN 2022 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
North Carolina +550
Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.