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Mike Handzelek's Final 4 Analysis/Review

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Apr 3, 2022
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Saturday, April 02, 2022 Villanova vs. Kansas (NCAAB) - 6:09 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -4/-110 Kansas Rating: 8* Mike's CBB Public Missed Perception Play (WIN) Many prognosticators are but I'm surely not under-estimating the significance of 30-7 SU 2nd-seed Villanova losing 5-star ranked recruit & senior G Justin Moore is for HC Jay Wright's charges. Ironically, his replacement is none other than Caleb Daniels (0 stars & not ranked) who hails from St. Augustine High School right here in the "Big Easy". However, the present version of Jay Wright's cast will find it difficult to duplicate his version of playing "Villanova basketball". I feel without Moore & a bench already playing on the short end its going to be tough to match the physicality & versatility of Wright's former successes when the Cats' took down Kansas & ended their 17-game winning streak in the 2016's Elite 8 & also taking them down in the 2018 semi-final. The battle between Big East Player of the Year G Collin Gillespie & Jayhawks' reliable G Ochai Agbaji should be an excellent showdown. But the true story & X-Factor I believe has to be Arizona State transfer G (led the PAC-12 in scoring last year) & Sierra Canyon HS product (Burbank, CA) Remy Martin. Martin & Agbaji (roommates @ Kansas) along with Christian Braun (all 3 combine for 39.6 PPG in the playoffs) have developed a rock-solid continuity & chemistry in their backcourt that trumps what Nova' brings to the table. Crunching the numbers show 32-6 SU & #1-seeded Kansas has taken on the 4th-toughest schedule (compared to the Wildcats' 11th) for HC Bill Self's high pick-and-roll offense. The #1 seed in semi-final games have also gone a 5-2 SU the last 7 & have won 4 national titles. In addition, Big East teams have gone a perfect 0-3 SU versus the Big 12 in 2022 (Nova' lost 57-36 to Baylor in December) while Big East underdogs in national semi-finals are a ML-ticket ripping 1-4 SU. The past 20 seasons have seen Final 4 #1 seeds go a dominant 16-5 SU versus lower seeds. My bottom line also takes in 4 analytical categories (Power Ratings, Effective Strength Indicators, Bettors Ratings & Momentum Ratings) where Kansas has the advantage in all of them. When you look @ starting-5 recruitment ranks, Kansas holds a big 19-15 Star edge versus Philly's Finest. I look for the motivated Jayhawks to play with laser-focus since they were robbed of the National Championship by the pandemic that wiped things out 2 seasons ago. Let's go to Caesars Superdome in New Orleans to play the KANSAS JAYHAWKS (buying to -1) as my 8 Star CBB Public Missed Perception Play! North Carolina vs. Duke (NCAAB) - 8:49 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -190 Duke Rating: 9* Mike's ACC National Championship Qualifier (LOSS) This will be the 1st time North Carolina (28-9 SU) has played Duke (32-6 SU) in the tournament. They met twice this season with Duke winning in Chapel Hill 87-67 & North Carolina coming back for a 94-81 victory in Durham. Who has the better momentum coming in? Even though NC F Brady Manek has been sensational (19.5 PPG), I'm siding with Duke whose size & athleticism has shown in this tournament where they've shot over 50% in FG percentage & a not-too-shabby 39%-plus from 3-point land. When close to evenly-matched teams meet late, it's usually the winning coach who has made a stand-out, game-changer-type decision. I believe that decision was made by HC Mike Krzyzewski moves sophomore guard Jeremy Roach (out of Paul VI Catholic HS in Fairfax, VA) into the starting lineup at the beginning of the tournament. What has he contributed since? In averaging just 28 minutes played per game, Roach as averaged an excellent 50% from the field & 12.6 PPG. Even though Blue Devils' G Paolo Banchero (17.4 PPG in playoffs) is by far the most-talented performer on the floor, it's been Roach that's performed best in the clutch in recent tourney wins over Michigan State & Texas Tech. Duke comes in #1 in Ken Pom's offensive efficiency ratings & were a 10-1 favorite to win March Madness compared to 1st-year HC Hubert Davis & UNC chiming in @ a distant 100-1. The battle down low will be an interesting one since this game pits 2 former teammates @ IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL (F Armando Bacot, 15.8 PPG in playoffs, of the Tar Heels & F Mark Williams, 12.9 PPG in playoffs, of the Blue Devils) who won the GEICO Nationals for their Descenders for the school's first time in 2019. My bottom line stresses Coach K has made 9 trips to the national semi-finals & has won 8. A big contributor off the bench for the Dukies has to be G Trevor Keels whose an excellent defender & plays an average of 27 minutes with 7.3 PPG. Other numbers show the Tar Heels have struggled going 1-10 ATS in road games versus excellent offensive teams scoring 77+ PPG over the last 2 seasons (giving us a solid ML play). In addition, the last 20 seasons saw 2 ACC matchups in the Final 4 with the favorite going 2-0 SU & ATS (both winning by double-digits). Let's get a sweep tonight as we go to Caesars Superdome in New Orleans to play 9 Stars on the DUKE BLUE DEVILS on the ML as my ACC National Championship Qualifier! Mike Handzelek's 2021-22 CBB Overall Record: 18-17 for a weak 51% Mike's Overall Record Combined Last 59 Plays (All Sports): 40-19 for 68%

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