NCAA Tournament Elite Eight Recap and Final Four Preview
The Elite Eight of the 2022 NCAA Tournament was a change in direction from the rest of the tournament, as the upsets and uncertainty of the tournament finally subsided. The end result is a Final Four that features four of the best programs in college basketball. Here, we look back at the Elite Eight and ahead to a Final Four replete with blue blood college basketball schools.
St. Peter’s Cinderella Run Ended By UNC
The first 15-seed to ever make the Elite Eight in St. Peter's got off to a slow start against North Carolina and was never able to recover. The Peacocks shot just 30% against North Carolina and did not have a single player that reached 15 points in the game. North Carolina, meanwhile, shot over 40% for the game and enjoyed a +16 rebounding margin against the tournament’s Cinderella story as the Tar Heels qualified for the Final Four as an eight-seed.
Duke Sets Up Rivalry Game
Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching career is not done yet, thanks to Duke’s win in the West Regional final over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Duke shot just under 55% from the field against the Razorbacks, with four of Duke’s seven players scoring in double figures. Now, Duke and North Carolina will meet in the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever, with a spot in the national championship game on the line.
Kansas Rolls Through Miami
The Kansas Jayhawks ran away with the Midwest Regional final against Miami (FL) in the second half, outscoring the Hurricanes 47-15 in the final 20 minutes of the game. Ochai Agbaji made eight of his 12 field goal attempts to lead the Jayhawks with 18 points, as Kansas erased a six-point halftime deficit with authority. Kansas is now two wins away from winning their second national championship with Bill Self as their coach.
Villanova Wins Catfight With Houston
The Houston Cougars were slight favorites over Villanova in the final of the South Region, but their three-point shooting was their downfall against the Wildcats. Houston made just one of their 20 three-point shot attempts against Jay Wright’s team, which prevented them from being a real threat to the Final Four. As a result, Jay Wright has guided his team to another Final Four, where the Wildcats will face Kansas.
Final Four Preview
The Final Four will pit Duke and North Carolina against one another for the first time in this tournament. Duke is a four-point favorite heading into the game as they seek revenge for North Carolina ruining Mike Krzyzewski’s final home game at Duke. These teams split their regular season series, though, with Duke winning on the road against the Tar Heels by 20 points earlier in the season, as this game could go either way.
Villanova and Kansas will square off in the other Final Four matchup in New Orleans, with Kansas coming in as a four-point favorite. The Jayhawks played their best basketball of this tournament in the second half against Miami. But the question is whether or not they can sustain that level against a Villanova team that has shot the ball incredibly well from the perimeter all season long.
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