The 2022 Final Four is underway on Saturday, and at halftime of the first game in New Orleans between No. 1 seed Kansas and No. 2 seed Villanova, it's the Jayhawks who take a commanding 40-29 lead into the half. Kansas came out hot like a team on a mission, jumping out to a 10-0 lead. Villanova, however, somehow found life near the end of the first half to help make the score a little more respectable at the half.
Ochai Agbaji led the way for the Jayhawks in the first half with 12 points, including going a perfect 4-for-4 from 3 -- the type of performance you like to see from your top star on the biggest stage. Villanova was led by its superstar, Collin Gillespie, who dropped in 11 points as he attempts to shoulder a bigger load with Justin Moore out with the Achilles tear suffered in the Wildcats' Elite Eight victory.
With two storied programs battling it out for a spot in the national championship game, the matchup between Kansas and Villanova could be a thriller as the 2022 Final Four tips off in style from New Orleans.
How to watch Kansas vs. Villanova
Date: Saturday, April 2 | Time: 6:09 p.m. ET
Location: Caesars Superdome -- New Orleans
TV: TBS | Live stream: March Madness Live
Kansas vs. Villanova: Need to Knows
About the Jayhawks: The loss of the 2020 NCAA Tournament is not a primary motivation for Kansas, but it's not lost on anyone around the program that Self and the Jayhawks had the best team in the country at the time that the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Agbaji, David McCormack and Christian Braun were all part of that team and in this tournament have seen the bracket break their way at nearly every turn. Kansas is favored to make the national championship game and if they perform as oddsmakers expect it will set up a massive blue-blood title game against either Duke or North Carolina. If the Jayhawks get there the expectation will be they can win it, and cut down nets for the second time under Self and just the fourth time in the history of this storied program. -- Chip Patterson
About the Wildcats: The word "attitude" is the slogan posted all over the Villanova facility and it's represented in how the Wildcats do simply bring a more consistent and level approach than your average college basketball team. It's a team that knows its system, and more specifically its roles in the system, as well as anyone in the country and that is how Villanova has been able to be so successful in the big dance over these last six tournaments. The loss of Justin Moore is undeniably going to change the math on how Villanova takes care of business, but Jay Wright has all week to put in a new game plan specifically for this weekend and there's not another team I trust more to receive and implement such changes than the Wildcats. -- Patterson
Kansas vs. Villanova: Predictions
It's impossible to boil down any matchup to one specific injury or facet of the game ... in most cases. However, it may just be this simple: Villanova, already thin on depth, is even more razor-thin after losing second-leading scorer and minutes leader Justin Moore to an Achilles injury in the Elite Eight. KU has the depth advantage, and it's pretty close to a draw in terms of talent. Maybe Caleb Daniels steps up for Nova and Jay Wright rides five or six guys for 35+ minutes with success, but I'm skeptical the injury doesn't tilt this one heavily in favor of the Jayhawks. Kyle Boone's Pick: Kansas -4.5
|NOVA +4.5||KAN -4.5||KAN -4.5||NOVA +4.5||NOVA +4.5|
Who will win every college basketball game, and which teams will sink your bankroll? Visit SportsLine now to see how to pick the spread, money, line, and over-under in each tournament game, all from the model that's up almost $1,500 on top-rated college basketball picks and simulates every possession 10,000 times.