NCAA Final Four Picks and Predictions

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Now that the dust has settled from a shocking Elite Eight weekend, it’s time to take a closer look at those left standing. Oklahoma and North Carolina didn’t surprise too many with their victories. The emergence of Villanova and Syracuse though definitely turned quite a few heads.

With that, let’s examine the standouts and surprises of the Final Four.

The Tar Heels (-9.5) have a heavy advantage in their tilt with Syracuse, while the Wildcats (-2) and Sooners are a little more evenly matched. In fact, Oklahoma and Villanova should be the game to watch on April 2nd, based on what we’ve seen thus far.

With that said, we’re not counting out the Orange just yet. Odds on the Final Four have been set by topbet.eu, picking UNC for the win, but keep in mind Syracuse is a perfect 4-0 Against the Spread (ATS) in this tournament.

syracuse basketball

It’s not just over their past four match-ups either, Syracuse has beaten a +9.5 point spread or higher on three of four other occasions this year and do have a few other statistical edges on their opponent as well. Three of their five starters (PF Michael Gbinjie, SG Malachi Richardson, PG Trevor Cooney) averaged a better PPG than their Tar Heel starting positional opponents this season.

While the Orange were also more accurate from beyond the arc, shooting 36.1% to North Carolina’s 31%. So anything is possible…although the Heels will likely be too much to handle.

michael-gbinije

Meanwhile, the Sooners and Villanova will be the heavyweight tilt of the night. They are each entering this game with boat loads of momentum after knocking off their region’s respective number one seeds in Kansas and Oregon. One in four brackets on ESPN.com chose Kansas to win it all as well, so that should give you a pretty good idea of just how massive the Wildcats victory on Sunday really was.

With all of that momentum built up though, who gets the edge in this one?

Well, like Syracuse, the Nova is a perfect 4-0 ATS since the Madness tipped off and their offense is also averaging a tournament-best 82 PPG. They are electric from the field and from three-point land, but there’s one thing that they don’t have – Buddy Hield.

The Sooner senior has been a revelation and has singlehandedly stolen games for OKLA. He put up 37 points against Oregon this past weekend, 17 against Texas A&M on Thursday, and 36 against VCU in the Round of 32. He is the best player in the country, has already been named Sporting News Player of the Year (POY), and will likely win the Naismith as College Basketball’s POY as well. Even with Buddy though, the Sooners are still +2 underdogs in this matchup.

All in all, we like Oklahoma to beat the spread and upset the Wildcats. We also like the Tar Heels to take out Syracuse by double digits.

Should our predictions prevail and the Sooners continue onward and upward, their Futures payout of +375 could result in a fairly lucrative bet.

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