Jay Wright has built the Villanova Wildcats into a well-oiled machine throughout the past several seasons.
Not much has changed in 2017-18.
Villanova enters the Final Four with a tremendously talented and versatile rotation; one headlined by newly-minted National Player of the Year, Jalen Brunson. Not surprisingly, Villanova is now a favorite to cut the nets in San Antonio, especially after numerous powers fell as the victims of NCAA Tournament upsets.
To reach that point, though, Villanova will first have to get past the Kansas Jayhawks, a surging blue blood in their own right. Yet, despite Kansas now having won 12 of its past 13 games, including a pair of victories over West Virginia, a win over Texas Tech and an Elite Eight win over Duke, few expect the Jayhawks’ season to survive past Saturday.
That was evident by ESPN, as only five of the outlet’s 23 writers and analysts — Kyle Bonagura, Fran Fraschilla, Dino Gaudio, Jeff Goodman, and Mark Schlabach — picked Kansas to beat Villanova in the Final Four.
Furthermore, of the five that did pick Kansas to advance to the National Championship game, their respective projections each favored Kansas by just one or two points, so even those that do expect the Jayhawks to come out on top expect it to be close.
To say Kansas is an underdog in a Final Four certainly has an awkward ring to it, but as evident by the vast majority of ESPN’s experts picking Villanova, that’s the case entering the weekend.
At 8:49 p.m. ET on Saturday, Kansas will attempt to pull the upset few expect it to.