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Our Final Picks For Saturday’s 2022 Final Four Semifinals

It’s likely to be tight, but here you go.

2018 USAB Minicamp Practice
 LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 26: Jim Boeheim, Jay Wright and Mike Krzyzewski talk during USAB Minicamp Practice at Mendenhall Center on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus on July 26, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
  • #1 Kansas vs. #2 Villanova
  • Time: 6:09 || Venue: Superdome || Video: TBS
  • #8 UNC vs. # 2 Duke
  • Time: 8:49 || Venue: Superdome || Video: TBS

So here’s what we think will happen Saturday night.

Let’s look at the so-called undercard first where Kansas and Villanova will square off. Some undercard!

Villanova will be without Justin Moore, who blew out his Achilles in the last :30 seconds against Houston in the South Regional Finals.

It was a devastating injury for Moore obviously but we’ll bet on Villanova for one simple reason: culture. Jay Wright may have the toughest and hardest-nosed team in New Orleans.

Not to knock what Bill Self has built at Kansas, but Wright has built something special at Villanova. It’s going to be a struggle between paces and in a conservative tournament game, that usually favors patience.

Plus, as Dean Smith once said, you can overcome an injury in the short term. Wright can patch it up long enough to get to Monday night.

As for the nightcap, as we often say, we don’t bet against Duke. That’s partly because we’re Duke partisans obviously but also based on experience: look how often Duke has won in the tournament.

Just look at how often Duke has come up big in big games: UNLV. Kentucky. Michigan. Purdue. Michigan State multiple times. West Virginia. Maryland.

The list goes on and the point is pretty basic: at this point, you’re going to get Duke at its best. If you want to beat the Blue Devils, you have meet that and surpass it.

It happens of course and if it happens this weekend then all you can do is salute your opponent.

It’s just that it’s not that easy to do. So we’ll go with Duke.

One thing we think will be worth watching: whoever wins on the other side, Kansas or Villanova, will probably have an advantage Monday night: whoever wins the nightcap is going to have worked really, really hard to earn it.

Duke has been in that situation before. UNC is essentially playing with five guys. If they go into Monday night with tired legs, that’ll ding three point shooting.