The national semifinals get underway on Saturday, April 2 in Houston, Texas and when the smoke clears, Villanova, the two seed from the South Region, and North Carolina, the one seed from the East, are expected to be the last teams standing. The latest Final Four Picks 2016 from offshore bookmaker Bovada.lv have the Wildcats and Tar Heels lined as a -2 and -9.5 favorites, respectively, in Saturday’s games.
Villanova entered the NCAA Tournament off a 67-69 loss to Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament, but that did not keep it from storming through the South Region. Easy wins over North Carolina Asheville, Iowa and Miami preceded a 64-59 victory over top seeded and favored Kansas.
Now Jay Wright’s squad is tasked with defeating fellow two seed Oklahoma, a team it faced on December 7 in the Pearl Harbor Classic. The Sooners, who also knocked off a one seed in Oregon to reach the Final Four, blasted the Wildcats 78-55 in that contest. Five Oklahoma players scored in double figures in the win, including Buddy Hield, who is second only to North Carolina’s Brice Johnson in Tournament MOP odds with a +350 line.
The second national semifinal battle features two storied coaches and two storied programs as Syracuse and North Carolina square off for a spot in Monday’s title game. The two conference rivals are meeting for a third time and Roy Williams’ Tar Heels are looking for a third win over the Orange.
North Carolina won the first meeting 84-73 at the Carrier Dome on January 9. It took the second game by a score of 75-70 in Chapel Hill on February 29. However, Syracuse, which dropped three straight before opening tournament play on March 18, is playing some inspired basketball right now.
The Orange garnered the 10 seed in the Midwest, but they easily upended Dayton and Middle Tennessee before earning hard fought wins over Gonzaga (63-60) and No. 1 seed Virginia (68-62), a team it lost to by eight points in their only regular season meeting.
My Final Four Picks 2016: Oklahoma and North Carolina.
Final Four Picks 2016: College Basketball Point Spreads Provided by Bovada.lv
Saturday, April 2 NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas –
5:09pm CT (TBS)
No. 2 Villanova Wildcats -2 (-105), Over 145.5 (-110)
No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners +2 (-115), Under 145.5 (-110)
7:49pm CT (TBS)
No. 10 Syracuse Orange +9.5 (-115), Over 145 (-110)
No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels -9.5 (-105), Under 145 (-110)