2018 Final Four
Jalen Brunson of the Villanova Wildcats cuts the net after defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the 2018 NCAA Tournament East Regional (Source: Elsa/Getty Images)

The 2018 NCAA Tournament is officially down to the Final Four and with it, there are two incredibly talented teams set to square off. The 2018 Final Four should be exciting as the one-seeded Villanova Wildcats will take on the one-seeded Kansas Jayhawks for the right to the National Championship game. The one-seed powerhouses fought hard through the Elite Eight to get to this point and are hungry to cut down the nets just one more time.

2018 Final Four

Kansas Jayhawks 

Devonte Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk are in their final year with the Jayhawks and desperately want to bring a championship back home to Lawrence before the graduation. The seniors will come to play against the Wildcats, but they won’t be able to win this game alone. Malik Newman will have to be the X-Factor for Kansas in the 2018 Final Four if they hope to stop the Villanova Machine from rolling over them. They have the poise, talent, and experience to stop the Wildcats from reaching their second championship game in three years. Malik Newman will need to take over late in the game much like he did against the Duke Blue Devils in overtime. The Kansas Jayhawks by no means view themselves as underdogs.

The Jayhawks are by no means a perfect basketball team despite their multiple strengths. Udoka Azubuike could be the final deciding factor for Kansas in the 2018 Final Four and not in a good way. If the talented big man isn’t on his game protecting the paint or faces foul trouble early, the Jayhawks could be in for a disappointing trip back up to Kansas. The Jayhawks will also have to find a way to chance the Wildcats off the three-point line. Allowing Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges a hot start from three could spell an early doom for Bill Self and his team.

Villanova Wildcats 

Team Leaders Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, and Donte DiVincenzo know what its like to be on both sides of March Madness. The 2016 Tournament featured Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for a National Championship, but those three were there. 2017 would prove to be a different story when the Wisconsin Badgers sent almost the exact same team home in the second round. This year the team belongs to those three and they are ready and eager to add to the Villanova legacy. The Wildcats do very few things wrong on the court. They pass, shoot and rebound at frightening clips. Brunson and Bridges play like well-oiled basketball machines, but DiVincenzo has been the hot-handed X-Factor in the 2018 NCAA Tournament for the Wildcats. Stopping the juniors this year may end up being impossible.

While the Wildcats may look unbeatable when they play they aren’t undefeated. Fundamentally the team makes few mistakes, but sometimes the basketball just doesn’t go through the basket. Despite a well below shooting performance against Texas Tech the Wildcats managed to win by double digits because of their ability to hit free throws. Kansas will not only have to chase the team off of the three-point line, but they simply can not send Villanova to the free throw line either. Choking off these two scoring avenues plus scoring yourself is a tall task, but Kansas could be the team to get it done.


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