Kansas vs. Villanova Prediction – Who’s Got Next

    Kansas vs. Villanova prediction and preview. Who’s Got Next analyzes the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight matchup between the Jayhawks and Wildcats.

    March 25, 2016

    Kansas vs. Villanova prediction and preview. Who’s Got Next analyzes the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight matchup between the Jayhawks and Wildcats.

    How they got here

    Kansas beat No. 16 Austin Peay in the first round 105-79, beat No. 9 Connecticut 73-61 in the second round, beat No. 5 Maryland 79-63 in the Sweet 16; Villanova beat No. 15 UNC Asheville 86-56 in first round, beat No. 7 Iowa 87-68 in second round, beat No. 3 Miami (Fla.) 92-69 in Sweet 16

    Why Kansas will win

    Kansas continued its dominating run in the Big Dance, picking up its third-straight double-digit win by ripping Maryland in the Sweet 16. The Jayhawks came into the tournament as the top overall seed, and they’ve played like a favorite. Their balance and athleticism sets them apart, and opponents face a pick-your-poison situation. Want to pack the lane and stop KU’s bigs and drives to the bucket? Fine. Guards Wayne Selden Jr. and Frank Mason III will knock down some threes. Want to guard the arc closely? Fine. Guard Deonte Graham will blow by you, as will Selden and Mason. Inside, forward Perry Ellis is a man among boys, and his poise and skill makes him tough to guard. He also has range, which makes him more dangerous. The key for the Jayhawks vs. Villanova will be to use their length to disrupt the Wildcats’ offense and create live-ball turnovers, which can lead to easy buckets on the other end. Ellis is a rim protector, so KU’s guards can afford to gamble a bit, and their superior quickness and athleticism will give Kansas an edge in the backcourt.

    Why Villanova will win

    Villanova has rolled through its first three games of the NCAA Tournament, winning by an average of 24.7 points, and the Wildcats’ balance is what sets them apart. Not only did four starters score in double figures in their 92-69 hammering of Miami (Fla.) in the Sweet 16, but they all scored at least 14 points and two players – guard Ryan Arcidiacono and forward Daniel Ochefu – cracked the 20-point mark. They were efficient, too, with no player taking more than 11 shots and nobody missing more than four. ‘Nova also recorded assists on more than half of its buckets. Villanova’s discipline on defense created 12 turnovers, and that continued a trend for this hungry team. Maintaining that balance will be critical in the Elite Eight. The Wildcats count on Arcidiacono and Ochefu to do plenty of damage, but guard Josh Hart will have to be aggressive with the ball and can’t run into foul trouble. He’s the guy who gets to the line and stirs the offense, and his ability to get in the lane will be key to getting KU’s bigs into foul trouble. Forward Kris Jenkins needs to continue to hit the glass hard and help Villanova gain an advantage in the paint.

    Kansas vs. Villanova Prediction

    Villanova has been cruising, but Kansas will by far be their toughest challenge yet. Miami (Fla.) didn’t have the discipline Kansas will bring to the floor, and it will be a challenge for the Wildcats to take the Jayhawks out of their comfort zone. KU’s athleticism on the perimeter and strength inside will be too much for ‘Nova to handle.

    Kansas vs. Villanova Final Score Prediction: Kansas 77, Villanova 72

    MORE: The Best NCAA Tournament Coverage On The Web


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