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March Madness Final Four Preview

March Madness Final Four Preview. UConn looks to win the tournament again this year unless Purdue’s Zack Edey can stop them. But two other teams also want the championship. Welcome to the Final Four. The stage is set, and the four teams are preparing for their biggest weekend of the college basketball season. Only one of these teams will get the two wins they need to be crowned the best team in the nation on Monday, April 8th.

March Madness Final Four Preview

Final Four Games and Odds

Saturday, April 6

No. 11 NC State Wolfpack vs. No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers (-9.5, 146.5)

No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 1 UConn Huskies (-11.5, 161.5)

No. 1 UConn Huskies (-190 odds to win tournament)

Are the Huskies saving their best for last? They haven’t even played a full game yet. They beat Illinois in the Elite Eight by 25 points, netting only three of their 17 3-pointer attempts. UConn led the game 30-0, shutting out Illinois for eight minutes. That showcases the incredible offense and defense the Huskies have against the Big Ten tournament champions.

UConn is even more impressive this year when you realize they lost five of their top eight players from last year’s national championship roster. They have the most efficient offense in the nation, with 126.6 adjusted points per 100 possessions. UConn can beat their opponents in high-scoring, fast-paste games, or low-scoring grinders.

Assuming they win against Alabama and meet Purdue in the championship game, they’ll have 7-foot-2 Donovan Clingan to defend against Zack Edey. Over their last five games, Clinton has averaged 17 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks.

No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers (+190 odds to win tournament)

The Boilermakers might not have the depth of the Huskies, but reigning National Player of the Year Zach Edey has lifted the team to a new level. He is only the fourth player to average at least 30 points and 15 rebounds through four NCAA tournament games. Wilt Chamberlain was among the other three.

The Toronto, Canada, native continues to improve by averaging the most points per game (25) and coming second in rebounds (12.2) during the season. In their Elite Eight game against Tennessee, Edey scored a career-high 40 points. He’s supported by guards Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer and forward Mason Gillies. Keep your limits in for the remainder of the games, as only UConn has proven their consistency since the last tournament.

No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide (-1600 odds to win tournament)

The Tide have one of the best offenses in the nation, but their defense has some holes in it. Their best play is to add as many points as possible to make up for the number of points they allow. Just look at their win against No. 13 Charleston in the opening round (109-96). They had to pull out all the stops to outpace the number of points their defense was giving up. They allow an average of 81.1 points per game, which is 346th in the nation.

Senior point guard Mark Sears is the man to watch for their game against UConn. He averaged 21.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and almost six 3-pointers per game. He’s even improved on that during the tournament by scoring 24.3 points and netting 9.5 3-pointers per game.

Alabama is 19-1 this season when scoring 89 points or more. They can make a game of it if they can match UConn on the offense and outperform them on the 3-pointers (which shouldn’t be too difficult).

No. 11 NC State Wolfpack (+1800 odds to win tournament)

Despite all their underdog wins, the Wolfpack are still the underdogs for the remainder of this tournament. They started by winning five games in five days to win the ACC tournament, the only way they could get into the NCAA tournament.

Then they went on to upset No. 6 Texas Tech (80-67), No. 14 Oakland (79-73) in overtime, No. 2 Marquette (67-58), and finally defeat conference rival Duke (76-64) to advance to the Final Four. Do they have any more magic to get to the championship game? Look to NC State to cover the spread.

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