Two great games at the 2022 NCAA Mens Basketball Final Four. In the end Kansas and North Carolina will play for the championship Monday night, but before we get there, let's talk about the games yesterday. Two great games that lived up to their expectations.
The first game of the day was (1) Kansas versus (2) Villanova. As I predicted, Kansas came out on top in this one. At times the Villanova Wildcats battled back, but Kansas has this one in hand pretty much from the tip. Bill Selfs team is really well coached, and they are deep.
Villanova has a bench issue. They don't play a lot of guys normally and with Justin Moore out of the game, it meant a lot more time for a few players that normally don't see a lot of time. In the tournament, Jay Wright usually stuck to a two man rotation, which worked beautifully for them. However, against a Kansas team that was deep and extremely athletic. The real problem was David McCormack, whom had 9 rebounds and 25 points. He was a disaster for Villanova down low, who didn't really have an answer for him. Villanova also shot 38% from the field and that's due to the defense of the Jayhawks.
The final score was indicative of the way Kansas controlled the game. I wasn't expecting it to be the blowout that it was, and at times I wasn't sure it would be a blow out. But in the end Kansas was just too deep and simply better than Villanova. Kansas does look like the team to beat in the tournament, unless of course the UNC magic keeps happening.
This brings us to the nightcap and what was surely the marquee matchup. We all know that the biggest storyline in the tournament was that it will be coach K's last season. He also had a great that played very well through each round. Of the number 2 seeds in the tournament, I thought they had the toughest road of them all, with maybe the exception of Kentucky whom got ripped by this years Cinderella, Saint Peters.
The North Carolina Tar Heels have been playing great basketball, and if you ask me, they have been playing on emotion and a bit of a Cinderella story themselves. The game between Duke and North Carolina was A LOT closer than I thought. The way I looked at the game, I thought Duke had the advantage in coaching, athleticism, and experienced. Plus I thought that Hubert Davis let his team fall apart so often that against a team like Duke, they would surely fall completely apart in this high stakes game.
Well.... I was wrong. It was a well played game and in the end, Duke had no answer for Caleb Love. There was also no way to defend the dirty play of Armando Bacot. There were times when I thought Duke might run away with it, but every single time Love had the answer and brought the Tar Heels back. This was not the spectacular coaching performance I thought it might be. However it is interesting that UNC played the spoiler in coach K's last home game and his final tournament game. Those are EPIC bragging rights for many years to come.
This all leads us to the game this Monday. Kansas versus North Carolina. Both programs are fairly familiar with being in the finals, and winning it. I'm not sure the teams rank means anything at this point, as it's clear anyone can beat anyone on any given day. I still like Kansas to win it all, but I wouldn't put it past North Carolina to ruin that party as well.
I can't wait for the excitement on Monday!