Final Four Best Bet: Can Villanova Overcome the Loss of Justin Moore?

College Basketball is coming to a close, but we still have 3 games left and one of the best matchups of the day is between Villanova and Kansas to decide who goes to the national championship. Let's break it down.
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Final Four Best Bet: Can Villanova Overcome the Loss of Justin Moore?

Villanova comes into this game after a very impressive win over Houston as 3-point underdogs, but it came with a heavy price as they lost one of their best players in Justin Moore to injury. Villanova already runs a really tight rotation and has a thin bench so the loss of Justin Moore could be very costly.

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Final Four Best Bet: Villanova vs. Kansas Prediction

Nova is a very experienced team though and I think senior Collin Gillespie is going to pick up the slack. Gillespie has been one of the most consistent and clutch players in the nation this season as he is shooting 41% from 3, 47% from 2-point range, and 91% from the line so you can count on him to knock down free throws down the stretch. Villanova as a team is the best free-throw shooting team in the nation as they shoot 83% from the line as a group and went 15-15 in their win against Houston and are 53-59 (90%) in the tournament to this point. Another reason why I think Villanova will be able to overcome the loss of Moore is their style of play. Nova plays at one of the slowest paces in the country and always slows the game down to a snail's pace to limit possessions for their opponents. This really bothered Houston, Michigan, and Ohio State as the Wildcats were able to control the tempo and make enough offensive plays down the stretch to put those games away. Just because Villanova plays at a slower pace, does not mean they aren't a good offensive team. They love to play in the halfcourt on offense and defense and offensively, they are currently ranked 9th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 29th in lowest turnover %, and 61st in 3-point shooting so they take really good care of the ball and always work to get the best shot. On the defensive side of the ball, Nova is ranked 17th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 39th in effective FG%, and 27th in defensive 3-point %. Where Nova has been most vulnerable on defense is defending the 3-point line as opponents are getting 34.0% of their offensive production on 3s, but this isn't Kansas's strong suit. Kansas only scores 26.9% of their points on 3-pointers which is 286th in the nation and does most of their damage in the painted area as Ogbaji, Braun, and McCormack are all very good finishers at the rim.

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On the defensive side of the ball, Kansas has been solid as they are ranked 18th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 16th in defensive 3-point %, and 26th in defensive effective FG%. Their strong suit on defense is defending the 3 ball which is not good for Villanova. Nova gets 38.6% of their offensive production from 3-pointers this season which is 7.3% above NCAA average and is ranked 25th in the country. If Nova isn't making outside shots, this game could get ugly as they really rely on their outside shooting to stay in games. They are ranked 351st in offensive production from 2-pointers so they don't do a lot of damage in the painted area. Nova will have to attack the paint and be much more active on the offensive glass if they want to keep this game close. Eric Dixon and Jermaine Samuels are going to be huge for Nova in this game. They are somewhat undersized at their position but are extremely skilled and fundamental players who can stretch the floor and attack McCormack with their quickness off the dribble. The bottom line for me in this game is that I think Villanova is going to be able to control tempo, slow the game down, and play the game at their pace. Kansas is a team that wants to play faster, and we have seen them struggle this season against teams like Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas, and even Dayton who are all teams that play at a much slower pace and are comfortable playing the game in the halfcourt. With that being said, I am rolling with Villanova +4.5 at -108 for 1U tonight as one of my most confident college basketball picks of the night. I think Jay Wright is going to put on a coaching masterpiece and the experienced group of Gillespie, Dixon, Samuels, and Daniels should be able to keep it close or even pull off the upset

Final Four Best Bet

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Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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